Kia ora koutou,

As the 2022-2023 Antarctic season draws to a close, we at the Christchurch Antarctic Office are pleased to report that despite some obstacles faced by the programmes, there was plenty to celebrate with some successful scientific research carried out. The season was marked by a wealth of activities and accomplishments that showcase the depth of commitment to advancing Antarctic research and forging meaningful relationships.

Over the course of the season, we had the privilege of connecting with the various Antarctic Research programmes, enabling us to gain valuable insight into the challenges faced and opportunities for improvement. This face-to-face interaction is a critical component of our mission and ensures that our efforts remain aligned with the goals and objectives of our key partners.

Our strong relationships with the international programmes continue to be the cornerstone of our success, allowing us to offer truly unique engagements with stakeholders across the business and scientific community. This season, we had the opportunity to visit the US Airforce-C17 crew and see the Globemaster aircraft up close, and we were hosted by the Italian crew onboard the research ship, the Laura Bassi. This provided a unique opportunity for connections to be made with our local Antarctic scientists.

As an organisation, we are dedicated to advancing the cause of Antarctic research and promoting the unique opportunities that this region offers. We were fortunate to attend the Antarctic Heritage Trust launch of their next Inspiring Explorers’ program. This program offers a unique opportunity for young people to embark on a journey of personal discovery and growth, exposing them to the wonders of Antarctica and the important research being conducted there. We were inspired by the previous recipients who shared their life-changing experiences at the event, and we look forward to supporting this program in the future.

While this season may be over, we are already planning for the next and look forward to continuing to support everyone involved in the Antarctic community. Your support and involvement is critical to the success of our Antarctic Research programmes and we remain committed to driving innovation and exploring new ways to support the research programmes. We believe that through collaboration and a dedication to innovation, we can continue to make a positive impact in the world of Antarctic research.

Thank you for your continued support.

David, Sue and Greg

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Ōtautahi Christchurch Gateway City News

Antarctica NZ: "Join us at Scott Base!"

Support world-leading science by day, and enjoy what Antarctica has to offer after hours! Antarctica New Zealand is recruiting the Scott Base team for the 2023/2024 season. 


Journey to the Doomsday Glacier

Thwaites could reshape the world's coastlines, but how do you study one of the world's most inaccessible places

Read of the KOPRI led expedition where 40 international researchers who sailed from Christchurch to the edge of Antarctica onboard Korea’s icebreaking research vessel Araon, and spent a month at Thwaites conducting their respective research projects.

South Pole Expedition 

After 50 days of pushing their bodies and minds to the absolute limits, Inspiring Explorers (photographed from left to right) Mike Dawson, Marthe Brendefur, guide Bengt Rotmo, expedition leader Nigel Watson and Laura Andrew reached the South Pole on 6 January.


NZDF - Our History: Decades of flying to the ice

Since 1956, six types of Air Force aircraft have been used in Antarctica to fly scientists, Defence Force personnel and equipment to the southern-most point of the earth. 

Read the full article here.


The Hydrogen Consortium 

Six international businesses including Christchurch-based Fabrum and the Christchurch International Airport have launched a new consortium to bring zero-emission aviation to life in New Zealand.


The Press Summer Series: Antarctic Bases

The series, by local reporter Lee Kenny, looked at "the countries that operate on the frozen continent, their weird and wonderful bases and exactly what they do there."


Antarctic Science and Innovation 


New-generation drill arrives in Antarctica 

The international drilling collaboration SWAIS2C’s rig has arrived at Scott Base, ready for next season’s big dig. Backed by New Zealand, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Italy and the Republic of Korea, as well as the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme (ICDP). The aim is to recover sediment cores from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf from unprecedented depths. GNS Science profiled the drill system's journey and the SWAIS2C website is now live.  

Lorde! That's good for climate change

Lorde has put her money where her mouth is and donated $120,000 to climate change science in Antarctica. 


Beyond EPICA reached a depth of 808 metres through the Antarctic ice sheet

In Antarctica, the second drilling campaign of the Beyond EPICA - oldest ice project, at the remote field site Little Dome C, has been successfully completed. This project is an unprecendented challenge for paleoclimatology studies and its goal is to go back in time 1.5 million years to reconstruct past temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations through the analysis of an ice core extracted from the depths of the ice sheet.


Education on the Ice

Geoscience educator Julian Thomson from Out There Learning, recently returned from Antarctica where he was assisting a team researching microbes that live within the sea ice. These are his Top 10 highlights, and new resources from his trip can be found on Antarctica New Zealand’s Education Hub.


Christchurch Antarctic Network 

Anthony’s Amazing Antarctic Experience

As New Zealand’s Caterpillar dealer, Terra has supported equipment on the ice since 1957.

For their expert technicians, like Whangārei's Anthony Barge, time in Antarctica is always a career highlight.


Antarctic Heritage Trust Farewells Nigel Watson

Last month Antarctic Heritage Trust farewelled Executive Director Nigel Watson after an incredible 23 years. In recognition of his services to Antarctic heritage preservation, Nigel  was awarded the prestigious New Zealand Antarctic Medal in the New Year Honours List.

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Heritage Expeditions Returns to Antarctica's Ross Sea

Pioneering Kiwi expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions made a triumphant return to Antarctica's Ross Sea for two voyages in January & February 2023 aboard their luxurious new 140-guest flagship Heritage Adventurer.


Antarctic and Gateway City Events

Our Shackleton Connection

30 March 2023 | 7:30am to 9am

Renowned Shackleton expert, explorer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis joins guests over breakfast to celebrate our city and regions connections to Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Get tickets here.


Two Antarctic walks will be led by local Antarctican Peter McCarthy


Shackleton: The Greatest Story of Survivial

At Deluxe, The Tannery from 20 April

28 lost adventurers must fight for their lives after their only lifeline is destroyed in the most uninhabitable place on Earth – Antarctica. Watch at Deluxe Cinemas, The Tannery from 20 April.

COMNAP Meetings

23-29 June 2023

COMNAP’s Antarctic Search & Rescue Workshop, the 20th COMNAP Symposium and the 35th COMNAP Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be hosted by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), at the Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, from 23−29 June 2023.

The AGM is a Member Only event but the Australian Antarctic Division is supporting opportunities for commercial exhibitors on the margins.

New Zealand - Australia Antarctic Science Conference

25-28 July 2023

Antarctica New Zealand is teaming up with the Australian Antarctic Division for the New Zealand – Australia Antarctic Science Conference 2023 at The Majestic, Christchurch from 25-28 July 2023.

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XIII SCAR Biology Symposium

31 July - 1 August 2023

Many of the world’s leading scientists and early career researchers in Antarctic biology and ecology will meet for the first face-to-face Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) meeting in 3 years. In Ōtautahi Christchurch at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre from 31 July - 4 August 2023.

Inspiring Explorers Expedition - South Georgia Expedition™  

28 September - 17 October 2023

Antarctic Heritage Trust is seeking 22 Kiwis aged 18-30 to join their next Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ to South Georgia from 28 September to 17 October 2023.


Antarctic @ Social

The Emperor Penguins Wearing 'Fitbits'

GPS-based technology is helping researchers to learn more about majestic emperor penguins as part of efforts to protect the species from environmental threats.  You can see the NZ-US research in action at Cape Crozier, thanks to pictures from videographer Anthony Powell.

Find out more here!

New Christchurch public artwork reflects on Antarctic exploration 

A new legacy artwork Brett Graham’s ‘Erratic’ is being installed along the Ōtakaro Avon River, opposite the statue of Robert Falcon Scott. The nine-tonne piece of Arctic White granite, imported from Roald Amundsen’s homeland of Norway, references the journey of the Antarctic explorer.

Photography by Samuel Hartnett for Here magazine

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