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Christchurch Antarctic Office
Kia ora koutou, 
It's April, so the sun has set on another Antarctic Science Season.  The global pandemic meant that there were constraints at our borders, and it's a credit to the dedication of  the members of the National Antarctic Programs that use our Gateway City that operations and science in Antarctica continued, albeit at reduced levels, and with more MIQ and isolation endured by many for the greater good.
This season, the 26-strong NZ Defence Force team at  Harewood Terminal supported the RNZAF, the US Air Force and the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) to move 2,300 passengers and almost 1,000 tonnes of cargo.  The RNZAF contribution to the Joint Logistics Pool was seven return flights from Boeing 757 and nine return flights from the Hercules.  Senior National Officer Major Nikki Gardner said the NZDF had been contributing to operations in Antarctica since 1956, when the Navy ship HMNZS Endeavour was deployed. 
Another season ends this week with the departure of David Kennedy as Head of the Christchurch Antarctic Office. David takes up a new role as GM of the International Antarctic Centre this week, so is delighted to still be involved in the sector, and looks forward to staying in touch with Polar colleagues he has worked with over the last four years. The role as Head of the Office will be advertised shortly.
Ngā mihi nui


David & Sue
Christchurch Antarctic Office
From Tonga to Mt Terror

For the first time in 50 years a Royal New Zealand Navy supply ship has travelled to Antarctic waters.  In January HMNZS Aotearoa berthed at McMurdo Station with supplies to support Antarctica New Zealand’s scientific research programme and the Scott Base re-build.The HMNZS Aotearoa is a $500 million maritime sustainment vessel. Last year it assisted with New Zealand’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in Tonga. The HMNZS Aotearoa can refuel ships at sea, has water generation  and cargo carrying capacity. Aotearoa is polar rated for sailing in McMurdo Sound's pack ice. Check out the video of the mission, featuring our Navy personnel wearing extreme cold weather clothing from Christchurch's own Earth Sea Sky.

Haere Mai Ambassaador Udall
New United States Ambassador Tom Udall was officially welcomed to Ōtautahi Christchurch during his first visit to the city in early April.  Ambassador Tom Udall has had a long and distinguished career in public service championing the interests of Native American groups as well as conservation and environmental protection.  Ambassador Udall took time to visit the US Antarctic Program at the International Antarctic Centre.  We look forward to welcoming the Ambassador back during our Antarctic Season Opening celebrations in Spring.

DIARY DATES
SNIPPETS

Botanic Delight
In the heart of Christchurch's Botanic Gardens, a small but historic green shed, known as the 
Magnetic Observatory Workshop is now open to the public.The Magnetic Observatory opened in 1901 in the Botanic Gardens as a complex of buildings devoted to magnetic, atmospheric, gravitational, seismic and celestial studies.

The Observatory was famously used by both Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic teams to make magnetic surveys and calibrate their instruments in preparation for their expeditions.
Open daily from 10am to 4pm.

Antarcticness
"Antarcticness: Inspirations and Imaginaries" is a collection of essays, photographs, poems, etc. which explore the meanings and depictions of Antarctica by different authors from around the world. Gateway Antarctica’s Dr Gabriela Roldan talks about the Antarctic Gateways "Antarcticness at the Ends of the World" and Dr Adele Jackson contributes with her Antarctic Sun Lines solargraphy. Offering original research, art and interpretations of different experiences and explorations of Antarctica, explanations meld with narratives while academic analyses overlap with first-hand experiences of what Antarctica does and does not – could and could not – bring to the world. An open access book, it can be downloaded for free  

Virtual Inspiration
The Antarctic Heritage Trust is looking for a Public Engagement Officer to deliver their national virtual reality tour of Sir Edmund Hillary’s Antarctic hut to schools and community venues around New Zealand. 
Ideally you have been to Antarctica and/or you are an experienced educator. This is a front facing role connecting with young people in learning environments and the general public across New Zealand.  Applications close Wednesday 20 April. 

Primary Science Week
The NZ Association of Primary School Educators is running an Antarctic themed Science week in the third week of Term 2 that allows for a vast number of challenges, just like the continent itself. Plans are being put in place to provide activities for each day of Science Week along with other resources that can be used at any time of the year. 
The week includes competitions, experiments and demonstrations - even a chance to pick the colours of the new Scott Base.  More information available 
here

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM UPDATES

Tender for Ice Accommodation
Antarctica New Zealand is looking for portable building solutions to provide temporary accommodation, office and recreation space on the ice. This will allow them to continue hosting scientists, along with our staff and construction personnel during the Scott Base Redevelopment. 
Tenders close Friday 6 May.    Photo Anthony  Powell, Antzworks

Silver celebration for Polar Star
US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star stopped in Lyttelton in December as she celebrated her 25th journey to Antarctica, supporting Operation Deep Freeze, the annual mission to resupply the National Science Foundation's US Antarctic Program at McMurdo Station on Ross Island.  Each year Polar Star cuts a channel  through kilometres of sea-ice, opening access for supply vessels.  

 

CHRISTCHURCH ANTARCTIC NETWORK NEWS

Putting the "Sea" in Earth Sea Sky
Local Christchurch Company Earth Sea Sky is a world leader in ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) clothing - supplying specialised uniforms for our own Antarctica NZ. It's no surprise that the Royal NZ Navy sought their expertise when HMNZS Aotearoa headed south to Antarctica for the first time. Read here about the challenges of designing clothing for cold weather at the height of summer in a maritime environment. Pictured is Aotearoa's Commanding Officer Simon Griffiths 

LAST WORDS

On 5 March the Endurance22 Expedition located the sunken Endurance – 107 years after it sank and 100 years to the day of Sir Ernest Shackleton's funeral.
Sir Ernest Shackleton's last diary entry, before he passed away in Grytviken, South Georgia, bringing to a close the 
'Heroic era of Antarctic exploration’, read:

'In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover, gem like above the bay.'
4 February 1922