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Christchurch Antarctic Office
Kia ora koutou, 
Wonderful news last month with the government's budget support for the rebuild of Scott Base.  Congratulations to all involved in this mammoth and exciting project.  
To keep up to date with all the news on the redevelopment of New Zealand's science flagship on the 7th Continent, subscribe to the newsletter introduced below.
Planning is well underway for all the International Antarctic Programmes for the 21/22 Antarctic Season.  The global pandemic is still front of mind for these programmes, and keeping NZ and Antarctica COVID free is once again the top priority.  Special thanks to MFAT and MBIE for all their work with our international gateway partners as they develop plans for important science and research projects while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Best of luck to the NZ delegation who will be attending the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting by video conference during the highly unsociable hours of 10pm to 4am from 14 to 24 June.  Paris in Summer unfortunately won't be quite the same by Zoom.

If winter has arrived, that means Antarctic Season Opening and Days of Ice is just around the corner.  Mark the dates in your calendar, and we'll let you know as soon as the programme goes live !

Ngā mihi nui
David & Sue
Christchurch Antarctic Office

The Antarctic science and business community is thrilled the Government has committed $344 million to rebuild New Zealand’s home in Antarctica, Scott Base. The funding covers capital investment of $306 million, including the replacement of the windfarm and project operating costs of $38 million.  Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive Sarah Williamson says it’s a significant milestone.  “The Scott Base Redevelopment (SBR) project is the biggest project we’ve ever embarked on, and as well as future proofing our home on the ice, it brings many millions of dollars to the Canterbury economy.”
To keep up to date with the latest news about the redevelopment, you can subscribe to Antarctica New Zealand's upcoming SBR project newsletter here. Take a tour inside the new base here


Scott explores again

Captain Scott’s statue and reserve will come alive at Christchurch’s newest lighting festival Tirama Mai with snow effects projected onto all sides of the statue, making it look like Scott is walking through a blizzard. Anthony Powell has developed a fantastic five minute reel that will showcase Antarctica's night sky, ice, whales and stunning scenery, all to the sounds of Antarctica and Spectrum Lighting are creating an Aurora themed installation called Dancing Fountains.  
Explore the lighting trails from Friday 25 June until Saturday 10 July, between 6-11pm every night. Installations will be located around the central city and at New Brighton Pier. A map of all the locations will be released closer to the event.

'Antarctica after Dark' iceperts online 

"Never take a holiday in a polynya." 

Excellent words of advice shared by Professor Pat Langhorne at the Antarctica after Dark talks, presented in February by Antarctica New Zealand.  Seven other speakers (and an entertainer) covered a range of topics from the heroic era, climate science and the arts. These short presentations were beautifully captured on video and are well worth a look here.

Navy serious about South

The New Zealand Defence Force has issued a request for information on design and build solutions for an  ice-strengthened offshore patrol vessel that the Royal New Zealand Navy would operate in the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea for at least four months per year. The RFI cautions that the ship will traverse “one of the roughest seas in the world.”
Looks like the new 
HMNZS Aotearoa might not be so lonely in the Southern Ocean.

Days of Ice Coming Soon

The Christchurch Antarctic sector is beavering away, and planning is well advanced for the 2021 edition of Days of Ice, the celebration of Christchurch as the world's premier Antarctic Gateway City and a special way to mark the annual opening of the Antarctic Science season.  We're expecting another awesome line-up of events and activities for all ages.  If you have an event you'd like to run during Days of Ice, please contact David or Sue at the Christchurch Antarctic Office - We'll let you know when the programme goes live on

Regional Climate Change action

Environment Canterbury has led the development of the It’s time, Canterbury initiative and website, alongside Canterbury’s 10 Local Councils. The new website is home to reputable information and resources on the topic of climate change, with a focus on action in the Canterbury region.

Explore the website to learn about what is projected, and for ideas on how we can each help lessen and adapt to the impacts of climate change. You can pledge supportand sign up to get more information as it becomes available.

Inspired Augmentation

Antarctic Heritage Trust has released a new augmented reality app that includes two unique Antarctic experiences: Antarctic 3D Artefacts and My Explorer Journal. This exciting new technology allows you to explore Antarctica without leaving the country.

Young explorers can also use the app in conjunction with a downloadable activity booklet, My Explorer Journal, to learn about the history of Antarctic exploration, Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers Expeditions™ and the Antarctic ecosystem, through augmented reality, 360° videos and photo galleries.

Download the free Explorer Journal and find out more about the app here.

The Cool Club

Membership of the Christchurch Antarctic Network continues to grow - have a look at the online listings of over 50 businesses with decades of Antarctic experience between them. 
If you know of a business with extreme environment or Polar expertise that might benefit from being part of Christchurch's most unique business network, ask them to get in touch with David or Sue at the 
Christchurch Antarctic Office.  
The next quarterly Network meeting will be held at the University of Canterbury on June 17th.

New Flagship for Heritage Expeditions

Christchurch expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions will operate the world-renowned Polar exploration vessel formerly known as MS Hanseatic and Society Adventurer from May 2022.  
Rechristened Heritage Adventurer, Heritage Expeditions will take the experiential exploration Heritage Expeditions is renowned for to stylish new levels.  Built in 1991 in Finland for polar exploration,
 Heritage Adventurer is 124-metres long, boasts a 1A Super ice class and an impressive history of Polar and remote region exploration.

Southern Ocean Science Review - Survey

Members of the Southern Ocean community have set up a Task Force to develop the Southern Ocean Action Plan.
If you wish to help identify Southern Ocean priorities, read the 
report and complete the survey no later than 23:59 UTC on 18 June 2021. The information provided in this survey will be used exclusively by the Southern Ocean Task Force to develop a Draft Southern Ocean Action Plan, which will be open for consultation at the 2nd Southern Ocean Regional Workshop which is to be held online from 20 - 22 September 2021.

10 years of Neutrinos

On May 13, 2011, the U.S. National Science Foundation's IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory took its first set of data --known as a physics run -- as a fully configured facility. Since then, the facility has yielded groundbreaking results. In 2012, IceCube detected the highest energy neutrinos ever observed at that time. During its 10 years of operation, scientific breakthroughs enabled by IceCube have been published in over 150 papers in scientific journals.Learn more about the decade of  IceCube.

Portal for Mortals

The Antarctic Environments Portal is managed by SCAR. The Portal includes Information Summaries of the current state of knowledge on issues of relevance to Antarctic managers and policy makers, and on environmental pressures likely to cause change into the future.They are intended to be concise, technically accurate, politically neutral and accessible to a broad audience.  Read the latest summary on Marine Noise in the Southern Ocean 
  • Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, friends and colleagues of Antarctica New Zealand field trainer Tom Arnold – who was tragically killed in a rockfall incident in Fiordland on April 20

  • Congratulations to Dr Yeadong Kimwho formerly led the Korea NZ Antarctic Co-operation Centre in Christchurch, on his election to President of SCAR

  • Congratulations to Maggie Knuth, appointed as the Chief Program Manager for the U.S. Antarctic Program, where she will manage and oversee operations and logistics across USAP stations, field sites, gateways, and port facilities. She will also lead USAP’s logistics collaborations with other National Antarctic Programs, and serve on the USAP Executive Management Board. This position is part of the Section for Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics at NSF

  • Dr Natalie Robinson has been recognised by Forbes Magazine in an international campaign celebrating females in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM). Forbes has named seven outstanding women in STEM – and Natalie is Antarctica’s representative!  The article, Women in STEM: Voices from Around the World, says “given the barriers women face, it’s important to celebrate women who challenge stereotypes and rise to the top of their STEM fields. Doing so can provide inspiration for girls and boys alike”

  • Congratulations to Dr. Gabriela Roldan for completing her PhD at the University of Canterbury.  Gabriela's thesis investigated our favourite subject:"Searching for an Antarctic identity at the Antarctic gateway cities of Cape Town (South Africa), Christchurch (New Zealand), Hobart (Australia), Punta Arenas (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina)

  • Calling all Antarcticans.  Steph Kaefer is a PhD student in the Department of Linguistics and Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury. She is researching the rich and uniquely Antarctic vocabulary specifically used at English-speaking Antarctic research stations and gathering data for her PhD thesis about the uses, meanings and origins of this vocabulary.  The only criteria for participating in this survey is that you have worked at or visited at least one English-speaking Antarctic research station/base/camp.  If you can help Steph, fill out this 20 minute survey

  • Still open:  SCAR Antarctic Fellowships (USD $15,000) - deadline 20 June 2021 and CCAMLR Scientific Scholarship Scheme (AUD $30,000) - deadline 1 October 2021


“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

Amelia Earhart