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Christchurch Antarctic Office
Kia ora koutou,

Another busy and COVID impacted season is drawing to a close. Through these uncertain times
Ōtautahi Christchurch has kept its Antarctic Gateway open and proudly hosted Antarctic personnel from NZ, USA, Italy, Korea, Germany and France. Christchurch Airport managed flights from the NZ, US and Italian Air Force. Lyttelton Port has seen visits from the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star and US supply vessel Ocean Giant, Italy's N/R Laura Bassi, and Korea's R/V Araon. The icing on the cake was the first ever Lyttelton visit in early February of our own HMNZS Aotearoa. All of these vessels will return to Lyttelton at the close of the season.
A special acknowledgment and thankyou to all Antarctic expeditioners international and domestic who endured hotel isolation for the greater cause of science for humanity.

Noho ora mai
David & Sue
Christchurch Antarctic Office

Days of Ice postponed to Spring
The pandemic Gods have conspired against us again, and due to the recent Red Traffic Light setting, we have postponed the Days of Ice Antarctic Gateway celebrations. The great news is most of the 45 Antarctic events are moving to our new dates 29 September - 9 October 2022. Mark your diary for now, and we'll give you updates on the programme which just happens to coincide with Antarctic Season Opening! Please contact us if you have an event to include in Days of Ice. See
here for further information.

Welcome and Farewell

Haere ra (farewell) to KOPRI's Dongmin JIN and Haere mai (welcome) to Dr Young Keun JIN who has arrived to lead Korea Polar Research Institute’s (
KOPRI) Korea-New Zealand Antarctic Cooperation Center for the next year.

Pictured with Mayor Lianne Dalziel is Dr Young Keun JIN (left) and Dongmin JIN (right)

Luxury Jet Aurora Experience
Still stuck for that memorable Valentines Day gift? Perhaps a luxury jet to view the Southern Lights will do the trick. The two-day package includes the flight of a lifetime in GCH Aviation's luxury 10 seat Challenger jet together with accommodation, breakfast and dinner at The George boutique hotel and a tailored experience at the International Antarctic Centre. Ten departures from 27 March. Book

Gateway goes Massive Online
University of Canterbury's Gateway Antarctica has just launched an Antarctic MOOC - Massive Open Online Course. Join Associate Professor Daniela Liggett, Professor Adrian McDonald and Dr Andrea Herbert for this free online course. Explore the exceptional aspects of the Antarctic climate and its ecosystems and look at the current and future impacts of environmental change. For more information and enrolment information click

Refreshed Research Priorities
The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ministry of Primary Industries, Antarctica New Zealand, and the Department of Conservation recently announced new, refreshed, and modern priorities for New Zealand’s Antarctic and Southern Ocean research under the main theme of global change. Read the new document

Detour Antarctica: Podcast
Stranded on a ship in the Drake Passage during the first outbreak of the pandemic, NZ Herald Travel writer Thomas Bywater had the opportunity to meet some of the adventurous characters drawn to Antarctica and learned some of its fascinating stories. His seven episode podcast
Detour: Antarctica explores some quirky stories from the frozen continent.

Rock the Cradle
Congratulations to the Blue Cradle Foundation for their first year of operations in which they became the fastest growing marine research and ocean education non-profit in New Zealand. Read more in their Annual Report. During the past year, in collaboration with interdisciplinary marine scientists from ESR and Cawthron, they undertook two expeditions to search for microplastics and marine invasive species. See short videos of the two research expeditions, in Northland and Fiordland.

100 Polar Women
Women in Polar Science (WiPS) aims to profile and support a strong network of women working in polar science and support. Each week two women who work in the Arctic or Antarctic are introduced - if you look closely, you might even find a couple of locals. If you know of any cool women who might qualify, send your recommendations through. Check the website

Civic Award for Antarctic Champion
Antarctic Gateway City advocate Margaret Austin has been honoured by the city with a
2021 Christchurch Civic Award. The citation on the Council website says it all: "educator, administrator, academic, politician, benefactor, all-round warm human being, there are few indeed who can match her achievement, her dedication or her humanity". Congratulations Margaret for a well deserved accolade!
Margaret with Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Cr Yani Johanson.

Frozen in Time
Scott’s Terra Nova hut has a history rich in both triumph and tragedy that is proudly on display at Cape Evans.
Listen to the NZ Antarctic Heritrage Trust's Chief Operations Officer, Francesca Eathorne as she visits the hut, speaks to the conservation experts and hears how they worked within the world’s most extreme environment to conserve over 11,000 artefacts and save this important piece of Antarctic history. Also included are old radio interviews with Scott's contemporaries.

Kids Free all March
Children are free this March at the
International Antarctic Centre. Experience real snow and ice surviving an indoor Antarctic storm. Learn about life at Scott Base and see what it takes to work on the ice.

You’ll hang out with little blue penguins and get close up to a husky. There’s also the exciting Hägglund Field Trip, an awesome 4D Theatre, a massive HD screen and lots, lots more.


Antarctic Sun Lines - Premiere
Artist Adele Jackson presents this exhibition of illuminated Antarctic solargraphs - extremely long-exposure photographs of the sun recorded over several days, weeks or months. Planetary dynamics are the inspiration behind
Antarctic Sun Lines. Supported by the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), the Trans-Antarctic Association and over 70 Antarctic organisations and researchers.
Turanga - 24 February to 6 March

Seaweek - Kaupapa Moana
New Zealand’s annual national week (5-13 March) celebrating the sea. Seaweek aims to inspire and enable Kiwis to take time to connect with the sea. Plenty on in the Canterbury Region including:

  • Penguin Conservation Programme at the International Antarctic Centre - 7 March
  • Life at the Ice Edge Paul Broady speaking about the Polar Regions - 7 March
  • Ocean Literacy Day - Lyttleton Harbour Cruise 12 March

See the full programme of events HERE

The Cold is getting Hot
Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, and International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in collaboration with the Oceanographic Institute present 'The Cold is Getting Hot!' This scientific symposium will convene leading scientists to discuss how, how fast, and in what ways changes in our planet's polar regions are affecting Earth's climate, living and social systems, and how this affects us all. If you can't be in Monaco in person on 24/25 February, watch online free. More information HERE

    The Antarctica New Zealand’s 2022 Postgraduate Scholarship round is now open. This year there are two scholarships available: The Antarctica New Zealand Doctoral Scholarship and the New Zealand Post Antarctic Scholarship. Contact Antarctica New Zealand Science Programme Advisor,
    Dr Esme Robinson with any questions before 28 February, 2022.
    Download the Call for Application and Application Form

    The Trans-Antarctic Association (NZ) provides small grants each year in support of Antarctic research and related activities conducted by New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. Awards are normally less than $3000.
    Peter Barrett for further information and application forms. Deadline for applications is Monday, March 14, 2022. More information about the Trans-Antarctic Association (NZ) can be found here.

  • To honour Sir Ernest Shackleton's legacy, and mark the centenary of his death in 1922, the Shackleton Apparel Company has established the Shackleton Medal to recognise and celebrate those individuals who best use their time, resources, courage and ingenuity to raise awareness of, and address our polar crisis. Nominations close on 20 February 2022.

Tourism Researchers needed
The Antarctic Tourism Action Group (Ant-TAG) is looking for researchers working on Antarctic tourism or an adjacent field to participate in the group's activities. To register an interest please use this form. More information about Ant-TAG is available on the SCAR website.


New Face for the Base
A warm Gateway City welcome to Antarctica NZ's new Project Director for the Scott Base Redevelopement, Jon Ager. The former RAF Air Commodore has extensive experience in Antarctic infrastructure development, having worked for the British Antarctic Survey on the construction of research vessels, wharves and Antarctic Research buildings. Jon also has a passion for mountain biking and photography, so he's moved to the right country ! Read the full release on Jon's appointment and background

Subscribe for updates
Keep up to date with the latest news on Antarctica NZ's biggest project ever, the Scott Base Redevelopment. Register
here to receive the SBR newsletter. The December newsletter includes articles on test piles and foundations for the new building, the upgrade of the wind turbines, and the appointment of AECOM as the QS service.

The Coolest Network
Christchurch has been selling its Antarctic business expertise since Captain Robert Falcon Scott needed assistance in 1901. The
Christchurch Antarctic Network continues to grow with 60 members now showcased on the website. Please pass this on to any businesses with expertise or innovation in extreme cold environments. Our aim is to grow this specialised network to be the largest in the world.

Move Your Business to Christchurch

ChristchurchNZ has released a comprehensive report on why Christchurch is the ideal location to set up or relocate a business. The report covers economic insights, workforce analysis, cost of doing business statistics, and the operating environment businesses will encounter in NZ’s newest city. Feel free to share the report with any colleagues or friends looking for a city that will take their business from success to success.

Haere Mai Aotearoa
video of the first Lyttelton Port visit of the polar class HMNZS Aotearoa, purpose built for resupply missions to Antarctica. Pandemic restrictions meant it was contactless port call, but NZ's Antarctic Gateway City hopes to give her an official Ōtautahi welcome very soon ! From Tonga to Antarctica, its been a busy couple of weeks. Join the Royal New Zealand Navy, do good things and see the world at the same time.

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