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Protection for Antarctica's history and artefacts

18 May 2005

Protection for Antarctica's history and artefacts

The restoration, preservation, and protection of historic sites and artefacts in Antarctica is to be significantly enhanced in this week's budget, the Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

"The Antarctic Heritage Trust’s baseline funding of $89,000 will be increased four-fold, to $356,000 (GST exclusive), from 2005/06," said Helen Clark.

"Based in Christchurch, the Trust’s mission is to stabilise and conserve the historic huts left by the first explorers to the Antarctic. The Trust has been faced with significantly increased operating costs over several years and since 2003 has been using its reserves to cover those costs. It is pursuing international funding for the refurbishment of the Antarctic huts.

"The Trust needs to retain reserves as a contingency to cover emergencies and immediate conservation needs on the ice, and is unable to sustain its current activities without further funding for operating costs.

"The government is strongly supportive of the work carried out by the Trust, in Antarctica's unique and challenging environment," said Helen Clark.

ENDS


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