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Peters to visit Antarctica

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

28 January 2008
Media statement

Peters to visit Antarctica

Foreign Minister Winston Peters flies to Antarctica tomorrow for a three-day visit to New Zealand’s research station, Scott Base.

“New Zealand is a key player in Antarctica, both on the ice and in the Antarctic Treaty System, and as the Minister responsible for Antarctica New Zealand, this trip allows me to see our research work first-hand as we approach the mid point of International Polar Year,” Mr Peters said.

“New Zealanders have long felt a special affinity for Antarctica, and the government takes very seriously the role it plays in protecting the Antarctic environment for future generations.

“Additional funding of $11.1 million over three years has been provided for International Polar Year projects, including the international Census of Antarctic Marine Life, and six smaller projects such as studies on ozone hole recovery, and on winter sea ice processes.”

While at Scott Base, Mr Peters will participate via video link with tomorrow’s launch of the Marine Life Census voyage by the R.V. Tangaroa. The Tangaroa’s trip to the Ross Sea is scheduled to take 55 days, and involves 26 scientists, including researchers from the United States and Italy.

On Thursday Mr Peters will unveil a plaque to commemorate the highly successful ANDRILL (ANtarctic DRILLing) project, which used a New Zealand-designed drilling system to recover sediment and rock cores from McMurdo Sound.

The samples will help inform scientists about Antarctica’s role in global environmental change over the past 65 million years. ANDRILL was a multinational effort, managed by New Zealand and involving the US, Italy and Germany.

Mr Peters will also visit New Zealand’s research lab at Arrival Heights; historic explorer huts; the Mt Erebus crash site, and the US base at McMurdo.


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