Helen Clark lauds polar airdrop mission
"It was a high-risk exercise which was carried out with a great deal of skill and valour, in dark and freezing conditions.
"My congratulations go to the United States Air Force for successfully completing what one of its commanders has described as one of its most challenging peacetime missions.
"I would like to convey my best wishes to the American woman who has a lump in her breast, but cannot leave the remote South Pole station for treatment until the end of the polar winter in October.
"I am sure the woman's plight and the humanitarian mission will strike a chord with New Zealanders, who recognise the immense value of the scientific work carried out in the Antarctica in what, at this time of year, must be extremely difficult conditions," Helen Clark said.