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New Funding for Antarctic Presence and Science


25 May 2017

New Funding for Antarctic Presence and Science

Antarctica New Zealand welcomes the Government’s Antarctic initiatives in Budget 2017 to maintain New Zealand’s ongoing presence and scientific research programme in Antarctica.

Antarctic science drives our presence in Antarctica and underpins New Zealand’s strategic interests in the region. The announcement of a Strategic Science Investment Fund platform dedicated to Antarctic science provides assurance that New Zealand will remain at the forefront of Antarctic science, delivering highly credible Antarctic and Southern Ocean research on an ongoing basis.

Antarctica New Zealand shares logistics on a bilateral basis with the US Antarctic Program, the Italian Antarctic Programme and the Korean Antarctic Programme. This allows New Zealand to conduct an extensive annual programme of Antarctic research which would cost significantly more if it had to operate alone. Funding of $3.5 million over four years towards office and operational accommodation in Christchurch for these National Antarctic Programmes will support their continued economic commitment to New Zealand’s Antarctic Gateway city and enhance their collaborative logistics and science arrangements with Antarctica New Zealand.

New Zealand’s core facility in Antarctica, Scott Base, is reaching the end of its functional life and needs to be modernised and upgraded in order to maintain appropriate standards, and reduce risks. Funding of $6.1 million over two years will allow the preparation of a detailed business case that includes a robust building design, budget and project implementation plan to redevelop a fit for purpose Scott Base facility. The new dedicated funding for Antarctic science underpins the value of any future investment to redevelop Scott Base.

Science is a central theme of the Antarctic Treaty. Antarctica New Zealand’s Chief Executive and Chief Science Advisor are currently in Beijing as members of New Zealand’s delegation to the annual meeting of Antarctic Treaty parties.

ENDS

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