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Political Delegation to Visit Lyttelton Port

24 September 2009

media advisory
Political Delegation to Visit Lyttelton Port of Christchurch

On Saturday 26 September around 30 delegates from more than a dozen countries will visit Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC), tour Quail Island as well as learn about the port’s historic dry dock.

The dignitaries, including a number of mayors and ambassadors, have come to Christchurch from as far away as Argentina, Japan and America to sign a Statement of Intent between the five Southern Rim gateways to Antarctica: Ushuaia (Argentina), Punta Arenas (Chile), Christchurch (New Zealand), Hobart (Australia) and Cape Town (South Africa).

The visit also coincides with the opening of the 2009/10 Antarctic season opening, which begins on 29 September.

LPC Chief Executive Peter Davie says the team is looking forward to hosting the delegates.

“Christchurch and Lyttelton have significant historical links to Antarctica so it is fantastic such an important milestone is being celebrated in our city,” he says. “We are looking forward to the opening of the Antarctic season in what will be a busy time for us at the port.

“We are excited about the opportunity to show our guests how parts of our port operate and the trip to Quail Island will be an enlightening experience for everyone,” he says.

Guests will be taken on a one-hour return trip to Banks Peninsula’s historic Quail Island. Quail Island, a former quarantine station, was home to the dogs and ponies used by Antarctic explorers Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton for their expeditions.

Guests will then take a half hour tour of LPC’s historic dry dock, the only one of its kind in the South Island. The dry dock was used to repair a number of ships involved in Scott and Shackleton’s first voyages to Antarctica in the early 1900s.

The mayors of the five Southern Rim Gateway cities will sign the Statement of Intent on Friday 25 September.

It is a commitment to a joint exploration into the benefits of a cooperative programme of academic and best practice exchange between the cities and is in accordance with the guiding principles of the Antarctic Treaty.


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