Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


University Of Canterbury Renews Hosting Rights For Antarctic Headquarters

A renewed agreement between the University of Canterbury (UC) and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) will see the international Antarctic headquarters housed at UC until 2027.

Established in 1988, COMNAP’s purpose is to develop and promote best practice in managing support of scientific research in Antarctica. They work with Antarctic programmes around the world to facilitate research, share information and ideas on operations and logistics, and develop guidance on a range of topics, including safety, environmental management and more.

Previously hosted in the United States and Australia, New Zealand won hosting rights for the COMNAP Secretariat (their international, inter-governmental Antarctic headquarters) following a competitive international bidding process in 2008. UC’s Gateway Antarctica department was recommended to host the Secretariat soon after. This year marks the third renewal of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), taking the partnership through to 2027.

For the Director of Gateway Antarctica, Professor Adrian McDonald, it was an easy decision to continue housing the Secretariat at UC.

“It’s a fantastic way to assist the Antarctic community while providing a powerful demonstration of our enthusiastic support and involvement with the Christchurch Antarctic community – something we believe bolsters Christchurch’s role as an Antarctic gateway city,” Professor McDonald says.

The signing of the renewed agreement took a unique turn following the re-emergence of the Covid-19 virus in New Zealand in August, as it prevented UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey and COMNAP Executive Committee Chair (and Director of the US National Science Foundation’s Polar Programs) Dr Kelly Falkner from celebrating the milestone in person. Instead, the two met virtually to renew the agreement.

“The renewal of our memorandum of understanding with COMNAP will see the University of Canterbury become the longest running host of the Secretariat since its establishment,” Professor De la Rey says. “I am delighted to have had this opportunity to highlight the importance of Antarctic research to both the University and the city of Christchurch.”

Christchurch is one of five Antarctic gateways in the world and, as one of four formally recognised Antarctic-related headquarters in the world, COMNAP is considered a ‘jewel in the crown’ of the region’s gateway status.

COMNAP Executive Secretary and Director of the Secretariat, Michelle Rogan-Finnemore believes Christchurch is the perfect location for the Secretariat, given the number of national and international programmes regularly operating through the city, while travelling to and from Antarctica.

“The scope of Antarctic expertise at the University of Canterbury, focused by the efforts of Gateway Antarctica, means the Secretariat is well supported, and the partnership developed over the years can continue to grow,” she says.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel will formally announce the renewed arrangement at an Antarctic civil event on Friday evening.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

Howard Davis: Estère At San Fran

Appearing at Wellington's San Fran to promote her new single, Calculated Risk, the local musician sutured together a highly impressive set of syncopated soul beats, weaving a brilliant dance cloth of iridescent splendour.More>>

Back On The Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus. Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland