New Zealand has significant and enduring strategic, scientific, environmental, diplomatic and economic interests in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, particularly the Ross Dependency.
New Zealand values a safe and secure Antarctica and wants to protect the region as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. New Zealand has maintained a permanent presence in Antarctica at Scott Base, where continuous scientific research has been conducted since 1957.
Foreign policy and reputational benefits accrue from maintaining a pre-eminent role in the Antarctic Treaty System and enhancing our strategic relationships with other national Antarctic programmes, including countries that are becoming increasingly active in the region.
To have an influence in the Antarctic Treaty System, it is crucial that:
In addition to our presence on the ice, New Zealand’s interests are enhanced through the position of Christchurch as an Antarctic gateway city. In 2017, this brought over $190 million directly to the New Zealand economy.
Scott Base enables the permanent presence in Antarctica that underpins New Zealand’s strategic interests.
The vision of the Scott Base Redevelopment is to provide a safe, fit-for-purpose, environmentally sustainable scientific research base that will support New Zealand’s presence in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica for the next 50 years.
The redevelopment demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to scientific discovery of global significance and participation in the Antarctic Treaty System.
The existing base, made up of 12 separate buildings, will be replaced by three large interconnected buildings. The new base will be located on the current site at Pram Point. Other locations were considered, but this is a perfect location as it is one of few places on the frozen continent not covered by ice.
1. Maintain a continuous presence in the Ross Dependency.
2. Protect the Antarctic environment.
3. Provide an environment that keeps people safe and healthy.
4. Enable logistics to support high quality science.
5. Maintain New Zealand’s credibility amongst Antarctic Treaty nations.