Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Scott Base Redevelopment project?

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.

The project demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to scientific discovery of global significance and participation in the Antarctic Treaty System.

The design would see the existing base, with the last major renovation in the early 80s and made up of 12 separate buildings, replaced by 3 large interconnected buildings.

2. How much will the new base cost?

In June 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that this project is expected to cost $250 million.

We are developing a fully self-sufficient off-the-grid building in the coldest, harshest place on earth. The logistics are complex and costly as we will need to transport all materials, labour, plant, food, accommodation, fuel and more to Antarctica and then bring back the waste and the current base.

3. Where and how will the new base be built?

We did consider moving the base, but decided Pram Point, where it currently is, is a perfect location for us. Only 0.36% of Antarctica isn’t covered by ice, so Pram Point is considered a pretty special place.

Our preferred plan is to pre-construct all buildings in New Zealand and ship them to Antarctica in large modular sections.

4. When will the new base be completed?

We are expecting that the new base will be up and running by approximately 2030.

5. How many people will the new base accommodate?

The new base will sleep 100 people – it currently has 86 beds. The additional beds will enable Antarctica New Zealand to accommodate people safely during peak times and unexpected circumstances, such as flight delays or event programme changes.

6. Will the base continue to operate during winter?

Yes, the new Scott Base will operate in both summer and winter.

New Zealand has had a person at Scott Base every day since it was founded in 1957, and we intend for that to continue.

7. What will the increased capacity for science be?

The new base has been designed to facilitate world-leading science and will better support local and deep-field science with improved efficiencies. The proposed design includes wet and dry laboratories, science workspaces, and biosecurity, event staging, and storage areas.

8. What will happen to the research during the construction of the new base?

Antarctica New Zealand is committed to continuing science support throughout the redevelopment. What this will look like has not yet been determined.

9. How can I get a job on the redevelopment project?

Antarctica New Zealand advertises employment opportunities for the Scott Base Redevelopment project on the Jobs page of the Antarctica New Zealand website. You can also register your interest through that page if there are no current suitable vacancies for you.

The main construction contractor will lead the recruitment of the people building the new base in New Zealand and onsite in Antarctica in due course. We expect this to happen around 2022/23.

10. What will happen to the TAE Hut?

The 1957 Trans-Antarctic Expedition (TAE) Hut A will be preserved at Pram Point. Also known as Hillary’s Hut, it holds significant international and national historical significance.

Over the 2016–2017 summer, the Antarctic Heritage Trust spent more than 5700 hours carefully restoring the TAE Hut and conserving more than 500 artefacts.