Prime Minister John Key will visit Antarctica from 17 to 21 January to highlight New Zealand’s interests and activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
Mr Key will visit New Zealand science and environmental management programmes, view New Zealand’s historic hut conservation projects, and participate in a ceremony celebrating the installation of Maori artwork at Scott Base.
“New Zealand has a history of ground-breaking exploration, scientific discovery and involvement in Antarctica, and I am looking forward to meeting the New Zealanders who work there,” Mr Key says.
The visit will also provide an opportunity to see first-hand the issues facing Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
Mr Key will also visit United States bases at the South Pole and McMurdo Station to reaffirm the close relationship New Zealand and the United States share on the Ice.
“New Zealand and the United States have worked closely together in Antarctica for more than 50 years. Enhanced marine protection for the Ross Sea region, deeper research collaboration and improving the efficiency of our Antarctic programmes are among our current priorities”.
Mr Key, who last visited Antarctica when he was Leader of the Opposition. On this visit he will be accompanied by wife Bronagh, and Sir Mark Solomon of Ngāi Tahu.