Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to visit Antarctica for 65th anniversary of Scott Base

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit Antarctica from October 25 to October 28 to get a first-hand look at the critical research undertaken by New Zealanders on the ice.

The Prime Minister's visit will mark the 65th year of New Zealand's Antarctic home - Scott Base.

It is also the first entire season of Antarctic research and environmental protection after two years of COVID-19 disruption.

"Antarctica is part of New Zealand's heritage and future and we're committed to its protection as a natural reserve for peace, science and cooperation," Ardern said.

She added significant research is also carried out by New Zealanders in Antarctica through the Antarctic Science Platform.

"Antarctic research is urgently needed to understand past and future climates, how we are affecting Antarctica, and how Antarctica will affect us."

The Prime Minister will see the research, environmental protection, conservation and operations undertaken by Kiwis in Antarctica and experience the challenges they face working on the ice.

The cooperation in Antarctica amongst the Antarctic Treaty Parties specifically in the US - New Zealand's Antarctic neighbour and partner for more than 60 years - will also be discussed during the Prime Minister's visit

"Cooperation in Antarctica and in the Antarctic Treaty System is more important than ever as we tackle the crises of climate change and biodiversity loss," Ardern said.

New Zealand is one of the only countries in the world which maintains a territorial claim, base and heritage responsibility in Antarctica.

The Prime Minister will also look at the progress on the redevelopment of Scott Base which is set to be the future of the research hub for at least the next 50 years. 

The Government-funded redevelopment is due to be completed in 2028.