Christchurch Antarctic Office
As a welcoming host and provider of logistic and business support to Antarctic programmes and agencies, Christchurch aims to deliver excellence and be a valued contributor in supporting New Zealand’s interests in the Antarctic region.
Christchurch values the United States, Italian, Korean and New Zealand programmes operating from the city and welcomes China, Germany and France who use Christchurch as their gateway to the Ross Sea region.
The Christchurch Antarctic Office was established by the Christchurch City Council in March 2016 to provide strategic direction and leadership for the development and implementation of the city’s Antarctic Strategy and, among other responsibilities, to maintain effective engagement with stakeholders; to increase an understanding of Antarctica by valuing and sharing Canterbury’s links to Antarctica and to strengthen links between Antarctic related organisations in Canterbury and New Zealand.
On 1 July 2018 the Christchurch Antarctic Office was transferred from Christchurch City Council to ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development and profiling agency, to take the lead on implementation of the strategy. The Christchurch Antarctic Office continues to work closely with the Council, Christchurch International Airport, Lyttelton Port Company, Antarctica New Zealand and international programmes, the scientific community, tertiary institutes and arts organisations, along with other stakeholders, who ensure Christchurch is an exemplary Antarctic Gateway City.
What We Do
The role of the Christchurch Antarctic Office, in delivering the city’s Antarctic Gateway Strategy, is to co-ordinate, facilitate, motivate, develop and explore greater community, cultural, economic, educational, environmental and scientific value from Christchurch's longstanding connections to Antarctica.
Christchurch's Antarctic Gateway Strategy, sets out a vision ‘for Christchurch to be an Antarctic city that celebrates and realises the value of its gateway status for the benefit of the city and the nation, for current and future generations.’
The Strategy is built on three themes: kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and exploration.
Our Three Strategic Priorities Are
- Welcome and Deliver Excellence – Christchurch is recognised for being a welcoming host and for service excellence as a Gateway City
- Connect and Excite – Christchurch celebrates and engages all people in its Antarctic connection
- Advance Knowledge and Champion Climate Change Action – Christchurch supports the development of Antarctic knowledge and the region’s role in furthering climate change research.
Key Antarctic Partners
Christchurch proudly hosts:
National Antarctic Programmes using Christchurch as their gateway:
- Antarctica New Zealand
- National Science Foundation’s United States Antarctic Program
- Italy – PNRA
- Korea - Korea Polar Research Institute
- Germany (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe - BGR)
- China – Chinese Antarctic Administration (CAA) and Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)
- Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury
- University of Canterbury
- Antarctic Collection/University of Canterbury
- Lincoln University
- Ara Institute of Canterbury
- Department of Marine Science, University of Otago
- Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington
- International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research, University of Waikato
- University of Auckland
- GNS Science
Air and seaport infrastructure:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- New Zealand Ministry of Defence
- Department of Conservation
- Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
- Antarctic Heritage Trust
- New Zealand Antarctic Society
Welcome from Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger
I am delighted to introduce you to the Directory of Antarctic business specialists in Ōtautahi - Christchurch, New Zealand. As the Mayor of this city, I am proud to say that Christchurch has a rich history as an Antarctic Gateway City, dating back to the early 1900s.
Christchurch As A Logistics Hub
Over 100 flights depart from Christchurch Airport to Antarctica every season, carrying 1400 tonnes of cargo and 2600 scientists and staff involved in the National Antarctic Programmes. The world’s first long distance flight to Antarctica left Christchurch for US McMurdo Station on 1 December 1955 in support of Operation Deep Freeze. Flights continue today, supporting a range of National Antarctic Programmes from New Zealand, USA, Italy, South Korea, Germany and France. Antarctic bound aircraft of the NZ Defence Force and the National Science Foundation’s US Antarctic Program (USAP) can be seen at the airport in the summer season from October to March.
The Lyttleton Port continues to connect antarctic explorers and scientists from around the world to the Ross Sea. The port is a key logistics hub for several National Antarctic Programmes, moving people and equipment South.
This connection between Lyttelton and the Ross Sea has a history going back more than 100 years, to the days of Scott and Shackleton, and the reasons for coming back to Lyttelton remain the same for the “Antarctic Explorers” of today – friendly people delivering exceptional service.