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International Programmes

Ōtautahi Christchurch

Welcomes All International Antarctic Programmes

Christchurch values the United StatesItalianKorean 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.

Our connection to Antarctica helps to shape the cultural, political and economic aspects of these cities.

Antarctic Office Skidoo Erebus

Antarctica New Zealand

Antarctica New Zealand manages the New Zealand Government’s interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. As well as providing logistics support to New Zealand’s Antarctic scientific programme and research funding through the Antarctic Science Platform, it also runs Scott Base, New Zealand’s only permanent base in Antarctica.
Antarctic Office Air Day

United States (United States Antarctic Program - USAP)

The National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent U.S. government agency, manages the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP). Through the USAP, NSF’s Office of Polar Programs (OPP) coordinates all U.S. scientific research on the continent and aboard ships in the Southern Ocean as well as related logistics support.
Italian Programme

Italy (Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide - PNRA)

Since establishing the Mario Zucchelli Research Station in Terra Nova Bay in 1986, the Italian Antarctic programme has used Christchurch as their base to service the station. The base supports around 70 people and operates during the summer months, hosting a variety of scientific projects. Approximately 230 personnel pass through Christchurch each summer.
Antarctic Office Korean Program Terra Nova Bay

Republic of Korea (Korea Polar Research Institute - KOPRI)

The Korean Antarctic Program operates Jang Bogo Station in Terra Nova Bay and the icebreaking research vessel, RV Araon. Since 2014, the Korean Antarctic Program has maintained its Korea-New Zealand Antarctic Cooperation Centre in Christchurch. It services investigating cryospheric evolution of Victoria Land and conservation of the marine ecosystem in the Ross Sea region. Approximately 200 Korean scientists and support staff pass through Christchurch each summer. RV Araon usually visits Lyttelton on its way to and from Antarctica four times over the summer months.
Antarctic Office Germanp Program Gondwana Station

Germany (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe - BGR)

With the reopening of the Gondwana Station in Terra Nova Bay, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is increasing its operational relationship with Christchurch. Gondwana Station is a non-permanent facility and functions as the main operational base for the collaborative geoscientific research programme of the BGR. The base can currently host between 10-20 scientists and support staff working there over the summer months, mainly in close logistic cooperation with the Italian Antarctic programme. The main building includes living and working facilities; laboratories are not available. Scientists are usually accommodated in tents near the station.
Quinling Station

The Polar Research Institute of China

The Polar Research Institute of China operates the Chinese Antarctic station, Qinling in Terra Nova Bay. The Qinling Station can accommodate up to 80 personnel during the summer and 30 during the winter, and is designed for multidisciplinary and multilayered observational and scientific research in atmospheric environment, marine foundational environment, and biological ecology. During the 2023-2024 research season, while the Qinling Station was under construction, the Chinese icebreaker Xuelong 2 visited Lyttelton four times for personnel rotation and replenishment to and from Antarctica.
Antarctic COMNAP Andrea Colombo

Council of Managers of National Antarctic Program (COMNAP)

The city, through the University of Canterbury, is proud to host the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) Secretariat.  The COMNAP Secretariat has been located in Christchurch since 2009. COMNAP is the international association, formed in 1988, which brings together its 30 Members, who are the National Antarctic Programs. National Antarctic Programs are those organizations that have responsibility for delivering and supporting scientific research in the Antarctic Treaty Area on behalf of their respective governments and in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty​. COMNAP’s purpose is to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.

Explore COMNAP