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, which was approved by Council in May this year, 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 Four Priority Action Areas
- Welcome and Deliver Excellence – Christchurch is recognised for being a welcoming host and excellent provider of logistic and business support to Antarctic programmes and agencies.
- Connect and Excite – Christchurch celebrates and engages all people in its Antarctic connection in an exciting, informative, interactive and meaningful way.
- Advance Knowledge – Christchurch supports the development of Antarctic knowledge, scientific endeavour and solving Antarctic challenges through technology and innovation.
- Champion Sustainability – Christchurch takes a leadership role in sustainable actions for the benefit of the Antarctic region, our city and the world.
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 and ENEA
- 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
A new events programme is set to celebrate Ōtautahi Christchurch’s unique status as an Antarctic Gateway city.
Caleb Fraser, the University of Canterbury student, selected as Christchurch’s representative on the Antarctic Cities Youth Expedition.
COMNAP Executive Secretary Michelle Rogan-Finnemore discusses what is being done to keep Antarctica COVID-19 free.