New Zealand’s commitment and strategic interests in Antarctica began with the development of Scott Base in 1957 as a supporting base for the Trans Antarctic Expedition. The base has been continuously occupied since its establishment, and since then, the base has had numerous upgrades and redevelopments, ensuring its ability to support New Zealand’s key Antarctic objectives. The last major infrastructure investment occurred in the 1980s and mid-1990s.

Continued commitment & influence within the Antarctic Treaty System, requires Antarctica New Zealand to produce high quality science, and maintain a credible year round physical presence on Ross Island, Antarctica. While there is no question about the quality of scientific research, the physical presence on Ross Island currently relies upon infrastructure, some of which is 40 years old, deteriorating, and reducing in reliability. This is affecting the ability to deliver effective logistics and adequately support the users of the base with a fit for purpose facility. Recent assessments of Scott Base have identified ten of the eleven core buildings as having health and safety, resilience, compliance or fit for purpose issues.

The Redevelopment

The proposed Scott Base Redevelopment Project would be the largest project ever undertaken by Antarctica New Zealand. It would be a complex multi-year project that would significantly underpin New Zealand’s strategic interests in Antarctica. The purpose of the proposed Scott Base Redevelopment is to fully address known risks and issues with the current, aging infrastructure and provide a fit for purpose, environmentally sustainable research base that will support New Zealand’s physical presence in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica for the next 40 years. The completion of this project is reliant on receiving funding in Budget 2019 to progress with the preferred concept design.