The New Zealand government has also committed NZ$18.5m for the next phase in the design development of the project.
“This budget funding along with the favoured design are significant steps and represent an agreement in principle to secure the future of Scott Base as a fit for purpose capability,” said foreign affairs minister Winston Peters. “Cabinet examined four design options for the base. We selected an option which enhances science and operational capabilities, improves the living conditions for staff, and future-proofs the base for the next 50 years.
“Scott Base is vital for the future of New Zealand’s science programme and for our work with upholding the Antarctic Treaty system with 2019 marking the 60th year since it was signed. And of course Scott Base is part of our cultural history from when Sir Ed Hillary founded it in 1957.”
He added that the redevelopment of the base will further invigorate Antarctica New Zealand operations in Christchurch, and will see close work with the United States Antarctic Programme through the Joint Logistics Pool.