Antarctica New Zealand is an Institute set up by the New Zealand Government in 1996 to manage its interests in Antarctica and the Ross Sea. As well as providing logistics support to a large scientific programme, it also runs bases such as Scott Base. It has run other bases in the past, such as Vanda Station.
New Zealand's involvement in Antarctica began in 1923, when activities were closely connected with the United Kingdom. Close cooperation with other nations has been an important part of New Zealand's involvement in Antarctica.
Since 1959 Scott Base has been New Zealand's permanent base in Antarctica. A 1994 review recognised Antarctica as strategically important to New Zealand as a Southern Hemisphere nation. This resulted in the establishment of the New Zealand Antarctic Institute, known as Antarctica New Zealand, on 1 July 1996.
The Institute reports to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Antarctic Policy Unit. It is a Crown entity, and has a CEO and a Board. Members of the Board are appointed for three years by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in consultation with the Board Chair. This period may be extended by the Minister for up to a further three years.
Members are collectively accountable to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the performance of Antarctica New Zealand. All delegated functions and powers within Antarctica New Zealand arise from the Board's delegations.
The Board’s role is governance. Specific functions within this overall role include:
Setting the strategic direction of Antarctica New Zealand and developing policy in a manner consistent with the organisation’s statutory framework, for example through the Annual Business Plan Ensuring compliance with the law, accountability documents and relevant Crown expectations. This includes financial responsibility for all money received by the Crown and reinforcing expectations of behaviour that are appropriate to a public body. Appointing the Chief Executive. Monitoring the performance of Antarctica New Zealand and the Chief Executive; and Maintaining appropriate relationships with the Minister, Parliament and the public. This includes accounting for the performance and management of the organisation. The Chief Executive is responsible for the staffing and management of Antarctica New Zealand.
Antarctica New Zealand is located at the International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch.
See also Ross Dependency, Timeline of New Zealand's links with Antarctica, New Zealand Antarctic Research Program.