2016 Exploring the Antarctic Treaty in 2056

On Thursday, 14 July 2016 we hosted a panel discussion Exploring the Antarctic Treaty in 2056 in collaboration with the New Zealand Antarctic Youth Council (NZAYC). The panel discussed
New Zealand’s intent in 1956 and then explored what our interest might look like 100 years later. It was fantastic to bring the Wellington ocean community together and build a narrative through the diverse range of thoughts.

Why 2056?
We chose the year 2056 as this will mark 100 years since New Zealand first established its presence in Antarctica, which is important context for a discussion around our long term interest in the continent. In 1956, the Royal New Zealand Air Force scouted the route for New Zealand’s first Trans-Antarctic Expedition, and the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Endeavour set sail from the Port of Wellington with materials to start building Scott Base.

Lionel Carter shares this thoughts on the geology and oceanography of Antarctica
The discussion highlighted a clear need to engage early with New Zealand’s role in the governance of Antarctica going forward. The Treaty presents a unique opportunity, and we need to work together to explore creative policy solutions today for officials to implement tomorrow.


Lionel Carter
Professor of Marine Geology, Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Neil Gilbert
Adjunct Senior Fellow at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury

Tim Naish
Director of Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington

Rear Admiral John Martin
Chief of Navy

Lou Sanson
Director-General, Department of Conservation

Andrew Townend
Senior Legal Adviser at MFAT

Next steps
NZAYC will be producing a discussion paper touching upon some of the issues raised by the panel and audience, with an estimated publishing date of September 2016. We will also be publishing videos of the speakers’ discussions on the McGuinness Institute’s YouTube Channel

For more information about NZAYC, see the New Zealand Antarctic Youth Council website.

(a) Invitation to this event

20160628 - AYC Flyer [Final]

(b) PowerPoint presentation