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NZ's Antarctic base celebrates 60 years

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/01/2017

Kiwi Antarctic researchers are set to raise a celebratory lamington or two on Friday to toast 60 years since Scott Base opened.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to set up in Antarctica when the original Scott Base, built by a team led by Sir Edmund Hillary, opened with a flag-raising ceremony on January 20, 1957.

"For the six decades since, we have been at the forefront of scientific research and exploration on the ice," Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs says.

"We have also helped lead the international effort to protect Antarctica, helping establish The Antarctic Treaty in 1961."

Six decades on, those scientific and conservation efforts had gained added importance, Mr Begg said.

"Global warming means our scientific work in Antarctica is more important than ever before - what happens to the ice over coming decades will effect the entire global population," he said.

To highlight this, Antarctica New Zealand has recorded a series of TEDxScottBase talks on location on the base, given by ten internationally-recognised speakers.

The talks will be broadcast online on January 22.

Antarctica New Zealand will also host a dinner in Christchurch for members of the early expeditions to Scott Base where guests can hear tales of their unique experiences.

For those left battling the cold at Scott Base, meanwhile, celebrations will be kept simply to lamingtons and a morning tea.

"Back in 1957, such morning teas were usually enjoyed with a flask of beer but we're subbing that out for a pot of milo," Mr Beggs said.

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