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Volunteers help out in Antarctica

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/12/2016 Sean Martin

The work of volunteers on heritage projects in Antarctica is being highlighted as two well-qualified volunteers head down there.

This week Tony Thrupp and Gus Anning are heading to Antarctica to work for a month with the Antarctic Heritage Trust heritage carpentry team on Sir Edmund Hillary's Trans-Antarctic Expedition Hut, the "mess hut" from the original Scott Base build in 1957.

They have both worked as mountain guides at Franz Josef Glacier and have done their own interesting building projects.

Mr Thrupp works for the Department of Conservation, and for seven years was part of building team based in Hokitika with backcountry projects ranging from hut relocations, new builds and general maintenance. He also built his own off-grid solar powered home on a lifestyle block.

Mr Anning built a family home in the Coromandel that featured in 2015 on TV3's Grand Designs New Zealand.

"We are grateful to have two experienced volunteers supporting the conservation of a site which represents a modern era of the study of the continent from the Ross Sea region and marks the foundation of New Zealand's place in Antarctica, Scott Base," says Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs.

The TAE Hut was the first building constructed at Scott Base. It was built by a team led by Sir Ed in 1957, and it was from here that Sir Ed later led an historic expedition to the South Pole.

In January, New Zealand will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Scott Base. To mark the occasion, Antarctica New Zealand will host a first-of-its-kind event on ice, which will be broadcast around the world: TEDxScottBase, including a celebratory dinner with the original TAE exploration members.

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