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Gateway strategy aims to build on Antarctic ties

24 May 2018

Christchurch is moving to strengthen its role as a gateway city to the icy continent with a new strategy that aims to maximise the opportunities associated with the Antarctic region.

At its meeting today Christchurch City Council formally endorsed the Christchurch Antarctic Gateway Strategy, which has  been developed by the Antarctic Office in conjunction with the many Antarctic organisations that are associated with Christchurch.

The city-wide strategy sets a vision for Christchurch to be an Antarctic city that celebrates and realises the value of its gateway status for the benefit of the city and the nation.

The four priorities of the strategy are to welcome and deliver excellence, connect and excite, advance knowledge, and champion sustainability. 

ChristchurchNZ will take the lead in implementing the strategy but it will work closely with the Council, Christchurch International Airport, the Lyttelton Port Company, the scientific community, tertiary institutes and arts organisations as well as other stakeholders who ensure that Christchurch is an exceptional Antarctic gateway city.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says there is potential for Christchurch to realise greater economic, community, cultural, scientific and environmental value from its connections to Antarctica.

“Antarctic research, the associated support industries and the demand for innovation to support Antarctic research provide significant opportunities to generate new business for Christchurch’s tech and manufacturing sectors so it makes sense for ChristchurchNZ to take the lead in implementing the strategy.

“Our city’s Antarctic connection also provides a rich opportunity for enhancing visitor attractions and experience so again that aligns with the work ChristchurchNZ does in promoting Christchurch on the world stage,’’ says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris says Christchurch’s Antarctic gateway status is one of the city’s unique value propositions.

“By adopting the Antarctic Gateway strategy Christchurch is sending a clear signal globally that it is committed to being an excellent logistics hub and ensuring its gateway status is embedded in the culture of Christchurch and the story we tell globally,’’ Ms Norris says.

Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Beggs has welcomed the adoption of the Christchurch Antarctic Gateway Strategy.

"Antarctica New Zealand’s vision is for Antarctica to be valued, protected and understood. We are thrilled with Christchurch City Council’s strong demonstration of their support for New Zealand's Antarctic Programme. We are proud to be based in a gateway city that truly understands the value of the southern continent,'' Mr Beggs says.