TV3 today reported that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stressed the importance of New Zealand maintaining its strong connection with Antarctica as other countries contest territory in the region.
Ardern, who is visiting Antarctica, spent yesterday visiting areas away from Scott Base, including the Terra Nova and Shackleton huts, and the Dry Valley
THOMAS CRANMER earlier this week said it is unclear why she wanted to skip Parliament to visit Antarctica – but he noted it does bring to mind last year’s research regarding Maori voyages and the little noticed response from Ngāi Tahu.
For reasons known only to her closest advisors, the Prime Minister seems intent on missing this week’s sitting of Parliament in order to travel to Antarctica – a place described as “the coldest, windiest, remotest place on Earth” by Antarctica NZ general communications manager Megan Nicholl. According to Grant Robertson, the man who deputizes for Ardern during her absences abroad, “it’s the kind of visit the New Zealand Prime Minister should make”.
For the rest of us, we are left to scratch our heads and speculate. The stated reason of marking the 65th anniversary of Scott Base seems, on the face of it, a tenuous excuse to make a very climate unfriendly return flight on a C130 Hercules particularly at a time when there are so many pressing issues on the domestic political agenda. Continue reading “THOMAS CRANMER: PM’s urge to get to Antarctica reminds us of NZ’s connections with the ice (mythical and otherwise)”