Aotearoa New Zealand Antarctic Research Directions and Priorities

Aotearoa New Zealand’s plan for research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean over the next decade has been approved by Cabinet, following public consultation.

The Antarctic Research Directions and Priorities 2021-2030 reaffirms Aotearoa New Zealand’s focus on impactful science that helps understand the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in global systems, and recognises and reflects the value of mātauranga Māori.

Seal pup lying on ice.

Priority areas for research are sea level rise, ice-ocean-atmosphere connections, ecosystem dynamics, and environmental protection.

The Antarctic Research Directions and Priorities builds on The New Zealand Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Directions and Priorities 2010-2020 document(external link), and were prepared jointly by the Antarctic Science Priorities Working Group, an inter-agency group including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Antarctica New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Department of Conservation, and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Increasing our understanding of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean environment and how it is changing can help us to anticipate future impacts on Aotearoa New Zealand and how to deal with them.  

It will also support our country’s commitment to promote and collaborate on scientific research of the highest standards and to preserve and protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean for present and future generations.


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