Christchurch has a long history of involvement with the Antarctic, from the early days of Southern Ocean exploration, as a vital port during the heroic era expeditions of discovery and the scientific age of the International Geophysical Year, through to today as a hub of Antarctic research and logistics.
NZ Bird of the Year
The hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin is one of 17 species of penguins living in the Southern Hemisphere and was voted NZ Bird of the Year in 2019. One of their four major breeding grounds is on Banks Peninsula.
Like penguins, Christchurch is vulnerable to the physical impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise, drought, and floods. That’s why the city has a Climate Smart Strategy, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by saving energy, reducing waste and by being powered with renewable sources of energy such as wind, hydro and solar.
Gateway to Antarctica
Christchurch is one of five Antarctic gateway cities in the world. The other four are: Hobart, Australia, Ushuaia, Argentina, Punta Arenas, Chile and Cape Town, South Africa. Christchurch proudly hosts the United States Antarctic Program and the national Antarctic programmes of Italy, Korea and New Zealand, with Christchurch Airport and Lyttelton Port as key logistics hubs hosting Antarctic bound planes and icebreaker/research vessels.
We know better than most, how important it is to be part of a community, supporting those that are in need and sharing the good stuff. Just like penguins do in their colonies. This year has given us new challenges to face together as a community and we can share our stories as we come back out into our city again.