Revealed: Inside Antarctica's soon to be re-vamped Scott Base

Source: 1News

The inside of what Antarctica’s Scott Base will look like after its multi-million dollar redevelopment has been revealed today. 

In a video from Antarctica New Zealand, the design features new cabins, a dining area, office spaces, science labs and storage facilities. 

The rooms are across three interconnected buildings, which can accommodate 100 people at a time. 

“It’s a modest, safe, fit-for-purpose facility to support our team on the ice, and we’re chuffed,” Antarctica New Zealand CEO Sarah Williamson said. 

Senior Project Manager Simon Shelton said the interior was designed to be flexible for future needs.

“We wanted to make sure we built a base that can adapt to the changing needs of science and technology in decades to come."

The experior design for the new-look, 10,000 square metre complex was first unveiled in June 2019.

Last week in its Budget, the Government revealed it was putting aside $306 million to replace outdated buildings at Scott Base – enough for the entire project. A further $38 million has been allocated to cover the project’s operating costs. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the funding would ensure Scott Base “remains a place where our scientists can conduct world-leading science safely and effectively”.

She said investment in Scott Base’s infrastructure was overdue.

The redevelopment was announced in June 2019. Then-Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said taxpayers would need to foot $200 million of the project. Antarctica New Zealand was told to find $50 million. 

However, Antarctica New Zealand told a Parliamentary select committee in March this year its efforts to raise the money from rich-listers and commercial entities failed. 

In July last year, Peters was accused of helping a wealthy business person get a taxpayer-funded trip to Antarctica . He said he made the invitation in the hope a donation would be made to a research facility. 

The project still needs final sign-off from both New Zealand and its Antarctic treaty partners. 

Under the plan, bulldozers would be shipped to Antarctica in the first year and construction would take another six years.