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What colour will the new Scott Base be?

Scott Base

Scott Base – Scott Base is Aotearoa’s home in Antarctica.

From Sir Edmund Hillary’s dash to the South Pole by tractor to the excellence of New Zealand Antarctic science, Kiwis have a long history of exploration and research on the continent and at Scott Base.

Now, Antarctica NZ wants New Zealanders to feel more connected to the base on the ice and choose what colour it should be.

The Scott Base redevelopment will see the current, aging buildings replaced with a fit-for-purpose base powered by 97 percent renewable energy, which means we can keep supporting science for another 50 or more years.

Everyone in New Zealand can vote by going to

What will it be – kikorangi, karaka or kākāriki? They are the three choices: blue, orange or green. Voting closes June 14.

Scott Base redevelopment project manager Jon Ager says the colours evoke landscapes both in Antarctica and New Zealand.

“You would be forgiven if you thought that Antarctica is simply white. While snow and ice cover the continent, there is a rich palette of colour if you know where to look – connections to land, sky and water really stand out.

“People can choose between the blue of the glaciers, the green of the southern aurora, or orange like the cheeks of emperor penguins. Having seen and experienced all of these colours, I know they are inspired choices.

“I’m personally in favour of orange because of its historic connection to the 1957 Trans Antarctic expedition, but it’s up to Kiwis to decide.”

Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Sarah Williamson says Scott Base has had a special place in our history ever since Sir Edmund Hillary and his team built the first of its buildings on Ross Island in 1957.

The original base was a mixture of orange, red and yellow. In 1965 the base was re-painted green, to remind people of New Zealand.

“Helping us choose the colour is a way to feel connected to our Antarctic legacy, understand the important science that happens at Scott Base, and to shape the next chapter of its history.

“As we’ve seen with the recent sea level rise projections, what happens in Antarctica affects us here. It influences our atmosphere, oceans, weather patterns and temperatures.

“Our scientists are working to understand how emissions from fossil fuels will change Antarctica and our climate. Scott Base is critical to supporting that work.

“New Zealanders have always been great supporters of Scott Base, they even held bake sales and other fundraisers to get Sir Ed and his team to the ice. Kiwis have been at the base every day and every night since then. It’s the home-away-from-home for our explorers and scientists.”