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John Key to tour Antarctica

Published: 11:04AM Monday January 14, 2013 Source: Fairfax

  • File image of Prime Minister John Key (Source: ONE News)
    File image of Prime Minister John Key - Source: ONE News

Prime Minister John Key will travel to Antarctica this week to visit science and environmental programmes, as well as US bases on the continent.

During the five-day expedition beginning on Thursday, Key will also participate in a ceremony celebrating the installation of Maori artwork at Scott Base.

He will be accompanied by wife Bronagh and Ngai Tahu leader Sir Mark Solomon.

"New Zealand has a history of ground-breaking exploration, scientific discovery and involvement in Antarctica, and I am looking forward to meeting the New Zealanders who work there," Key said, adding that the trip would provide an opportunity ''to see first-hand the issues facing Antarctica and the Southern Ocean''.

ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann will be reporting from Antarctica during Key's visit

Key will visit US bases at the South Pole and McMurdo Station to ''reaffirm the close relationship'' the two countries share in Antarctica.

"New Zealand and the United States have worked closely together in Antarctica for more than 50 years.

"Enhanced marine protection for the Ross Sea region, deeper research collaboration and improving the efficiency of our Antarctic programmes are among our current priorities."

Key last visited Anarctica as leader of the opposition in 2007.