New Zealand has a direct interest in the peace and conservation of the Antarctic region and an active scientific research programme, with scientists carrying out globally significant research there.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is New Zealand’s lead Government agency in issues relating to the Antarctic Treaty System; the Department of Conservation has an advocacy role for the region.
Under the Conservation Act, DOC has a responsibility to promote the conservation of natural and historic resources of the Ross Dependency and Antarctica.
Antarctica New Zealand, established on 1 July 1996 under the New Zealand Antarctic Institute Act 1996, is responsible for developing, managing and administering New Zealand's activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, particularly the Ross Sea region. It is also responsible for facilitating New Zealand’s scientific research.