|Sovereign state||New Zealand|
|Claim transferred to New Zealand||1923|
|Sector claim||160°E – 150°W|
and administrative centre
| Scott Base |
|Government||Dependency under a constitutional monarchy|
|450,000 km2 (170,000 sq mi)|
• Seasonal estimate
|Currency||New Zealand dollar (NZ$) (NZD)|
|Time zone||UTC+12:00 (NZST)|
• Summer (DST)
|Calling code||+64 2409|
The Ross Dependency is a region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south. It is claimed by New Zealand. Since the Antarctic Treaty came into force in 1961, Article IV of which states: "No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica", most countries do not recognise territorial claims in Antarctica.
The Dependency takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross, who discovered the Ross Sea, and includes part of Victoria Land, and most of the Ross Ice Shelf. Ross Island, Balleny Islands and the small Scott Island also form part of the Dependency, as does the ice-covered Roosevelt Island.
Following his discovery of Victoria Land in 1841, James Clark Ross took possession of this territory, along with the surrounding sea, on behalf of Britain. On 30 July 1923, the British Government passed an Order in Council under the British Settlements Act 1887, which defined the current borders of the Ross Dependency as follows:
From and after the publication of this Order in the Government Gazette of the Dominion of New Zealand that part of His Majesty's Dominions in the Antarctic Seas, which comprises all the islands and territories between the 160th degree of East Longitude and the 150th degree of West Longitude which are situated south of the 60th degree of South Latitude shall be named the Ross Dependency.
The Order in Council then went on to appoint the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of New Zealand as the Governor of the territory.This Order in Council was published in the New Zealand Gazette on 16 August 1923, and on 14 November 1923, the Governor-General issued regulations extending New Zealand law to the Ross Dependency.
After the Order in Council was read in the New Zealand House of Representatives by the Prime Minister of New Zealand William Massey, a clarification was made by the Attorney-General Sir Francis Bell in the legislative council. Sir Francis stated that:
The boundaries of New Zealand are not extended to include the Ross sea and adjacent lands. His Majesty's delegation to the Governor-General of New Zealand did not confer upon the government or parliament of New Zealand the same powers as were vested by the Constitution Act in respect of the Dominion itself. It might be assumed that in the administration of the Ross Dependency that he would invite advice from his New Zealand ministers and it was certain that details would be entrusted to the New Zealand Government. But his excellency was required in all matters of legislation and regulation for the Ross Territory to comply with instructions from the colonial secretary. There was no reason to believe that the Colonial Office would give such instructions without prior consultation with the Government of the Dominion, but the part which the New Zealand Government had agreed to take in enabling His Majesty to exercise jurisdiction in and over the Ross Territory must be taken on behalf of the Empire as a whole and not specially in the interests of New Zealand.
It has been said that the Order in Council contained no suggestion of a transfer to New Zealand of the United Kingdom's claim,but the fact remains that the territory is administered by the Government of New Zealand. Technically, the claim is that of the Queen and she can exercise it through any of her governments.
At an Imperial conference in 1930,it was agreed that the Governors-General of the Dominions would be appointed by the King on the advice of the Dominion in question. And following the passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 (which was adopted in full by New Zealand in 1947), the Government of the United Kingdom relinquished all control over government of New Zealand. This however had no bearing on the obligations of the Governor-General of New Zealand in his capacity as Governor of the Ross Dependency on the appointment of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. Then in the year 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed by twelve nations which included both the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
The actual amount of land mass claimed is not large; most of the area defined as being in the Ross Dependency is either in the Ross Sea or the Antarctic Ocean. It is the second-smallest of the claims which were made prior to the implementation of the Antarctic Treaty System and the suspension of all territorial claims to Antarctica proper. Officers of the Government of the Ross Dependency are annually appointed to run the Dependency. The New Zealand Geographic Board has named many features within the Dependency.
The scientific bases of Scott Base (New Zealand), McMurdo Station (US) Mario Zucchelli Station (Italy) and Jang Bogo station (South Korea) are the only permanently occupied human habitations in the area, though Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station (US) is partially within the territory and dependent on logistics operations based in New Zealand. China is establishing a year-round research station at Inexpressible Island in Terra Nova Bay of the Ross Sea that is expected to open in 2022.The Dependency has access to a U.S. Antarctic Program maintained snow runway at Williams Field, and depending on conditions and time of year, two ice runways. This guarantees accessibility by wheeled and ski equipped aircraft year round.
From 1969 to 1995 New Zealand operated a summer-only base called Vanda Station in the Dry Valley area of the Dependency.
Greenpeace maintained its own Antarctic station in the Ross Dependency called World Park Base from 1987 to 1992, which was on Ross Island. As this base was a non-governmental entity, the official policy of the signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty was not to give any support or assistance to it.
In the summer of 1985, when the British non-governmental exploratory vessel Southern Quest sank in the Ross Sea, United States Coast Guard helicopters rescued the crew, who were taken to McMurdo Station. The expedition was criticised by scientists in the Antarctic because the rescue and return of the crew disrupted their work.
In 2006, the New Zealand police reported that jurisdictional issues prevented them issuing warrants for potential American witnesses who were reluctant to testify during the Christchurch Coroner's investigation into the poisoning death of Rodney Marks at the South Pole base.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ross Dependency .|
|Regions||11 non-unitary regions||5 unitary regions||Chatham Islands|| Kermadec Islands |
NZ Subantarctic Islands
Three Kings Islands
|Ross Dependency||15 islands||14 villages|
|Territorial authorities||11 cities and 50 districts||2 cities and 3 districts|
|Notes||Seven districts lie in more than one region||These combine the regional and the territorial authority levels in one||Special territorial authority||New Zealand outlying islands outside any regional authority (the outlying Solander Islands form a part of the Southland Region)||Dependent territory of New Zealand||New Zealand's Antarctic dependency||States in free association with New Zealand|
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty entered into force in 1961 and currently has 54 parties. The treaty sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation, and bans military activity on the continent. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. Since September 2004, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters has been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Antarctic is a polar region around the Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica, the Kerguelen Plateau and other island territories located on the Antarctic Plate or south of the Antarctic Convergence. The Antarctic region includes the ice shelves, waters, and all the island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence, a zone approximately 32 to 48 km wide varying in latitude seasonally. The region covers some 20 percent of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5 percent is the surface area of the Antarctic continent itself. All of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude are administered under the Antarctic Treaty System. Biogeographically, the Antarctic realm is one of eight biogeographic realms of the Earth's land surface.
The history of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD.
The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land and within the Ross Embayment, and is the southernmost sea on Earth. It derives its name from the British explorer James Ross who visited this area in 1841. To the west of the sea lies Ross Island and Victoria Land, to the east Roosevelt Island and Edward VII Peninsula in Marie Byrd Land, while the southernmost part is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf, and is about 200 miles (320 km) from the South Pole. Its boundaries and area have been defined by the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research as having an area of 637,000 square kilometres (246,000 sq mi).
The British Antarctic Territory (BAT) is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom as one of its 14 British Overseas Territories, of which it is by far the largest by area. It comprises the region south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes 20°W and 80°W, forming a wedge shape that extends to the South Pole, overlapping the Antarctic claims of Argentina and Chile.
The McMurdo Station is a United States Antarctic research station on the south tip of Ross Island, which is in the New Zealand–claimed Ross Dependency on the shore of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. It is operated by the United States through the United States Antarctic Program, a branch of the National Science Foundation. The station is the largest community in Antarctica, capable of supporting up to 1,258 residents, and serves as one of three year-round United States Antarctic science facilities. All personnel and cargo going to or coming from Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station first pass through McMurdo. By road, McMurdo is 3 kilometres from New Zealand's smaller Scott Base.
The Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is a part of East Antarctica administered by the Australian Antarctic Division, an agency of the federal Department of the Environment and Energy. The territory's history dates to a claim on Enderby Land made by the United Kingdom in 1841, which was subsequently expanded and eventually transferred to Australia in 1933. It is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation by area. In 1961, the Antarctic Treaty came into force. Article 4 deals with territorial claims, and although it does not renounce or diminish any preexisting claims to sovereignty, it also does not prejudice the position of Contracting Parties in their recognition or non-recognition of territorial sovereignty. As a result, only four other countries—New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, and Norway—recognise Australia's claim to sovereignty in Antarctica.
Scott Base is a New Zealand Antarctic research facility located at Pram Point on Ross Island near Mount Erebus in New Zealand's Ross Dependency territorial claim. The research facility was named in honour of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, RN, leader of two British expeditions to the Ross Sea area of Antarctica. The base was set up as support to field research and the centre for research into earth sciences, and now conducts research in many fields, operated by Antarctica New Zealand.
The Dominion of New Zealand was the historical successor to the Colony of New Zealand. It was a constitutional monarchy with a high level of self-government within the British Empire.
World Park Base was a non-governmental year-round Antarctic base located at Cape Evans on Ross Island in the Ross Dependency. The international environmental organization Greenpeace established World Park Base in 1987 in order to press its demand for the Antarctic Treaty nations to declare all of the continent of Antarctica a World Park. This would make the entire continent off-limits to commercial exploitation and pollution, and permit only limited scientific research. Greenpeace closed down and completely dismantled the base in 1992.
This is a timeline of the history of New Zealand's involvement with Antarctica.
The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area in which the monarch of New Zealand functions as head of state. The Realm of New Zealand is not a federation; it is a collection of states and territories united under its monarch. New Zealand is an independent and sovereign state. It has one Antarctic territorial claim, one dependent territory (Tokelau), and two associated states.
The history of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is relatively recent. When European explorers discovered the islands, they were uninhabited, and their hostile climate, mountainous terrain, and remoteness made subsequent settlement difficult. Due to these conditions, human activity in the islands has largely consisted of sealing, whaling, and scientific surveys and research, interrupted by World War II and the Falklands War.
The Chilean Antarctic Territory or Chilean Antarctica is the territory in Antarctica claimed by Chile. The Chilean Antarctic Territory ranges from 53° West to 90° West and from the South Pole to the 60° South parallel, partially overlapping the Argentine and British Antarctic claims. It is administered by the Cabo de Hornos municipality in the South American mainland.
The Falkland Islands Dependencies was the constitutional arrangement from 1843 until 1985 for administering the various British territories in Sub-Antarctica and Antarctica which were governed from the Falkland Islands and its capital Port Stanley.
There are seven sovereign states who have made eight territorial claims in Antarctica: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom. These countries have tended to place their Antarctic scientific observation and study facilities within their respective claimed territories; however, a number of such facilities are located outside of the area claimed by their respective countries of operation, and countries without claims such as India, Italy, Russia and the United States have constructed research facilities within the areas claimed by other countries.
Queen Maud Land is a c. 2.7 million square kilometre (1.04 million sq mi) region of Antarctica claimed as a dependent territory by Norway. The territory lies between 20° west and 45° east, between the claimed British Antarctic Territory to the west and the similarly claimed Australian Antarctic Territory to the east. On most maps there had been an unclaimed area between Queen Maud Land's borders of 1939 and the South Pole until 12 June 2015 when Norway formally annexed that area. Positioned in East Antarctica, the territory comprises about one-fifth of the total area of Antarctica. The claim is named after the Norwegian queen Maud of Wales (1869–1938).
Tourism in Antarctica started by the sea in the 1960s. Air overflights of Antarctica started in the 1970s with sightseeing flights by airliners from Australia and New Zealand, and were resumed in the 1990s. The (summer) tour season lasts from November to March. Most of the estimated 14,762 visitors to Antarctica from 1999–2000 were on sea cruises. During the 2009 to 2010 tourist season, over 37,000 people visited Antarctica.
Marion Marie Stringer Darby was a New Zealand marine biologist and teacher. She was the first New Zealand woman to visit the Antarctic mainland. In January 1968, she travelled on the Magga Dan, the first tourist vessel to the Ross Sea, and visited Scott Base with other staff and tourists. She prepared a checklist of sub-Antarctic birds for the information of tourists on board and later wrote an article on summer seabirds to be seen between New Zealand and McMurdo Sound. Mt Darby in Antarctica is named after her.