Christchurch: the leading Antarctic gateway city?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The aim of this paper is to explore the concept of Christchurch being the leading Antarctic gateway city. It will define what combination of qualities and offerings are expected of the world’s best gateway to the ice and compare these to what Christchurch is currently offering. Initially the paper will explore the concept of a gateway city, and examine the function and offerings of various gateway cities around the world, however, for the purposes of this project the focus for the main comparison will be between Christchurch and Hobart due to the close physical location and access to the Ross Sea region. The final section will explore how “leading” can be qualified and measured. According to the Oxford dictionary a gateway is defined as “a settlement, usually occupying a favourable commanding site, which acts as a link between two areas”. However, it is now recognised that this gateway role has grown as intermediate destinations for those people with an interest in Antarctica. This has been facilitated by the local and national governments who recognise an opportunity for regional and economic development. Recent economic impact studies recognise the financial gains with respect to the supply function of the gateway cities and ports. For example, a recent economic impact study in Canterbury estimates that Antarctic related activity benefits the region to around $155.1 million per annum and creates employment opportunities for 1256 people. (Saunders et al. 2007) According to Hall and Johnston (1995) the economic and commercial exploitation of the Antarctic has in the past tended to concentrate on issues such as fisheries, oil and mineral exploitation but more recently tourism has been the focus.