Malcolm Templeton

A Wise Adventure 2: New Zealand & Antarctica after 1960

ISBN: 9781776561681

October 2017

Since the adoption of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, Antarctica has been governed through a unique system of international collaboration. Designed to ensure the frozen continent is maintained exclusively for peaceful purposes, with freedom of scientific investigation, the Antarctic Treaty system has evolved to encourage high standards of environmental protection and the sustainable management of living resources.
A companion volume to A Wise Adventure (VUP, 2000), A Wise Adventure 2 covers these developments, shedding light on the challenges the Antarctic Treaty system has faced and overcome from its inception to the present day. It explains the background to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources – today responsible for the management of the highly sought-after Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish; documents the negotiations over the minerals regime which was adopted but never brought into force; and records the subsequent negotiations that resulted in the Madrid Protocol on Environment Protection.

A Wise Adventure 2 is an important chronicle of New Zealand’s engagement in Antarctica and a detailed and fascinating window on the complex negotiations around governance in this remarkable part of the planet.
Cover: Campsite beside Lake Wellman, Darwin Mountains, Antarctica, 2008–09. Photo by Fiona Shanhun ©Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection

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1 Review

Keith Mandeno 29th Mar 2018

Wise Adventures

A Wise Adventure & A Wise Adventure II. Most of us first experienced Antarctica through the stories of the “Heroic Age” associated with the expedition leaders Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton, Mawson and others. These books are crowded with stories of ice and snow, wind and waves, cold and the endurance of men, birds and animals. Starting in 1957, the International Geophysical Year (IGY), our modern stories began with Hillary and Fuchs. Again, many of us eagerly consumed popular accounts of these new adventures. Since 1957 many New Zealanders have lived or visited Scott Base and McMurdo Station and our story has expanded with postal stamps, photography, paintings, icebergs, picture books, stories and old whisky adding a popular depth to the New Zealand experience. Somewhat more hidden from popular literature have been the volumes of scientific papers published and the ever-growing understanding of the continent. Even more hidden from popular view has been the varied roles of politics in founding, funding and shaping Antarctic policy. Malcom Templeton, a former New Zealand Foreign Affairs officer has filled this void by writing two books A Wise Adventure – New Zealand & Antarctica 1920 to 1960 A Wise Adventure II – New Zealand & Antarctica after 1960 Perhaps for the first time we all can read the historical political thinking and the events leading to New Zealand and Australia laying claim to Antarctic territory. The key events of NZ Parliamentary history leading to the support for IGY and New Zealand’s long involvement with the Antarctic Treaty adopted in 1959. Post 1960 the long and arduous negotiations on living resources and minerals, nicely summarised on the book’s back cover, are brought to life. While lacking the excitement of a good Agatha Christie who-done-it, there are plenty of challenges to interpret meaning of statements by negotiating nations. A few surprising stances such as the capitalization of key words and the role of a series of full stops….will allow further pondering. During these years NZ public servants staffed key roles on the international stage. The arduous road on minerals also aroused NGO involvement, influencing several nations to amend their views. Perhaps the excitement peaks around Page 230 so plug on with your reading. It is probable your views on human activities in Antarctic will be for ever modified. I have enjoyed broadening my knowledge of New Zealand’s national and international involvement in Antarctic affairs and thank Malcolm Templeton for researching, writing and publishing these histories and adding a further 698 unique and informative pages to my Antarctic library.

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