The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae leaves on Friday for a five-night visit to the Auckland Islands.
The Governor-General will be hosted by The Sir Peter Blake Trust, the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, the Department of Conservation, NIWA and the University of Otago. Weather permitting, he will visit the proposed Blake Station site at Smith Harbour and tour Enderby Island to see albatross, penguins, sea-lions and the Auckland Islands’ famous megaherbs. It is hoped the programme can also include visits to heritage sites, including the location of Second World War coast-watchers’ huts, a helicopter tour of the islands, and participation in scientific research activities.
The Auckland Islands are part of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, and are considered to be one of the few relatively pristine groups of islands in the world. The subantarctic islands became a World Heritage Area in 1998. Visitors must observe strict quarantine procedures to ensure that no potential pest species are inadvertently introduced. The islands have a challenging climate, with high rainfall, strong winds and a mean summer temperature of 7 degrees.
The Governor-General arrives in the Auckland Islands on Friday 13 February and will return to the mainland on Wednesday 18 February.