Antarctica NZ head resigns

The Government is planning to replace one of Antarctica New Zealand's board members.

Antarctica New Zealand said Peter Beggs resigned as chief executive last week and has since been replaced temporarily by general manager Peter Smith.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was aware of the departures of Mr Beggs and another board member, reported to be Sharon Hunter.

Ms Ardern said the Government had one priority at the moment, but that could change.

"We would receive further advice if it was relevant to us in our role as appointing [Antarctica New Zealand] board members.

"Of course, we'd play a role in replacing the departing board member, but beyond that I consider this an employment issue."

In a statement, Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters said Antarctica New Zealand had informed him of the changes, but was not able to comment further as it was an operational matter.

Antarctica New Zealand board chairperson Sir Brian Roche said they planned to recruit a new chief executive as soon as possible.

It had not responded to questions from RNZ about why Mr Beggs departed.