Exclusive: Sir Edmund Hillary's Antarctic hut to remain frozen in time after government comes to fundraising party




A massive fund-raising effort means Sir Edmund Hillary's Antarctica hut will remain frozen in time.

Hillary's hut at Scott Base

Hillary's hut at Scott Base

Source: 1 NEWS

A last-minute grant from the Government tops up a campaign to save the Scott Base landmark.

Sir Ed Hillary set off from the hut on a "helbent dash" to reach the South Pole.

Now fundraisers hellbent on saving the hut are celebrating after hitting their fundraising target of almost a million dollars, with a last minute top up from the Government.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry made the trip south this week to see the run down shack.

It's leaking, melted ice is pooling under the floor boards and asbestos needs removing.

The Antartica Heritage trust raised nearly eight hundred thousand dollars.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said the hut is in dire need of restoration.

"Thousands of New Zealanders gave a lot of money really generously - $784,000 - but it is not quite enough"

So the Government has stepped in adding another $180,000.

The cash injection means urgent repairs can be carried out over the next six weeks.

It also means valuable artefacts in the hut can be preserved and photographed for future generations.

Mark Stewart from the Antartica Heritage trust says they are estatic with the news.

"It is not an easy environment to work in down there, we've currently got eight conservators down on the ice doing this and other projects"

The Conservation Minister hopes to ensure that the restoration "of this first hut of our Scott Base, can be restored in time for the 60th anniversary on the 20th of January next year".

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