New te reo name for the Antarctic Research Centre

Antarctic Research Centre is launching a new reo Māori name: Te Puna Pātiotio.

Te Puna means ‘the spring’, and refers to something that wells up or flows, and Pātiotio means ‘to be frozen over’.

Taken literally the new name means frozen/icy spring, but it also captures how the research conducted in the frozen environment of Antarctica springs forth into the world through the Antarctic Research Centre. The concept of ‘flowing ice’ also relates to the glaciers and ice sheets studied at the Centre.

Associate Professor Rob McKay, ARC's Director says “we were looking for a new name that enhanced rather than repeats our English name. Te reo intimately connects itself with the world around us, and being a research group that focusses on the environment we felt a more holistic reo Māori name would allow it to become a core part of our identity. The themes of ice and water link so many aspects of what we study, while flow and upwelling highlight just how changeable these environments are. It just perfectly represents who we are”.

The new name was created for the centre by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Rawinia Higgins and her team. It replaces the current name which is a literal translation of Antarctic Research Centre - ‘The research centre on the ice to the south’.

“This new name also beautifully captures both the energy and output of the Centre and the icy context of its research” says Professor Higgins.

The Antarctic Research Centre is part of the Wellington Faculty of Science. Our mission is to research the field of Antarctic earth sciences with a focus on past climate history and processes and their influence on New Zealand and global climate. The Centre holds extensive Antarctic resources, leads expeditions to Antarctica, and supports a number of postgraduate students as well as a team of researchers.

The Antarctic Research Centre will be incorporating the new name into our website, logo, and other channels over the coming weeks.