How global chart-topper Lorde could now secure Royal treatment for Antarctica

How global chart-topper Lorde could now secure Royal treatment for Antarctica


She’s graced some of the world’s most famous stages singing the songs which have landed her chart-toppers around the globe and two Grammy Awards.

And while Lorde – real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor – keeps her fans waiting for an anticipated third album, she confirmed this week that she isreleasing a book, Going South, containing 100 pages of pictures and writing from her 2019 trip to Antarctica.

Yelich-O’Connor travelled to Antarctica with friend and photographer Harry Weir on a C17 Globemaster, arriving on January 24, 2019.

They were hosted by Antarctica New Zealand Communications general manager Megan Nicholl.

During the visit, Lorde stayed at Scott Base in a bunkroom and spent a night camping at Windless Bight for Antarctic field training.

Over the six-day trip, Yelich-O’Connor visited science events at Arrival Heights, Cape Bird, and in McMurdo Sound on the sea ice.

She also visited early explorer huts at Cape Evans, Cape Royds, and Hut Point – these were day trips.

Huts at Cape Evans and Hut Point were used in Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctica expeditions, while the hut at Cape Royds was used by Ernest Shackleton during the Nimrod expedition.

Antarctica New Zealand chief executive, Sarah Williamson, told the Herald the cost to the organisation for hosting Lorde and her photographer for six nights was $4220-$2110 per person.

The estimated cost for accommodation and food at Scott Base was $85 per person per day.

A helicopter was also used to access Cape Bird field science and historic huts – that cost $4800 for three people.

That did not include the cost of flying the singer and her photographer from Christchurch to Antarctica.

And the costs were well spent, Williamson stressed, given the huge global reach her book project is likely to have.

“Intercontinental movements between Christchurch and Antarctica are covered as part of the annual allocation of seats through a Joint Logistics Pool asset-sharing arrangement with the United States National Science Foundation,” said Williamson.

The Joint Logistics Pool is agreed annually in advance so contributions are balanced relative to resources used – therefore, this is not included as a factored cost.”

Williamson said Lorde could reach an audience that few people could.

“She is engaged in the climate change message and passionate about protecting this planet. Antarctica New Zealand chose to support her to Antarctica so she can share with New Zealanders and the world what it is we do there and the science we support,” she said.

“Additionally, this visit inspired Lorde to write her first book, Going South – all profits from this book will support at least one postgraduate research scholarship, focusing on climate change research to be awarded in 2022.”

Antarctica New Zealand’s 2018/2019 Annual Report names Lorde as an “Antarctica Ambassador”.

People could expect to hear more from Lorde on Antarctica in the coming weeks, said Williamson.

“The continent has fascinated me since I was old enough to read. It started to interest me again in recent years as my environmental awareness went up and up, and questions about how to change my personal and professional footprints on this earth occupied much of my time,” the New Zealand singer wrote in a newsletter to fans.

Going South is expected to be released in February and is available for pre-order.

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