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Ross Dependency

Flag of Ross Dependency
Location of Ross Dependency
Major bases
Government None
New Zealand dependency
• Claim delegated
to New Zealand
• Sector span
160°E – 150°W
• Total
450,000 km2 (170,000 sq mi)
• Seasonal estimate
  • 10–80 (Scott Base)
  • 200–1,000 (McMurdo Station)
  • 85–200 (South Pole Station)
  • 0–90 (Zucchelli Station)
Currency New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
• Summer (DST)
(Sep to Apr)
Calling code +64 2409
Internet TLD
Mount Erebus Aerial 2
Aerial photo of Mount Erebus on Ross Island

The Ross Dependency is an area of Antarctica (and other land masses in the Southern Ocean) claimed by New Zealand. The Dependency takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross, who discovered the Ross Sea.

The Dependency includes part of Victoria Land, and most of the Ross Ice Shelf. Ross Island, Balleny Islands and the small Scott Island also form part of the Dependency, as does the ice-covered Roosevelt Island.


The scientific bases of Scott Base (New Zealand) and McMurdo Station (USA) are the only permanently occupied human settlements in the area – apart from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station at the very edge of the territory. The Dependency has a snow runway at Williams Field, and depending on conditions and time of year, two ice runways. This guarantees accessibility by wheeled and ski equipped aircraft year round.


The British government took possession of the territory in 1923 and entrusted it to the administration of New Zealand. Under the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty System, to which New Zealand is a signatory, no nation may make efforts to enforce sovereignty or territorial claims over the Antarctic continent proper. If one accepts the claim, the Ross Dependency comprises the bulk of the territory of New Zealand, far larger than the North Island and the South Island combined. However, the actual amount of land mass claimed is not large; most of the area defined as being in the Ross Dependency is either in the Ross Sea or the Antarctic Ocean. It is the smallest of the claims which were made prior to the implementation of the Antarctic Treaty System and the suspension of all territorial claims to Antarctica proper.

The Governor-General of New Zealand is also the Governor of Ross Dependency. Officers of the Government of the Ross Dependency are annually appointed to run the Dependency.

In the late 1980s, the British non-governmental exploratory vessel Southern Quest sank in the Ross Sea, United States Coast Guard helicopters rescued the crew, who were taken to McMurdo Station.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dependencia Ross para niños

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