Private Nikora Robinson hasn't been complaining about the heat this summer. He's in Antarctica, enjoying what he describes as a treasured opportunity to support the research being undertaken there.

Private Robinson, 20, originally from Mangonui, is part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team based in Antarctica over the summer season, one of their main tasks being to offload more than 500 containers, packed with supplies for New Zealand's Scott Base and the United States' McMurdo Station, from the United States cargo ship Ocean Giant, then loading more containers full of rubbish and other material to be sent back to New Zealand and the United States.

He is one of 45 New Zealand Army personnel from the Linton and Burnham camps who are staying at McMurdo Station.

"I love it," he said. "It's an awesome experience, and I feel pretty lucky to be down here helping out the scientists."


This was his second stint in Antarctica, last season being even more special because he celebrated his birthday there.

"That was a highlight of my career. Another was going to Singapore last year on exercise," he said.

While Private Robinson spent his early childhood in the Far North, he moved to Australia when he was 10, and completed his schooling there, but curiosity about a New Zealand Army career brought him home, and he enlisted in 2016.

"It was something I was always wondering about and always had an interest in," he said.

"Once I'd finished school in Australia I looked for an opportunity to get more out of life. So to kill the curiosity I moved back and joined up.

"When people ask me if they should join the Army I say, What have you got to lose? If it's not for you, you don't have to stay, but you've gained an interesting experience. If it is for you, you have taken that leap and you can't go wrong.'"