Antarctica New Zealand has announced the construction site of the new Scott Base, 3700km away from the Antarctic circle in Timaru.
The national Antarctic programme said it has decided to work with PrimePort as the site to assemble the $344 million research station.
The prefabricated base will later be shipped to the Ross Sea to replace the old station.
"Construction in New Zealand allows us to build year-round," said Antarctica NZ CEO Williamson. "Antarctica is in darkness for half of the year. It also means we can test and commission the buildings and make sure everything is working before they head south."
Part of a 10-year redevelopment project, the base will be assembled as eight separate modules on site in the port of Timaru.
The space-age structures will be visible from the shore front for Timaruvians to see before they are shipped south.
Leighs Construction the main contractor says they will be recruiting locally in Timaru, with jobs being created by the once-in-a-lifetime project.
"It's not every day you get to build an Antarctic research station on your back doorstep," says Leighs chief executive, Gary Walker.
The Antarctic redevelopment plan forecasts the creation of 170 jobs during the construction of the new Scott Base in New Zealand, between 2023-25. $273 million, or just under 80 per cent of the total budget, is to be spent with New Zealand.
With space for a team of 100 researchers and contractors, it will be a significant upgrade on the current facilities at Pram Point in the Ross Sea.
The giant green-coloured pods were awarded a top rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.
Designed by Hugh Broughton Architects - who have recently produced base designs for the British Antarctic Survey and Australian Antarctic Programme - the modular design will include a wind farm and measures to cover 97 per cent of the base's requirements with renewable energy.
Once shipped to the continent, the base will be a home to cutting-edge science in the region for the next 50 years.
Due to New Zealand's international commitments to the Antarctic Treaty, no waste materials can remain on the continent. All parts of the decommissioned base must be returned to New Zealand.