New Zealand was delighted to be accepted as a full member of the IPA at the council meeting held at the EUCOP II. We thank Antarctic New Zealand for the financial support that made this possible. Ian Campbell and Megan Balks from New Zealand attended the meeting and appreciated the warm welcome from the IPA.

In order to standardise our approach to soil description across Antarctica, Malcolm McLeod (Landcare Research, New Zealand) and Megan Balks have been working with Jim Bockheim (U.S.A.) to develop a minimum data set and manual for describing Antarctic soils as part of the ANTPAS project. A draft of the manual is currently out for comment among the ANTPAS members. We have also developed the ANTPAS website which is being hosted by the University of Waikato (http:// erth.waikato.ac.nz/antpas/).

Erica Hofstee (Earth Sciences, University of Waikato) is currently completing a soil map of the Seabee Hook area of Cape Hallet in the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica as part of her MSc study. This will be the first published Antarctic soil map that we know of since that of JD McCraw for the Taylor Valley published in 1968. This Austral summer Malcolm McLeod and Jim Bockheim plan to continue their soil mapping work in the Wright Valley and Megan Balks will be working with Mauro Guglielmin (see Italian report) to drill and instrument two boreholes for permafrost temperature monitoring at existing soil climate monitoring sites at Marble Point and in the Wright Valley in the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica.

Megan Balks (m.balks@waikato.ac.nz)