13 Feb 2012

Mana president 'proud' of activist's actions on ice

8:40 am on 13 February 2012

Mana president Annette Sykes says she was not aware one of her party's activists had planted its flag in Antarctic ice, but is proud of his actions.

It has emerged that Busby Noble intentionally joined Norwegian explorer Jarle Andhoy on his illegal voyage to the Antarctic to find the remains of a yacht, the Berserk, thought to have sunk in McMurdo Sound.

Three crew members died a year ago when it disappeared, while Mr Andhoy, 34, and a companion made an attempt to reach the South Pole by quad bike without authorisation.

Mr Andhoy had initially said Busby Noble was on the yacht Nilaya by mistake when he sailed for Antarctica from Auckland on 23 January this year after being served with a deportation notice. He does not have the correct permits to enter the area.

Mr Noble was one of the Mana Party's frontline campaigners in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate in the general election last year.

The party's candidate for that electorate, Kereama Pene, says the men reached the Antarctic ice shelf on Thursday and the Mana Party flag has been planted there.

Annette Sykes says the Mana Party was not involved in Mr Noble's trip but she is not surprised he took the flag with him.