Is­land now a Dark Sky Sanc­tu­ary

Walking New Zealand - - Walk Talk -

Great Bar­rier Is­land, 100 kilo­me­tres north-east of cen­tral Auck­land, is the first is­land in the world to be des­ig­nated an In­ter­na­tional Dark Sky Sanc­tu­ary in a bid to pro­tect its night skies for present and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. The In­ter­na­tional Dark-Sky As­so­ci­a­tion (IDA) es­tab­lished the In­ter­na­tional Dark Sky Places con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme in 2001 to recog­nise ‘ex­cel­lent stew­ard­ship of the night sky’. Des­ig­na­tions are based on sci­en­tif­i­cally mea­sured dark­ness of sky as well as strin­gent out­door light­ing stan­dards and in­no­va­tive com­mu­nity out­reach. The ap­pli­ca­tion for the in­ter­na­tional sanc­tu­ary sta­tus was lodged by the Great Bar­rier Lo­cal Board with sup­port from Auck­land Coun­cil, Auck­land Tourism, Events & Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment (ATEED), Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion, iwi, the Auck­land As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety, and Auck­land Cen­tral MP, Nikki Kaye. Mayor Phil Goff says Great Bar­rier Is­land is home to a com­mu­nity fo­cused on pro­tect­ing and pre­serv­ing its nat­u­ral beauty, which makes it the ideal lo­ca­tion to re­ceive In­ter­na­tional Dark Sky Sanc­tu­ary sta­tus. ‘Great Bar­rier Is­land is a place of rugged beauty and un­touched wilder­ness, and is one of the most tran­quil and un­spoilt places in the wider Auck­land re­gion.’ he says.

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