Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Bid to secure Tekapo as a world night sky reserve

Media release – January 24, 2009


NZ bid to secure Tekapo as a world night sky reserve needs to move fast with government support

New Zealand’s starlight reserve bid – one of eight world-wide night heritage site bids – has just a few months to prepare a case study before reporting to UNESCO again in April,  former Cabinet member Margaret Austin said today.

Austin is chairperson of New Zealand's Starlight Reserve committee - which includes Professor John Hearnshaw of Canterbury University and Tekapo project driving force Graeme Murray. She returns from Paris next Thursday to begin preparing the Tekapo case study.

The New Zealand bid to preserve the dark night sky for the Mt John observatory above Lake Tekapo needs to move swiftly so it can table its case study to at the UNESCO world heritage site working party in April. The key to the Kiwi proposal was Austin’s presentation in Paris.

``I was well received in Paris this week and introduced a different dimension with references to the significance of the cultural heritage and Pacific people’s knowledge of the stars and how life was regulated and revolved around them,’’ Austin said from Paris today.
``Interestingly two speakers referred to Tekapo and showed images besides myself so that was pleasing.  Our concept document is now regarded as the reference paper. Two working parties of experts have been set up:  one to look at monuments related to astronomy and the other on starlight reserves.

``They will define the values, set the criteria which would include the landscape, sky-scape, the clarity of the night sky, aspects of culture both tangible and intangible. About eight  case studies will be included of which Tekapo will be one.

``This requires government commitment at the NZ end and I will be endeavouring to get this when I return on January 29. The working party is expected to report in April 2010. Clearly the timeframe is longer than we expected but UNESCO must ensure that its processes and protocols are adhered to at each step.’’

Austin said she was satisfied that the Tekapo starlight reserve bid has achieved considerable clarity as a result of delivering in Paris and her Tekapo group must now set about to draft the case study for inclusion in the work of the working party looking at all world starlight reserves’
Austin said half the people of the world at present could not see the stars because of night light pollution.

With Tekapo by-laws already in place and monitoring the effects on the night sky of further development are not expected to impact on the quality of the night sky which will allow for astro-tourism to fully develop in the area. Already there are about 1.4 million people through Tekapo annually.

Mt John above the Tekapo township is considered the most accessible observatory in the world. The observatory is home to six telescopes including the country’s biggest telescope which measures 1.8m across and can observe 50 million stars each clear night.




© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Government: David McLean Appointed As KiwiRail Chair

David McLean has been appointed as Chair of KiwiRail Holdings Ltd, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Dr David Clark and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced today... More>>

Dairy NZ: ‘More Milk From Fewer Cows’ Trend Continues In A Record Year
Vodafone says it has 10,000 customers using its Wi-Fi Calling service. It took less than three months to reach that milestone; the service began operating in September... More>>

Statistics: Consents Remain At Record Levels
There were 47,715 new homes consented in the year ended October 2021, up 26 percent compared with the year ended October 2020, Stats NZ said today. "The year ended October 2021 marks another record for the annual number of new homes consented,” construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said... More>>

Fonterra: Lifts Forecast Farmgate Milk Price Range And Revises Earnings Guidance At First Quarter Update

Fonterra Co-operative Group today lifted its 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range, reported a solid start to the 2022 financial year and revised its earnings guidance... More>>

Canterbury Museum: New Research - Bald Haast's Eagle Feasted On Moa Guts

New Zealand’s extinct Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus moorei), the largest known eagle, gulped down viscera like a vulture and may even have been bald, new research suggests... More>>

ABC Business Sales: Demand High For Covid-proof Businesses
Despite the continuing challenges facing businesses in this Covid environment, right now there are more buyers looking for a small-medium sized business than there are sellers in the market... More>>

PriceSpy: Producer Prices Increase
New Black Friday and Covid-19 Report* released by PriceSpy says people’s fear of stepping inside physical shops during big sales events like Black Friday has risen since last year; Kiwis are still planning to shop, but more than ever will do it online this year... More>>