Campers in Martinborough enjoying the Milky Way. PHOTO/LEE MAUGER
Martinborough’s Top 10 Holiday Park has become the first Martinborough business awarded Dark Sky Friendly status, another step towards making South Wairarapa an international dark sky reserve.
Holiday Park co-owner Lisa Cornelissen has signed the Martinborough Dark Sky Society’s charter that requires the business to ensure its lighting meets the rules of the International Dark Sky Association for managing night-time light pollution.
Businesses must be onboard with the dark sky friendly scheme before the association can approve dark sky reserve status for the region.
Society chairman Lee Mauger said they were delighted the holiday park had committed to changing its lighting regime to fit within the dark sky friendly rules.
Mauger said with businesses on board, the region could preserve its clear night sky for generations to come.
As part of the agreement, the society had audited the park’s lighting and recommended changes to meet the regulations.
Cornelissen said the holiday park team were excited to be the first dark sky friendly business, and it was encouraging that more businesses were keen to sign up.
“We have always kept our lighting low as I remember the amazement I felt when Frank and I moved back from the UK and I saw the Milky Way for the first time.
“That’s an experience we try to share with our guests.”
South Wairarapa tourism is growing at 7.5 per cent, whereas the world’s first dark sky reserve at Tekapo in the South Island experienced 23 per cent growth last year.