IDA Executive Director & Dark Sky Programme Manager to visit NZ

We’re delighted to announce that thanks to the generous support of the US Embassy in New Zealand we are bringing IDA Executive Director Ruskin Hartley, and IDA Dark Sky Places Programme Manager Adam Dalton to New Zealand in October.

Ruskin & Adam will attend the Starlight Conference in Tekapo ( where Ruskin will give a keynote address, and Adam will help aspiring dark sky groups from across plan a pathway to certification to help create the world’s first ‘Dark Sky Nation’.

Then Ruskin and Adam will head to the Wairarapa to spend some time in our proposed new International Dark Sky Reserve, meet our local council, government officials, businesses & most importantly our community..

We would like to recognise the kind and ongoing support of the US Embassy in New Zealand in supporting our initiatives in the Wairarapa for the second year in a row.

Provincial Growth Fund application approved!

We’re delighted to announce that our application to the Provincial Growth Fund was successful!

This will enable the society to engage the independent consultant which is needed to develop the economic plan for the dark sky reserve, unlocking the pathway to implementing new lighting rules which is a pre-requisite for obtaining international certification.

First Dark Sky Friendly Business Certified!

We’re pleased to announce the Martinborough Top 10 Holiday Park is our first Dark Sky Friendly certified business!

Congratulations to Lisa & Frank who have been a strong supporter of the Dark Sky Reserve plans since day one.

Visitors will now be able to stay in their cozy apartments all year round and also camp in the summer while enjoying fabulous views of the night sky only a few minutes walk from the centre of Martinborough.

Media announcement is here

Responsible Lighting Guide released!

The Martinborough Dark Sky Society has developed a new Responsible Lighting Guide to provide an easy to use reference for choosing Dark Sky Friendly lighting.

Many thanks to our initial sponsor P&K Martinborough and Mitre 10 Martinborough for helping fund and distributing these to the local community. You’ll be able to find them in the lighting aisle in Mitre 10 Martinborough.

This leaflet was developed based on resources from the International Dark Sky Association ( and Mark Gee (

Dr John Barentine from International Dark Sky Association visits Martinborough

The Martinborough Dark Sky Society welcomed Dr John Barentine from the International Dark Sky Association to the Martinborough region on May 4th & 5th 2018

Dr Barentine was welcomed with a insightful pōwhiri in Martinborough on the Friday, followed by a meeting with South Wairarapa District Council to assist them with planning for the proposed International Dark Sky Reserve.

On Saturday morning Dr Barentine headed out to Lake Ferry / Lake Onoke to view a potential location for the proposed Māori Star Compass / Astronomy Centre on the Saturday morning.

On Saturday afternoon Dr Barentine attended the Space & Science Festival at Greytown school, and the in the evening was the keynote speaker at a sold-out set of talks called ‘Dark Skies & the Science of Light’ in Carteron Events Centre.

We’re incredibly grateful to Dr Barentine for taking the time to visit the area as we develop our plans to become an International Dark Sky Reserve.