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Petition to New Zealand government to protect dark skies

You can support their actions

(Lonely Planet) A petition will be submitted in April to the New Zealand government requesting legislation limiting light pollution, available here for anyone to sign in support. The effort is being led by former IAU Vice President John Hearnshaw, who has been active in dark skies activities in New Zealand and in the IAU for many years. Here are talking points on light pollution in NZ, in case they are of use in your own efforts to promote and discuss dark skies.

Several communities in New Zealand already have bye-laws or lighting ordinances at local government level to curb light pollution, including in those dark sky places

recognized by the International Dark Sky Association. At least two dozen communities aspire to become accredited dark sky places. However, local government is not well placed to duplicate local legislation in each district or city council, given that lighting technology is complex and changing rapidly. This would entail giving complex technical advice dozens of times over to every local body in the country. Instead, we need a single Lighting Control Act for the whole country, following the lead of France and Croatia, which already have national laws for controlling light pollution.

The main provisions of a national law would be as follows:

 To take account of the adverse effect of ALAN on flora, fauna,

human health, energy waste and observing the night sky;

 Floodlighting of buildings is curtailed and subject to a curfew;

 The upward light ratio (ULR) from any luminaire must be less than 1 percent;

 There is a reduction of glare;

 There is a reduction of blue light (CCT < 3000 K in towns; < 2400 – 2700 K


 Light trespass is banned everywhere;

 Searchlights and lasers are banned or strictly controlled;

 Illumination is less than 35 lux in towns, and less than 10 lux in rural areas.

This report is a discussion document that has been circulated in New Zealand

Dark Sky Network ( and with the Dark Skies Group of the Royal

Astronomical Society of New Zealand.

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