In 2017 Aotea Great Barrier Island was awarded International Dark Sky Sanctuary status by the International Dark-Sky Association.
There are only 2 other Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world and Great Barrier Island is the first island to achieve this status which is reserved for the most isolated, fragile and dark locations.
From the IDA web site:
“An IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary is public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, or educational value, its cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.
A sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Park or Reserve in that it is typically situated in a very remote location with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies and it does not otherwise meet the requirements for designation as a park or reserve. The typical geographic isolation of Dark Sky Sanctuaries significantly limits opportunities for public outreach, so a sanctuary designation is specifically designed to increase awareness of these fragile sites and promote their long-term conservation.”