Support for dark sky reserve sought

By Lynda van Kempen
From the ODT 1/7/2016

Naseby's dark skies could be the key to a bright future. Local group Naseby Vision is exploring the possibility of the town becoming an international dark sky reserve, like Tekapo.

"Globally, there is increasing interest in pristine skies,'' group secretary and Naseby resident Hilary Allison told the Central Otago District Council yesterday.

"From the research we've already undertaken, a light survey, Naseby [night skies] are deemed qualified as 'pristine', the same, if not slightly better, than Tekapo,'' she said.

The group wanted the council's support for its efforts to get accreditation on an international network of dark sky reserves.

There was a whole raft of things it had to complete to reach that goal.

It also wanted that aim to be kept in sight when bulbs were replaced in street lights, so light pollution was kept to a minimum.

Mrs Allison said Naseby's bid "struck an extraordinarily rich vein of intelligent support from the Otago Museum, the Astronomical Society and the Dark Skies group who are equally excited about Naseby being a dark skies destination''.

Attracting visitors to study the town's starry skies would have economic benefits for the region, she said.

The Central Otago Astronomical Society was "very interested'' in what Naseby planned, society member and district councillor Barrie Wills said.

"We'd like to do something similar all through Central Otago.''

Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper said it was a good idea.

"Good old Naseby, having a crack,'' he said.

"The Scottish nature of me says perhaps we'll turn out all the lights and let you walk around with a torch.''

Naseby Vision is a community group, representing more than 300 residents, holiday-home owners, farmers and business people.

·         Central Otago

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High speed broadband launch delayed until mid-August
Originally scheduled to come on stream in late May, Chorus has advised Naseby Vision that due to delays in the production of heat exchanger and the power supply for the Naseby cabinet, the entire build out has had to be rescheduled. It's now expected that the project build will be completed by late July.

The Chorus engineering team now expects the new service to "go live" on 12 August.

Naseby Vision has been working with Chorus over the past 18 months to try and facilitate an improvement in the town’s broadband services. Chorus recently gave Naseby’s case priority and will provide the town with a ADSL2+ broadband service, which equates to a download speed of 10 – 20 Mbit/sec.  A dramatic improvement on what we currently have.

For those living within 900 metres of the Derwent Street cabinet, the news is even better. They will have the option to upgrade to VDSL, which has download speeds of better than 20Mbit/sec.

To make the most of these vastly improved speeds many homes will have to upgrade their aging modems with a new ADSL2+ modem, otherwise there will only be a minor incremental difference to your service. New modems cost upwards of $100, however Naseby Vision is talking with suppliers to arrange discounted prices for Naseby Vision members.
The new high speed internet will have substantial benefits for local businesses and residents alike. 

Naseby Vision is planning to run a workshop after the new service starts to help people explore the benefits that the new service will open up, such as more efficient business management solutions and the new entertainment options for residents such as Lightbox and Netflix.