‘It’s time we open up our doors’ – Great Barrier Island marae to open up Māori stargazing business

Source: Te Karere

Motairehe Marae on Great Barrier Island will be the first Māori stargazing business to showcase the stars from a Māori perspective.

Great Barrier Island was the first island and one of four dark sanctuaries in the world to receive international dark sky sanctuary status last August.

Chairman of Motairehe Marae Darren Cleave is tasked with creating a Māori stargazing company.

“We've cut a track through our whenua up to a viewing platform and on that platform we are going to have telescopes, story tellers,” Mr Cleave told TVNZ’s Te Karere.

“I think what it has really done, it has given us the opportunity to share our stories - Matariki, the stars, where we came from, where we've been and where we are going in the future.”

Cleave says last year the island had 25,000 visitors, and he believes these visitors could be potential customers for the business in the coming years.

“When they gave Great Barrier Island the status of Dark Sky, what it did is open up a revenue avenue for us as Māori to become involved in something international.

“It's time that we open up our doors to the wider public to the visitors bring them in, manaaki (show kindness) them and tell our stories.”

The marae will launch Stars of Aotea in November.

Reporter by Te Rina Kowhai