6 Dec 2010

Tolaga Bay to celebrate Transit of Venus

7:29 am on 6 December 2010

Tolaga Bay is planning to be the centre of the universe in June 2012, when the transit of Venus will be seen in New Zealand for the first time in 130 years.

The co-chairman of a Steering Committee in Tolaga Bay Stephen Donald says the group has the backing of various scientific organisations to host international celebrations for the event.

The transit, which is when Venus passes directly between the sun and the Earth, is used to help measure the size of the solar system.

Mr Donald says in 2004, Tolaga Bay built a strong relationship with the Royal Societies in New Zealand and England after a team of students from Tolaga Bay won a video competition about the transit.

He says there are plans to complete restoration of the historic Tolaga Bay wharf by 2012 and re-open it on the day of the transit of Venus.

Mr Donald says Captain Cook and his crew landed at Tolaga Bay after observing the transit in Tahiti in 1769.