Stop beating up on Golfers. Look at the positive ways of working together to improve the amenity value of the land.

Stop beating up on Golfers. Look at the positive ways of working together to improve the amenity value of the land.

Dear Councillors and Local Board members (in particular Albert Eden),

What are you all thinking? Why do you believe you have the right to single out golf every time you seek to address years of poor decision making by City Hall? The latest iteration comes via a Council paid for report by some advisory firm that suggests golf courses are not financially viable. Blind Eddy could have told you that – it is the same for every sports field, park, library and museum in Auckland.

Instead of golf courses, next time why don’t you consider selling Albert Park; it is worth more than $1 billion – just imagine what you could do with that? Just imagine the uproar that would create!

 

Golf does require large tracts of open space to play on, but that feature of golf is of enormous benefit to Auckland.   Over the last 100 years generations of Auckland golfers have paid for the reservation, development and maintenance of large golf courses which are now the lungs of Auckland and provide invaluable open space for all Aucklanders. 

 

Golfers pay good money to play the game. For the 10 Council owned courses, that revenue goes to pay for the lease of the land and the maintenance and development of the land which provides employment of staff to run the golfing facility and many other economic and open space benefits to all Aucklanders.  If, for example, Council had to maintain the 10 courses as open space then, at $20,000 per hectare by Council figures, it would cost it around $8 million a year alone just for mowing and general upkeep. When it comes to other sports such as soccer, rugby, league, softball and cricket, Council incurs 100% of the costs of at least $50,000 per hectare by Council figures, amounting to tens of millions per year.

 

The notion that golfing land should be up for grabs is an affront to those who play the sport. Golf seems to be tagged as an ‘elitist’ sport. But that is far from the truth. More people play golf than any other sport, and those who play span a wider age group than any other sport – it is not unusual to see 80 year old golfers; Sir Bob Charles being a notable one. Golf is a game you can play through your entire life.  Men and women can compete against each other as can the old and young and the novice and the professional. A wide range of ethnicities play the sport – golf is particularly popular with the Polynesian and Asian communities.

 

It should be no surprise to you that, by your own numbers, golf is the number one participation sport in Auckland – more than one million rounds of golf are played a year by over 90,000 people. At the course I play, Chamberlain Park, you are more likely to meet up with a self-employed plumber than you are a doctor or company director.

 

It’s time you stopped beating up on golfers and instead look at positive ways of working together to improve, if that is your wish, the amenity value of the land. Some Councillors talk about the need for wider community usage. Such ideas are not novel; public courses in London such as Richmond Park Golf Course or even the prestigious St Andrews in Scotland allow public access to the likes of walkers, runners, dog walkers etc. At Chamberlain Park walking and biking access can easily be achieved without destroying the current 18 hole format.

 

So let’s ditch this nonsense about carving up golfing land for housing or other purposes and start thinking with a bit more imagination and working together constructively.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Geoff Senescall

Chair of Save Chamberlain Park

021481234

Latest update from Chair of Save CP

Latest update from Chair of Save CP

 Dear supporters, I wanted to update you on our plans over the next 15 months.

Why 15 months – well that is the time when the council elections will be held and when true accountability for poor decision making takes place. Last time around the Albert Eden Local Board was silent on its intentions regarding Chamberlain Park despite it being the largest single draw on rate payers – the amount for the total project is now estimated at $22m (their numbers) and rising. We won’t let them get away with it next time!

Though we were unsuccessful with our Judicial Review it did buy us a year, bringing us closer to the next election cycle. Our next immediate focus will be on challenging Resource Consents through processes prescribed by the Resources Management Act. For this we have employed the services of an experienced lawyer in this area, Will McKenzie, along with the ongoing support from our solicitor Doug Cowan.

 

Earlier this year the Council made an application for a non-notified consent for Stage 1 of its Masterplan – relating to the Meola Creek part of Chamberlain Park and involving unnecessarily slicing 1000m from the length of the course. By staging the project in this way, the Council is acting like a developer by splitting its Masterplan consent process into parts so as to create a lower bar and then going for a non-notified consent. We have formally submitted a request that the consent be notified. Given that Council is both the applicant and the decision maker it is difficult / impossible for it to make a decision which is truly impartial.

 

However, there is good reason for the consent to be notified:

 

* There is significant public interest.

 

* The plan involves removing at least 21 protected trees as well as many others that are not.

 

* The consent effectively involves re-zoning Chamberlain Park. Council's application is an application to change the use of the land in question from "organised sport (and) active recreation" to "informal recreation".

 

* The proposed removal of the playground on Rwapindi Reserve which meets all of Council’s guidelines being close to and overlooked by residences and local roads, and the proposed construction of a replacement playground on what is currently golfing land fails and to meet Council’s own guidelines being isolated from residences and passing traffic.

 

If Council does not take heed of the obvious public interest and grants resource consent on a non-notified basis then we will strongly consider having that decision judicially reviewed in the High Court. Judicial review in 2015 overturned Council’s decision to grant Ports of Auckland Ltd consent to extend Bledisloe Wharf on a non-notified basis.

 

Visibility on the Resource Consent process is likely over the next two months…and should last into next year. This will then take us into the Council election cycle. Just as a heads up we will need to raise additional money to challenge the Resource Consent – this will be done via our Give-a-little page.

The other part of our plan is to lobby Councillor’s, politicians, sporting bodies, the public and others with an alternative plan for Chamberlain Park. The only thing that our alternative plan cannot deliver as per the current Masterplan are the two sports fields which, by Council figures are not needed and would costs a whopping $15m. Within the status quo (current 18-hole golf course) we can accommodate walking and biking tracks, a playground and the Meola Creek restoration. Moreover, rather than putting in hard surfaces such as roadways and car parks we would advocate for considerably more planting of native trees and shrubs and encourage further bird life through a predator free programme across the entire 32ha park. We would see Chamberlain Park could becoming a conservation oasis in the CBD. The cost of such a programme could be funded out of surpluses from the operation of the golf course – or from just 20% of the price tag the AELB is proposing.

 

Finally, NZ Golf has produced incisive analysis of the importance of golf to Auckland.We have met with NZ Golf and will be working with them to help ensure that this important 18 hole public golf course – the home of golf for the working classes and others – remains intact for future generations over the next 80 years. If Council is successful in reducing Chamberlain Park from 18-hole to 9-holes it will become the blueprint for redevelopment of the 13 other Council owned/controlled golf courses when their leases fall due. If we are successful in saving Chamberlain Park it will set the precedent for saving the other Council owned courses.

 

Golf is the number 1 participation sport in Auckland. What Auckland Council has not quite twigged to is that there are a lot of people associated with this sport who are generally supportive of preserving our open spaces.

 

So the fight for Chamberlain Park is far from over. We thank you for your support. Anyone who wants to get involved please contact us on: savecpark@gmail.com We will also be looking for candidates for anyone who might be interested in participating on the front line.

Thanks for your support. We’ll be in touch.

Geoff Senescall

Chair of Save Chamberlain Park

021481234

 

Share NZ Golf's Message

Share NZ Golf's Message

JUL 31, 2018 — From Carl Fenton, NZ Golf

To whom it may concern,
As the governing body for golf within New Zealand, New Zealand Golf are concerned about the recent messaging regarding golf facilities within Auckland and North Harbour.
It is our belief that the messages are not balanced. They put not only golf facilities at risk, but greater Auckland’s communities at risk of losing the very positive benefits golf provides.
In response to these messages we have prepared the document, "Advocating for the Future of Golf in Auckland" (SEE PREVIOUS NEWS ITEM )

The document articulates the messages that are not being heard and New Zealand Golf’s advocacy position.

What you can do:
Please read the content of the document (below).
Please distribute this document to your members and your networks.
Please read the Golf Sector Plan for Auckland to understand golf’s vision for greater Auckland. http://www.golf.co.nz/uploads/Golf%20Sector%20Plan%20for%20Auckland.pdf

What will happen from here:
New Zealand Golf will distribute this information to Councillors, the Mayor, Council staff, local boards, Regional Sport Trusts, sport advocacy groups, media and any other groups of relevance.
Auckland Council will go to public consultation for the retention of golf facilities at which point, this information will be resent to all organisations, people and partners engaged with golf with information on how to submit their views.
We will be asking all passionate golfers and passionate Aucklanders for support.

We are mindful that while this is an Auckland/Harbour centric scenario currently, the outcomes here could create a blueprint for cities across New Zealand.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Warm regards,

Carl Fenton | New Zealand Golf
Sector Relationship Manager

Advocating for the Future of Golf in Auckland

Advocating for the Future of Golf in Auckland

NZ GOLF SPEAKS OUT
Golf has a significant and positive impact on Auckland. This impact is realised through social, environmental, economic and community outcomes for the city and its people.
Our vision is to be an integral part of Auckland’s future, enriching Auckland through golf. To achieve this, we must be an innovative leader in sport, delivering increasingly greater outcomes for Auckland and its communities. As a growing sport we’re working hard to add this value to Auckland and its people.
As the leadership body for the sport, New Zealand Golf is concerned about the publicity and messaging regarding Auckland Council managed and owned golf facilities and golf in general within Auckland.
There is an imbalance in the messaging that may have detrimental consequences not only for golf, but for the people of Auckland. Of particular concern is the publicity regarding the financial value of the facilities being presented in isolation. The discussion does not provide a fair representation of the true value of golf or golf facilities to Auckland.
To balance this discussion and add greater clarity to the messaging, we present the following facts and research.
Golf is a growing sport and is contributing towards the vision of being the world’s most active city.

1. Golf is the largest club-based sport in the country with an estimated 500,000 participants.

2. Over 94,000 Aucklanders play golf each year and it is expected that over 130,000 Aucklanders could be playing golf annually by 2030. Accordingly, there is a risk that the number of golf clubs that currently operate across Auckland will not be able to meet the demand within the next 20 years (2033).

3. Over 1,000,000 competitive rounds of golf are played in Auckland annually which do not include a large number of events, charity days, corporate days or practice rounds.

4. Since 2013, golf club membership within Auckland has grown 1% to 24,321. For context, golf's adult club membership is larger than rugby, netball and football's adult membership combined.

5. New Zealand Golf started to register casual golfers/non-members in 2014 and this has grown per annum significantly with 38,005 Aucklanders formally registering.

6. The existing network of golf facilities provide a wide variety of pricing for membership and green fees which makes golf accessible to a diverse range of participants in age, ethnicity, gender and income levels.

7. Active New Zealand Survey undertaken by Sport New Zealand (2017) highlights golf as one of the most popular sport and recreation activities for adults with approximately 116,423 (11%) Aucklanders participating in the last 12 months.
For context, participation for mountain biking (9%), tennis (8%), football (8%), netball (4%), cricket (4%) hockey (2%) and rugby (2%).
• Golf is one of the most popular sport and recreation activities for males and females. For context
▪ 19% of males have played golf in the last 12 months
▪ Male participation across other sports, football (10%), tennis (9%), cricket (7%) and rugby (4%)
▪ 5% of females have played golf in the last 12 months
▪ Female participation across other sports, netball (8%), tennis (7%), football (4%), cricket (2%)
and rugby (1%).
• Golf attracts participants from many different ethnic backgrounds to be active. For context
▪ Golf - Chinese (7%), Indian (8%), Samoan (12%), Maori (11%), NZ European (12%)
▪ Tennis - Chinese (7%), Indian (6%) Samoan (4%), Maori (7%), NZ European (9%)
▪ Football - Chinese (5%), Indian (11%), Samoan (5%), Maori (5%), NZ European (7%)
▪ Rugby - Chinese (0%), Indian (1%), Samoan (7%), Maori (5%), NZ European (2%).
• Golf is popular across North Harbour (12%), Auckland Central (11%), Waitakere (10%) and Counties Manukau
(10%). Removal of golf’s footprint will have an impact on accessibility and participation and exacerbate gaps within the facility network.
• Young peoples (5-17 years) participation in golf across New Zealand is the equivalent to other sport and recreation activities such as Rugby League, Fishing or Water Polo/Flipper Ball.
Golf contributes significantly to the health and wellbeing of Aucklanders for all ages

8. Children introduced to golf at an early age enjoy learning and playing the game with parents and develop the motivation, confidence and skills to be active and play a sport for the rest of their lives.

9. An 18-hole round of golf can involve walking up to nine kilometres and around 12,000 steps, exceeding the commonly recommended daily amount of steps for health. Golf’s physical health benefits include the treatment and prevention of more than 40 major chronic diseases. For example, research undertaken by SBP and Street Ryan for Golf Victoria found the physical health benefits contribute $33 million per year to the State of Victoria due to the prevention of ischemic
heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, colorectal cancer and breast cancer.

10. 92% of the burden of disease that results from being physically inactive is borne by people aged 15 years and above.
Therefore, it is imperative that people are encouraged to be active into and throughout adulthood. This highlights golf's uniqueness as a sport popular across the lifespan with minimal drop off in participation as shown by data below from Active New Zealand Survey (2017).

11. Diseases which are preventable through physical inactivity have a significant negative impact on the health of New Zealanders aged 55+ years of age – therefore golf participation plays a significant, preventative role in the later stages of life.

12. A landmark Swedish study of over 300,000 golfers found regular golfers live an average of five years longer than nongolfers, regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status.

13. Playing golf helps reduce the risk of anxiety, depression, and dementia while improving confidence and boost selfesteem, all of which contribute to mental well-being.

18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65-74 75+
Golf 13% 11% 12% 12% 11% 8%
Tennis 14% 9% 10% 7% 3% 2%
Football 17% 9% 8% 2% 0% 0%
Rugby 8% 4% 2% 0% 0% 0%
Netball 14% 10% 5% 1% 0% 0%


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JUL 20, 2018 — Don’t shrink Auckland’s green spaces with housing!
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12085721&ref=twitter

The ownership of Auckland Council's 13 golf courses is back in the spotlight with their fairways, greens and bunkers worth more than $2 billion if they went on the open market for development.
Using ratepayer-owned golf courses for homes is often floated by housing advocates, though this falls flat with clubs and their members.
Auckland's councillors are being called to a workshop behind closed doors scheduled for July 24 to be briefed on future plans for 13 council-owned golf courses where half of the leases are due to expire between 2021 and 2026. Other courses have leases running until 2094.
And a report from the council late last year points out that land used for golfing "can be better utilised [from a wider community benefit perspective] than in their current state"
"The Auckland region currently has 23 golf courses with Auckland Council being the largest investor in this sport. Auckland Council has an opportunity to reconsider its rationale for continuing ownership, particularly given the presence of well-functioning privately operated golf courses."
The council gave 43.65ha Takapuna golf course as an "illustrative example" of where the land could be reshaped and allow for affordable housing and public parks while still allowing a playing course.
It referred a $300m development in Albany where 800 mid-rise units were planned for a 2ha area.
"This indicates that a significant number of mid-rise units can be achieved whilst still providing golfing facilities and plentiful open space to the wider community," the report said.
This list of council-owned courses appeared in a document on the 10-year plan.
A spokesman for Takapuna Golf Course said there had been little discussion about any sale:
"But we would be unhappy about it. We don't want it to be sold."
The club bills itself as the most played public golf course in Auckland and says more than 60,000 people hit a round each year.
The council report cites a study carried out in 2015 by investment bankers Cameron Partners which listed the "alternative use value" of the 13 golf courses as $2.1b.
Remuera is the city's most valuable council-owned course by far, its 63.6ha valued for rates at $22.5m but $517.1m by Cameron Partners as an "alternative use value". But its lease doesn't expire till 2091, making it the most inaccessible potentially.
The 32.3ha Chamberlain Park is second-most valuable, listed as $315.6m as Cameron's alternative use, followed by the 73.5ha Pupuke at $307.2m, 43.7ha Takapuna at $229.7m and 19.2ha Waitemata at $212.2m
Last month the High Court ruled against a group opposing new uses for part of the Chamberlain Park course and in favour of park users. Golf is planned to be retained there but other recreational uses are planned as well.
Read more: Park users win, golfers lose, the battle for Chamberlain Park
Geoff Senescall, Save Chamberlain Park chairman, said more than 94,000 people in Auckland played golf annually, contributing about $54m to Auckland's GDP each year, and numbers were rising. Golf was the "number one participation sport in Auckland. The council should not be messing with the golfers because there's a lot of them and it's an important sport".

"Traditional golf membership in Auckland grew 2.26 per cent between 2015 and 2016," Senescall said, citing NZ Golf numbers.
"Since the inception of counting casual golfers in 2015, registered casual golfers have increased to 32,976 in under three years."
Golfing provides 749 fulltime equivalent jobs for Aucklanders, he said.
A Fletcher Building business bought the Manukau Golf Course, is moving that to Ardmore and building housing on the old course.
Steve Evans, who heads Fletcher's residential division, has expressed strong interest in Auckland golf courses.

Sorry Councillors, Golf is NOT for Sale

Sorry Councillors, Golf is NOT for Sale

JUL 9, 2018 — Date: 9 July 2018
Save Chamberlain Park (SCP) is calling on all golfers and all Aucklanders to unite to halt the short-sighted and anti-sport approach taken by the Auckland Council which is centred on carving up city parks and golf courses. More than 94,000 Aucklanders play golf each year making it the region’s number one participation sport. NZ Golf has calculated that golf alone contributes over $54m per annum to Auckland’s GDP.

“We need to become a single voice and join with others who have similar concerns,” said SCP, which already has petition numbers nearing 10,000. “Chamberlain Park is already under threat from a Local Board that wants to chop the course in half. Now we hear the only other public golf course in Auckland, Takapuna, is being groomed for housing and other courses on council land are also under review. The Council supported plan for Chamberlain Park has been outed as a Trojan horse for a wider plan to privatise public land.
“Why is Auckland’s number one sport, golf, being singled out to pay for Council’s failure over many years to address the infrastructure and housing needs of this city? We can’t think of any other major city in the world that would sell off its park land to make a very small percentage contribution to the cost of the likes of trains and houses; selling the family silverware to fund 3% of the grocery bill. It not only doesn’t make sense it lacks imagination and goes against the Council’s own vision of making Auckland a ‘liveable city’. Keep the parks. Keep the liveability. Cut the grocery bill by 3%.
“Why pick on a sport that provides a sporting outlet for many people including those who would otherwise be sedentary. As Sir Bob Charles recently said - ‘Golf is a game of a life time, with people continuing to play into their nineties’. Often misunderstood as being just for the elite golf is played and enjoyed by a wide cross section of society with courses such as Takapuna and Chamberlain Park notably providing low cost access to those not in a position to join a club. A sport does not become number one in participation without drawing players from every sector of society.
“Given Council’s track record and stance we cannot leave them to have a confidential workshop and a closed door meeting to determine the fate of parks and golf courses. True accountability at the ballot box is a little over a year away. Aucklanders need to make sure in the meantime that actions aren’t taken to destroy Aucklanders’ legitimate right to sport and to the preservation of park land.”

For further comment please contact:
Geoff Senescall 021 481 234
Or
Richard Quince 021 027 16935

Battle for Chamberlain far from over

Battle for Chamberlain far from over

JUN 29, 2018 — A fight to stop a local board and Auckland Council from radically changing Chamberlain Park in Mt Albert will go on, despite campaigners for keeping it as a public, 18-hole golf course losing a High Court action. Here, campaign leader Geoff Senescall outlines what his group will do next. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/06/27/131560/battle-for-chamberlain-park-far-from-over

Justice Simon Moore, in ruling against Save Chamberlain Park Inc in our High Court bid for judicial review of a decision to carve up the famous golf course, summed it up by saying: “There was no requirement for the AELB [Albert-Eden Local Board] to accept the views and preferences or even reach compromise with those who sought the maintenance of the status quo.”

Judicial review is about process. Were all the boxes ticked? The judge said yes. What this tells you is that local boards must consult with the public but they do not need to listen – this is a continuing frustration for the public who participate in such processes. This gives local boards significant power over assets such as Chamberlain Park (CP) which became fair game when it came under the AELB’s control with the introduction of the Super City.

In a judicial review process it does not review the logic behind the AELB’s masterplan to cut in half this well-used 80-year-old 18-hole public golf course in favour of two sports fields, a driving range, bike paths, a playground and possibility an acquatic centre. No consideration is given to the fact that the redevelopment plans include replacing green spaces with hard surfaces such as astroturf, car parks, roadways and structures - not to mention the loss of an estimated 1100 trees.

Furthermore, it does not seem to matter that the AELB’s masterplan budget keeps blowing out (from $13m to $22m) and that the rationale itself for change is based on the erroneous assumptions that there is a “critical shortage” of sports fields and lack of open spaces in Albert Eden – planning documents now use language around getting more use out of the assets it has. Nevertheless the AELB ploughs on with its plans for two new sports fields costing a whopping $15m. There was also significant objection to the AELB’s plans at public meetings. However, as long as a local board can prove it conducted a consultation process which met some basic requirements all those matters raised are incidental.

Whilst this is very frustrating, there are further underlying factors that make this whole process egregious. This relates to the fact that local boards are not legal entities. So in our case although our issue was against the AELB, we had to bring proceedings against the Council. This is a problem with Super City structure as the Council was forced to support the AELB and thus was not open to us (SCP) making complaints about the conduct and decision making process of the AELB. For example the Council is yet to complete its report on the future of golf in Auckland. Council expects demand for golf to increase over the next 15 years and Chamberlain Park is one of only two public golf courses servicing the entire Auckland region. The Council also promotes more active recreation yet key parts of the AELB Masterplan are not consistent with this.

Moreover, it is the Council that must approve the budget for projects. The financing process is where things get very murky. We thought that the Council would never give the AELB the cash it needed, there was just too much pressure on rate payers and the proposed infrastructure spend was huge. However, the Council got some welcome financial assistance from a supportive Government by way of $28b joint funding programme over the next 10 years for a much needed Auckland transport programme. This meant that the Council was able to dig into its lolly jar and fund all local board projects that had been tabled at an open meeting on 7 June. SCP had requested speaking rights but was denied. We understand very little debate took place for each Local Board initiative. Incredibly, this funding effectively gets rubber-stamped on June 28 - all local boards go away happy.

In the case of the AELB it is only seeking $7.5m for Chamberlain Park even though its total budget for the masterplan is $22m. Miraculously the AELB has been able to pull funding from other places such as $8m from the general pool it is given by Council for sporting activities, and tip it into its pet Chamberlain Park project. The AELB then argues that its Masterplan costs are much lower as the new money it is seeking is significantly less than the actual cost of the entire project. No questions are asked as to whether siphoning off $8m from its sports field fund for a $15m expense to create only two sports fields makes sense. The balance of the $22m (excluding the cost of the aquatic centre) is planned to be used to restore Meola Creek (which SCP supports) and to redevelop the course from 18 holes to nine holes.

For SCP, though the judicial review result is a disappointment it is far from game over. The Masterplan requires resource consent. To contest this does require funding and an alert team to counter attempts to keep the public out of the process. For example stage 1 of the Masterplan involves the Meola Creek restoration that will see approx 1,000m cut from the length of the golf course. Council has requested that the application be determined, by its resource consents team, without public notification. Clearly there is significant public interest (not least due to the fact there will be 21 native trees removed) so logic suggests that the application will be publicly notified.

A publicly notified hearing process will allow us to bring in arguments that were not heard during the judicial review process. We will be able to question the very logic for this proposed redevelopment particularly in the context that the rationale behind it was based on erroneous information; it has been proven there was and is no ‘critical shortfall’ in sports fields or open space, the absurdity of spending $15m on two sports fields which are not required and the planned playground location at the Meola Creek part of the park which fails to meet Council safety guidelines.

But this is not without its challenges. Auckland Council in this case is the applicant and the adjudicator. Also, the resource consents for the overall plan are being applied for in at least 4 stages; a common strategy of property developers to avoid the adverse effects of a plan being properly evaluated as a whole. Once the first stage is approved, the consent authority can find itself a little bit pregnant and unable to resist pressure to approve applications for subsequent stages.

SCP will have to again seek the generosity of its supports to fight this in the courts. It is a stacked deck but we are not going to bow down. Chamberlain Park has been a public 18 hole golf course for 80 years. The open space needs of Aucklanders have to be properly assessed and not just left to a small group of elected local members who have the power during a short election cycle to halve the golf capacity of an irreplaceable open space asset.

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/06/27/131560/battle-for-chamberlain-park-far-from-over


Judge Moore's decision. We are not Impressed

Judge Moore's decision. We are not Impressed

JUN 19, 2018 — In reference to the decision released today by Justice Simon Moore ruling against our case, Save Chamberlain Park Inc makes the following comments:

Clearly this is not the outcome we had hoped for and it was always going to be tough fighting Council with all its resources. We will review the judgement in detail with our lawyers to see if we will appeal.

But legalities aside - this is a significant blow for the working classes and others who rely on Chamberlain Park as a low cost and accessible place to play golf. It also is a blow for future generations of Aucklanders .

Golf is the number one participation sport in Auckland and by Council’s own projections demand to play golf in Auckland is going to increase over the next 15 years as the population grows and diversifies.

Subject to anything further that we may be able to do, the ball is now in the governing body’s court to decide whether it wants to fund this $22m plus redevelopment project that will significantly impact the future of golf at Chamberlain.

Justice Simon Moore noted in his ruling that “There was no requirement for the AELB to accept the views and preferences or even reach compromise with those who sought the maintenance of the status quo.” This seems to mean that the only real way of contesting Council decisions is at the ballot box.

Having said that any works at Chamberlain Park will require Resource consents obtained through processes prescribed by the Resource Management Act. This will enable us and the public to properly submit on the merits of any Council application.

Dear Supporters

APR 4, 2018 — Dear supporters
Save Chamberlain Park Inc needs to call on your generosity once more. While we await Judge Simon Moore's ruling, the Council has pre-empted our Judicial Review process and gone ahead with an application for Resource Consent in preparation for Stage 1 redevelopment plans. Surprisingly, it has recommended that its application for the Resource Consent be non-notified!. Any Chamberlain Park redevelopment should be publicly notified! Already the council has spent tens of thousands of rate payers dollars to develop a very detailed application.
If Council is successful this means that the only way of challenging it is via another costly Judicial Review. We want to raise $20,000 to get professional assistance to try and stop this application and to do all we can to ensure that at the very least it is notified.
If you would like to donate, please go to

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/savechamberlainpark 

$5 or $10 from every petition signatory would be enough. 
Thanks so much for your ongoing support -

15 Million for 2 sports fields?

15 Million for 2 sports fields?

15 million for two sports fields!!!!  That we don’t need!

 

No it’s not a joke. Documents obtained under the official information act reveal that the Albert Eden Local Board (AELB) wants to spend a whopping $15m of rate payer money on creating two sports fields as part of its redevelopment plans of Chamberlain Park.   The AELB already has $8million of that funding from Council. It is now looking for a further $7m from Council to level off and create platforms from the significant undulation of bedrock that exists on the North Eastern part of the golf course (where the two sports fields are proposed).
 

The AELB claimed in its 2014 three year Plan that there was a "critical need for playing fields" in Albert Eden.

That statement is blatantly INCORRECTWe already have 32 sports fields in Albert Eden! And this exceeds the defined requirement (in hours per week) for the current population of 105.000.

So in its 2017 Plan the AELB actually dropped this claim, stating that "open space is limited" (i.e. it is not unlimited) and that the AELB will advocate for sports field "upgrades that make more of our fields usable all year around." 

 

We totally agree with up-grading the existing sports fields that become boggy in winter! By sand-carpeting these existing fields, the hours of usage per field would be doubled.  The population could grow another 40,000 and there still will be sufficient hours per week of field use/capita. With $15million, sand-carpeting 15 sports fields at around $1 million per field would provide a massively superior outcome and we can keep the 18 hole “sports-field for the working man” (aka Chamberlain Golf Course).
 

So why are they still pursuing the extra two fields? What checks and balances are there in the system that allows the Council to green light funding for unnecessary projects when a superior outcome could be achieved with a fraction of the funds?   How does such expenditure get through?  Remember it’s our hard earned rates money!