John Tamihere supports Chamberlain Park

Open letter to Chamberlain Park Users and Supporters

Thanks to Geoff Senescall, Richard Quince and Reverend Solomona Uitime who have allowed me this opportunity to address Save Chamberlain Park members on my open spaces policy. I was born down the road from Chamberlain Park and as a youngster – like many kids from the neighbourhood – made pocket money selling golf balls back to wayward hackers, who found the water, went out of bounds or hit the perfect drive then discover their ball nowhere to be seen. My enjoyment of the game was interrupted when my kids came along, but I haven’t ever stopped loving the game, a love which I know you all share. Chamberlain Park – the people’s golf course – must stay intact. In fact facilities need to be improved, not butchered. This is not just for us, but for our kids and grandkids. They deserve to have access to the same green spaces that we had growing up. We must protect our parks and green space for future generations. These spaces are the kidneys, lungs and liver of any city. Our open spaces policy encompasses more than Chamberlain Park. We are committed to implementing a considered, strategic and integrated strategy for stadia and open spaces in Auckland. Ratepayers and users of these facilities deserve clarity, certainty, direction and vision. Unfortunately not a lot of vision or leadership has been on display from our current leaders. Give me the mandate as Mayor and I make these commitments to you:

  1. Not one blade of grass will be carved up from Chamberlain Park, unless by agreement.
  2. Speedway will remain at Western Springs until a fit for purpose alternative venue is available.
  3. Eden Park will get a major upgrade to bring it in line with international stadia standards. Eden Park will host concerts and events to ensure it is an economically viable location. We can’t have Aucklanders being held to ransom by a few neighbourhood nimbies, nor can we fund international stadia for every code.
  4. MOTAT, the Zoo, Chamberlain Park, Western Springs and MOTAT 2 – the Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display - must be seen and managed as the People’s Precinct and as one large green footprint. But back to Chamberlain Park and our course. Golf is the highest participation sport in New Zealand – especially in Auckland. That’s why I’m hoping the golfing fraternity will get behind my campaign. Join my movement, go to www.jtformayor.co.nz and read about my five foundation platforms for Auckland. You can donate or become one of the team – it’s your call

Regards John Tamihere

CHAMBERLAIN PARK DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED. Can we have a "win, win?

Save Chamberlain Park has presented to the Albert-Eden Local Board a suggested base line option for the business case to be considered as part of the Board’s strategy to develop the Chamberlain Park Master Plan.

SCP suggested to the Board that this base line option would be more beneficial for all members of the community instead of the normal “do nothing” base line options included in major developments and would deliver much of what is contemplated in the Master Plan while still retaining the 18 hole golf course in its current form.

Benefits arising from the proposal include:

i. Availability of walking and biking tracks

ii. Increased open space by linking Rawalpindi Reserve to the destination playground

iii. Utilisation of the existing clubhouse as a community hub

iv. An agreed plan for the restoration of Meola Creek while still allowing golfers to play across the waterway.

v. Lower level of ratepayer spend by not undertaking golf course reconstruction

vi. No loss of existing trees and the opportunity to undertake native plantings

vii. Potential for inclusion in a western eco-corridor linking to Western Springs

viii. Potential to involve the local schools and community in an inner city environmental project

ix. No loss of income while redevelopment is undertaken

x. Security for the users of the most popular 18-hole golf course in Auckland.

The proposal will establish both a Suburban Park at the western end of the park and Chamberlain Park as a Destination Park as defined by Council. The proposal also provides an opportunity for environmental enhancement and the integration of Chamberlain Park and Western Springs as a green corridor.

The Board has agreed to request Council staff to consider the options provided and to provide advice to the Board on the feasibility of the options.

SCP spokesman Richard Quince says “This is an important development. Almost three years after SCP first developed and circulated its “Win Win For All” document which included many of the features now under consideration our voice is finally being heard

COUNCIL TO SPEND $1M TO REVIEW FLAWED PLAN

The Albert Eden Local Board pushed forward with its anti sport campaign yesterday, voting to request staff to commence work to enable a single resource consent application to be lodged for the whole of the Board’s master plan to redevelop Chamberlain Park Golf Course.

The decision, unanimously supported by the 5 City Vision members of the 8 member Local Board, will see work commence immediately on a the resource consent application for all five stages of the master plan. The work is expected to take up to 18 months and cost around $1 million.

Chamberlain Park, the people's golf course, has been a public 18 hole course for 80 years and is the busiest 18-hole golf course in New Zealand. Golf is also the number one participation sport in Auckland and demand for the sport is expected to grow according to Council's own estimates.

If the AELB is successful it will see the golf course cut down to nine holes, denying its many users (as well as future generations) proper and fair access to what is a very popular sport. It also sets a very uneasy precedent as there are 10 golf courses in Auckland that are on Council land which theoretically could meet the same fate as Chamberlain Park.

The latest turn of events comes off the back of the Council (on behalf of the Local Board) being forced to surrender its resource consent for Stage 2 of the master plan in January this year which Council had granted on a non-notified basis – thereby denying the public a say in its plans. Save Chamberlain Park lodged a judicial review application of the non notification and the granting of the consent in December 2018. Council staff “concluded that successfully defending Council’s notification and consent decisions would be challenging.”

SCP chairman Geoff Senescall said that the group was disappointed that the Local Board had again chosen ignore a call for a meeting to discuss a way forward that would be beneficial to all Aucklanders. "In good faith we did not seek costs as we were entitled to after the consent was surrendered. In doing this we had hoped for the opportunity to talk with the Local Board about our alternative plans involving the creation of a predator-free ecology-friendly reserve sanctuary that also supported wider use. Instead of engagement the Local Board has simply put its head in the sand and barreled on with preparations for its $22m rate payer funded project."

"It beggars belief that a Local Board can simply ignore us in this way – especially when the course is so well patronised. We have around 15,000 signatures of golfers and non-golfers on a petition. What this process allows is for us to fully mobilise a campaign for change at the Local Board in the upcoming elections in October."

"On the bright side this latest process as outlined in a 30 page Council strategy paper will see the entire master plan costed and tested by the preparation of a business case which will require Governing Body approval to proceed. We certainly will be watching closely that this work is done properly. In particular we will be looking at assumptions around revenue currently generated from Chamberlain Park to that generated under the master plan. We will want capital costs to be included in that equation. We will also be very interested in the total costs – currently estimated at $22m. Another key focus will be the proposal to spend $15m on only two sports fields when Albert-Eden has sufficient sports fields and such funds could be used to upgrade the many sports facilities in the area."

"There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before this project gets to be anywhere near a reality – not least the upcoming Council election which will be a key test of public desire to priorities the expenditure of $22m plus of rate payer money."

Chamberlain Park wins with Judicial Review against Council

Press Release Date: 24 January 2019

Auckland Council has surrendered its self-granted Resource Consents to commence the redevelopment of Chamberlain Park after Judicial Review proceedings were filed against its plans in the Auckland High Court just before Christmas.

“This decision to back down not only vindicates our decision to legally challenge the Council, it also raises serious questions around the robustness of the processes that saw the Council grant itself a non-notified Resource Consent,” Save Chamberlain Park (SCP) said in a statement.

“This is an important victory against a well-resourced Council that chose to ignore the legitimate interests of Aucklanders who rely on Chamberlain Park for their sport and recreation. We have accepted the Council’s decision to surrender its Resource Consents in good faith. SCP on behalf of its many supporters (including the men’s and women’s golf clubs based at Chamberlain Park) now encourages Council to agree to dialogue so that a sensible solution can be found. We already have developed an alternative plan that allows for increased amenity usage and environment improvements at the park that can be funded through keeping the full 18 hole golf course intact. Surely this is a more reasonable way forward and much better than spending $22m plus of rate payer money on plans that make no commercial or civic sense!”

Chamberlain Park is one of the busiest courses in Auckland, offering an accessible and affordable place to play what is the number one participation sport in the region. It has strong community links, in particular Maori and Pasifika making up around 30% of the course users.

Latest figures released by Council staff show that usage at the park in the last six months is up by a significant 26% over the same period last year. Revenue is also believed to be up by a similar amount. December 2018 usage was the highest in a December since 2009. Had work commenced in February 2019 as originally planned Chamberlain Park would have been reduced to a 14-hole golf course for most of the rest of the year. While the intention would be to change it back to an 18-hole golf course in time it would be significantly shorter and a different golfing experience than it currently is. This would more than likely have an impact on future usage and revenue particularly as the Council’s longer-term goal is for Chamberlain Park to be a nine hole course.

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