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.