25 June 2019
Chief Executive Officer Auckland Council
Dear Mr Town,
I write to formally alert you of an error filled Report that Council Parks department staff have prepared for consideration under item 13 at the Albert Eden Local Board meeting to be held Wednesday 26 June. The Report recommends that the Board “endorse that the redevelopment of Chamberlain Park (CP) (Option 2) has a robust case for change” and that the Board “endorse the development of a detailed business case for the development of Chamberlain Park (Option 2)”. The business case and resource consent application is estimated to cost $900,000 to prepare. The proposed “redevelopment”is estimated to cost $29.7 million including $16.2 million for 2 sports fields. However the Report takes into account numerous irrelevant matters, does not take into account numerous relevant matters and contains numerous errors of fact which have materially effected its recommendations to such a degree that it would likely be unlawful for the Local Board to endorse the recommendations in the Report.
The relevant matters that are not considered in the Report include: • That the number of rounds played at CP in the 12 months to 31 March 2019 was 60,106, an increase of 20.2% on the 49,996 rounds played in the 12 months to 31 March 2018. • The following motion: “That the Albert-Eden Local Board: (b) request staff to consider the development options provided by Save Chamberlain Park Inc (option on following pages) and provide advice to the local board on the feasibility of the options” was carried its March 2019 meeting. However, the Save Chamberlain Park Inc Option was not considered in the Report. The errors in the Report include: • That constructing a Neighbourhood Park (NP) at the western end of CP would help meet the identified shortfall in NPs in Albert-Eden. However, there is already a NP at the western end of CP, Rawalpindi Reserve. Constructing a NP adjacent to an existing NP would not help meet the shortfall in NPs as claimed. • That there is “an economic case that identifies a preferred option(s) that delivers community benefits and value for money.” In fact the unsubstantiated claim in the Report of estimated community benefits of $26 million is less than the estimated cost of $29.7 million. There is no “economic case” as claimed, and the proposal to implement Option 2 would not deliver “value for money” as claimed. • That “Offering a mixture of sport and recreation opportunities (by implementing Option 2) will allow a wider and more diverse section of the population to utilise public open space.” There is more than sufficient sport and recreation opportunities in the vicinity of Chamberlain Park. Changing the offer at Chamberlain Park would merely transfer some sport and recreation activities from close by parks such as Western Springs Park, Fowlds Park and the Unitec Campus which is being developed into a residential area with generous open space provision amounting to several NPs and a Suburb Park to Chamberlain Park resulting in no net increase in utilisation of open space. • “There is a current shortfall in sports field hours of 27 hours, growing to 87 hours by 2028.” necessitating the construction of 2 sports fields on Chamberlain at a cost of $16.2 million. The demand for sports fields in Auckland in 2017 was estimated to be 6.7 full field equivalent, hours per week for every 1,000 people in the active age group (5 to 49) in the Auckland Council commissioned report Longdill 2017. The demand of 6.7 in 2017 was a considerable decrease in sports field demand compared with the 7.4 estimated in the equivalent 2014 report, which was itself was a considerable decrease in sports field demand compared to the 8.0 estimated in the 2011 report. The active age group comprised 64.7 % of Auckland’s total population in 2017 by census data. The estimated demand equates to 4.33 hours of field demand for every 1,000 people in all age groups (6.7 x 0.647). Put in another way, 1 hour of field demand is created by every 231 residents (1,000 / 4.33). Each sand carpet field provides 18 hours use and each hybrid field provides 27 hours use per week, in both cases including a 10% allowance for wet weather closure. This means that one sand carpet field can satisfy demand from 4,158 Aucklanders (18 x 231) and 1 hybrid field can satisfy demand from 6,237 Aucklanders (27 x 231). Albert-Eden’s population in 2018 was 107,000 and is enabled to increase to 142,000 by 2042 under the Auckland Unitary Plan. Albert-Eden has 29.4 sports fields which can accommodate demand from a population of 122,000 if all fields were sand carpeted and 183,000 if all fields were upgraded to hybrid turf. Albert-Eden’s existing sports fields can accommodate current demand and demand enabled by the Unitary Plan. Albert-Eden’s northern neighbour, the Waitemata Local Board, had a population in 2018 of 102,000, enabled to increase to 183,000 under the Unitary Plan. Waitemata’s 30.3 sports fields can accommodate demand from a population of 126,000 if all fields are sand carpeted and 189,000 if all have hybrid turf installed. Waitemata’s existing sports fields can accommodate current demand and demand enabled by the Unitary Plan. Albert-Eden has five neighbouring local boards: Whau, Puketapapa, Maungakeikie, Orakei and Waitemata. These six LBAs had population of 520,000 in 2018, enabled to increase to 842,000 under the Unitary Plan. The six LBAs have a total of 217.5 sports fields which can accommodate demand from a population of 904,000 if all fields are sand carpeted and 1,357,000 if all have hybrid turf installed. Albert-Eden’s and its five neighbouring local boards’ existing sports fields can accommodate current demand and demand enabled by the Unitary Plan. This is a small sample of the omissions, wrongful inclusions and errors in the Report. It is our view that the Report does not provide a basis for lawful action by Council and should be withdrawn. Yours sincerely Geoff Senescall Chair of Save Chamberlain Park Inc. cc. Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Ward Councilors, Albert-Eden Local Board members http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2019/06/AE_20190626_AGN_8179_AT.PDF