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.
Auckland’s councillors are being called to a workshop behind closed doors on July 25 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 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.
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.
Golfing provides reportedly 749 full time equivalent jobs for Aucklanders.