Browsing Golf Industry NewsVIEW ALL

Mayor apologises for uproar caused by golf course plan

POSTED ON June 7, 2018 @ 4:20 pm

The New Plymouth mayor’s flip-flop over a proposal to sell part of a coastal reserve – including the city’s only municipal golf course – is complete.

At an extraordinary meeting of New Plymouth District Council today, Mayor Neil Holdom recommended the plan to carve up Peringa Reserve and the Fitzroy Golf Course be dropped from its long-term plan.

Mr Holdom apologised to the council and about 100 people in the public gallery for provoking an angry reaction from ratepayers and causing confusion and worry.

“Our approach could have been better and for those of you who were stressed or angered by our draft plans please accept my sincerest apologies,” Mr Holdom said.

“We wanted to start a big conversation but we never wanted to cause anxiety or stress in the lives of our people but we did that and I was a leading driver of that and for that I am truly sorry.”

The council adopted the mayor’s recommendation to drop the land sale from the long-term plan along with plans to redevelop the city’s indoor sports arena and aquatic centre

Mr Holdom had wanted to sell the reserve land to housing developers for $35 million.

Half of the money would have been used to fund upgrades to a “flagship” project such as the sports arena or aquatic centre, the rest was to go to establishing a council-owned property development company.

Fitzroy golf course on the coast in New Plymouth.

Fitzroy golf course on the coast in New Plymouth. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The proposal prompted a huge public reaction and more than 4000 public submissions were made to council’s long-term plan – the most in the country – and the overwhelming majority were against the idea.

At today’s meeting Craig Williamson – a leader of the Save the Fitzroy Golf Course and Public Recreational Reserve movement – also presented council with a petition against the land sale signed by more than 4000 people.

Mr Holdom said he had campaigned on the reserve land sale in 2016 and had listened to ratepayers and was happy to walk away from the idea.

“I did exactly what I said I would do. We took it out there and the feedback from the community was, ‘yes, a lot of us would like projects but fundamentally we don’t want to pay for them’,” Mr Holdom said.

“So while I put out a position, that position was not reflected by the majority of our community and I believe it is the duty of this council to reflect the majority of the community’s view.

“And I’m comfortable with turning around on this because I said I would when I brought it to the table.”

But the council baulked at a proposal from councillor Shaun Biesiek to immediately begin negotiations with the Fitzroy Golf Club about renewing its lease.

Mr Biesiek said it was the least the council could do after the anxiety the club had been put through.

“What this does is give them certainty that the golf club will be going nowhere … and it’s setting things right as well, and it’s sending a clear message that we won’t be selling any reserves that a golf club is on,” Mr Biesiek said.

Mr Williamson said he was happy that the reserve land sale was dropped from the long-term plan but disappointed the negotiations on the golf club’s lease had not been brought forward.

He was more damning of the long-term plan process.

“My God what a shambles. Honestly it was terrible. It was a shambles from start to finish. People weren’t consulted, it seemed ad hoc,” Mr Williamson said.

“It don’t think that anybody sitting around that (council) table or in this building will be proud of the way it’s panned out and hopefully lessons will be learned.”

Mr Williamson said he did not accept that Mayor Holdom had campaigned on the reserve land sale issue in 2016.

“No, he didn’t campaign on those issues. He campaigned on them in a by-election in 2015 which he lost. In 2016, he barely mentioned the reserve land and the golf course,” he said.

“He may have a different recollection of that, but no he did not put that front and centre of his election campaign.”

Comments are closed.


CLICK HERE TO Sign Up for the GIC Newsletter for all the latest Industry News.

Grow the Game Central Golf Recruitment Central Golf Marketing Central

Brisbane GC leading the way to gender equality...

The Brisbane Golf Club has become one of...

Incredible membership growth at Ranfurlie...

Now in the midst of Membership Subscriptions for...

Empowering Women In Golf Through Equality...

By golfscape.com Role models, race, and gender. Felicity...

Queensland proshop owner stays afloat with business interruption ...

Not totally surprising at this time of the year, the weather around the country has been a tad bit on the extreme...

Revenue Growth: The surprizing book of green fees...

  Chapter One – The Club Director Every club director requires their club to be profitable.  Every club director should also hold...

Walkinshaw Sports Acquires Linkz Marketing in New Zealand...

Walkinshaw Sports Pty Ltd announce that they have acquired the wholesale golf business of Linkz Marketing as part of their ongoing commitment...

Loch Lomond Whiskies partner with GA...

Loch Lomond Whiskies and Golf Australia have signed a new partnership to give golfers and whisky fans more opportunities to enjoy the...

Golf and health week to highlight how the sport helps wellbeing...

A dedicated campaign to raise awareness of the health benefits of golf for people of all ages and abilities...

Global momentum continues for MPower MSL’s golf platform to del...

MPower MSL (ASX:MPW) (MSL) announced today that the Swiss Golf Federation has selected MSL’s World Handicap System solution to...

Mike Orloff to speak at India Golf & Turf Expo 2019...

Organized by the Golf Industry Association (GIA), India Golf Expo brings together India’s golfing fraternity of India and experts...

Points and Prizes on Offer to Delegates at Pattaya Conference...

Multiple benefits will be on offer to attendees at next week’s conference on Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia. Held...

Golf Surprize wants to help prevent golf clubs from racing to the...

    By Anthony Robinson CEO – Golf Surprize Online golf tee times and barter systems are growing in...

Greg Norman Releases First-Ever 100% Wagyu Beef Jerky...

Greg Norman and Caribe Producers LLC. announce the release of Greg Norman Signature Wagyu Beef Jerky – the first...