Wednesday morning (12 September) Auckland councillors were briefed on a comprehensive analysis by consultants MartinJenkins of 12 council-managed golf courses in the Auckland region, identifying housing as a potential land use on six of the region’s publicly-owned golf courses.
The courses are Chamberlain Park, Clarks Beach, Remuera, Takapuna, Omaha and Waitematā.
Last year, Auckland Council commissioned further research to support the Golf Facilities Investment Plan, including development of a cost-benefit model to guide future investment in golf. Now that this framework is complete, work on the Golf Facilities Investment Plan can progress.
In 2017, the Albert-Eden Local Board and Auckland Council decided to reduce Chamberlain Park in Mt Albert from an 18-hole golf course down to nine holes, using the freed-up land to develop a public park.
Auckland Council’s parks and recreation senior policy manager Paul Marriott-Lloyd said there was an opportunity to do that elsewhere.
There was also an opportunity to sell off golf course land for housing, he said.
“What we would see is that there’s a continuum of options.
“At one end of the continuum there might be the opportunity to deliver more golf … and at the other end of the continuum there is the option to sell off golf land.”
“Possible options for each of the council-owned golf courses will be presented in the final plan.”
Environment and Community Committee Chair Councillor Penny Hulse the report enables the council to take an evidence-based approach to drafting the plan to maximise the benefits to all Aucklanders.
“The investment plan is not about selling golf courses, but is about better use of golf assets to meet the needs of our diverse communities,” she said.
“By providing sufficient golf courses and other recreational facilities we will meet the demands of a fast-growing population. Data and analysis will guide this investment.
Auckland Council owns land on which 10 golf courses operate. It leases the land to nine golf clubs and manages and operates the tenth.
NZ Golf has said it strongly advocated for the retention of as much of Auckland’s golfing footprint as possible and it was lobbying Auckland Council to increase its investment to get more golf facilities developed.
No decisions have been made by the council about the future of its investment in golf. Further engagement with the public and key stakeholders is required before the draft Golf Facilities Investment Plan is finalised in early 2019.