26 Nov 2019

There was some great news from New Zealand this week, with an announcement from the Albert-Eden Local Board within Auckland that they were abandoning plans to downsize the popular Chamberlain Park public golf course.            

A Monday night vote of the board determined that a new Masterplan would be created for the park, and that as part of the long-term plan there would remain 18 holes for public golfers. The decision followed a bruising, hard fought two year battle between councilors looking to use part of the course for sporting fields and a new aquatic centre, and a Save Chamberlain Park group comprised local golfers and industry groups such as Auckland Golf and New Zealand Golf.

The success shows similar groups in Australia what leadership and a strong grassroots campaign can achieve.

From the Auckland Council.

AThe Albert-Eden Local Board voted on Monday night to reverse a 2015 decision which would have seen the Mt Albert course reduced to nine holes with the addition of two reserves. Under the new proposal the eastern end of Chamberlain Park from Meola Creek will be retained as a golf course, while the western end will turned into a park and the adjoining Meola Creek will be restored as a wetland.

The board also voted to consult with stakeholders from Auckland Golf, New Zealand Golf and the Chamberlain Park Men's and Ladies Golf Clubs about the planned changes. 

Albert-Eden Local Board decided to revise the Chamberlain Park Masterplan and appointed its leadership team for the next three years at its inaugural meeting last night.

The key matter the board has been considering is the views of the wider community on the Chamberlain Park Masterplan.

The board was unanimous in its view that the masterplan requires revisiting.

“We’ve heard the very passionate and diverse views of the community on this project for many years and the decision we’ve made today seeks to balance those views. We will come back to the community next year with more details on next steps,” says Chair Margi Watson.

She added that the local board will need to do further work to address sports field capacity shortfall in the local board area and will present its case for funding to the Governing Body for consideration in the new year.

“The local board are pleased to be able to provide an 18-hole golf course, as well as delivering a new community park, walking and cycling paths and the restoration of Waitītiko-Meola Creek. It is a balanced decision that will benefit a wide range of the community,” says deputy chair Lee Corrick.   

The board approved the following recommendations:

  • Albert-Eden Local Board unanimously agreed that the existing Chamberlain Park Masterplan required substantial change along the following principles:
  • That the eastern end of Chamberlain Park from Waitītiko/Meola Creek is to remain a largely unchanged 18-hole golf course
  • That the western end of Chamberlain Park from Waitītiko /Meola Creek is to be a local/suburb park
  • That Waitītiko/Meola Creek is to be restored including a wetland
  • That walking and cycling connections be delivered
  • That any detailed changes will be consulted with the appropriate group of two Stakeholder Groups.

 

In light of these principles:


That the Albert-Eden Local Board agrees, with respect to Chamberlain Park, that the golf course will need to be reconfigured in order to:

  • deliver 18 holes of golf on the land on the eastern side of Waitītiko / Meola Creek
  • create a local/suburb park at the Western end of Chamberlain Park, commencing at Waitītiko / Meola Creek for the purposes of passive recreation
  • undertake the restoration of Meola Creek, including a wetland, as per the Waitītiko / Meola Creek Restoration Landscape Concept Plan March 2018
  • improve walking and cycling connections. 

That the Albert-Eden Local Board requests staff to prepare for a new stakeholder engagement process by March 2020 regarding the future layout of golf amenities and the local park at Chamberlain Park which includes:

  • a golf stakeholder reference group to provide feedback for the golf layout and ongoing liaison – including but not limited to representatives of:
    Chamberlain Park Golf Club
    Chamberlain Park Ladies Golf Club
    Auckland Golf
    New Zealand Golf
    Chamberlain Park neighbours
    a park reference group to provide feedback for the park layout. 

 

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