This is a guest post from Nola Smart Generation Zero Auckland Local Policy Lead

As Auckland grows and intensifies,it is increasingly important to have accessible green spaces for all. The Albert-Eden Local Board area is one area that requires an investment in providing more open space to help deliver on the Auckland Plan, to support higher density living. This plan lays the groundwork for what Auckland Council should achieve until 2050 to provide a liveable, zero carbon Auckland and to ensure an equitable, high-quality of life.

Chamberlain Park is an 18-hole golf course in the Albert-Eden Local Board area, lying along the North-Western Cycleway and State Highway 16 and covering approximately 36ha of open space between St Lukes and Carrington Roads. Operating as a golf course means the park is not accessible to the public, as to make full use of the space, a green fee must be paid. Despite the relatively modest green fees, this leaves the park inaccessible to the local community, especially for uses other than golf. The golf course is currently a barrier through the neighbourhood, making walking and cycling around the area difficult and its exotic trees and manicured lawns contribute little to the biodiversity of the area or carbon sequestration.

The future of the Chamberlain Park golf course has been debated for numerous years. An arguably misleadingly-titled petition ‘Save Chamberlain Park’ has been circulating over these years and gathering signatures calling for the golf course to remain inaccessible to the public. However, Generation Zero alongside Women in Urbanism, do not see this as fulfilling the community benefits that the title of ‘pPark’ suggests. In its current state as a golf course with no truly public space, Chamberlain Park does not provide the surrounding communities with the green space they need to thrive. It creates a barrier through the neighbourhood for walking and cycling, blocking entry to one of Auckland’s busiest cycle routes, the North-Western Cycleway.

At the end of November, a decision will be made about the future of Chamberlain Park. We want to see positive decision-making around the future of Chamberlain park, with the interests of all of the local community at heart. We want Meola Creek (Waitītiko) to be restored and native trees to be planted to bring native birds back to the park, improve biodiversity, and support carbon sequestration. Enabling public access through the park will also encourage sustainable modes of travel such as walking and cycling. Furthermore, by adding a new walking and cycling bridge over State Highway 16, Chamberlain Park will be connected with Western Springs Park for pedestrians and cyclists.

Given the recent passing of the Zero Carbon Bill, we now have targets to meet in reducing our emissions. Local government has a responsibility to contribute to meeting those targets. Chamberlain Park represents a test of leadership for the Albert-Eden Local Board to show leadership in staying true to this commitment to the climate, ensuring an equitably high quality of life, and in making Auckland one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Preparing for a low-carbon future requires sustainable and equitable decision-making now. Join us in calling to the Albert-Eden Local Board for change. For increased access to Chamberlain Park and to show support for a liveable and equitable Tāmaki Makaurau, sign our petition:

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86 comments

  1. An obvious first step would be to “open up” Chamberlain Park as a proper park every Sunday. It would be a great place to explore on foot.

    1. Saturday and Sunday is when people play golf, and this is the only true public golf course in Auckland central and the only other one I can think of in the Auckland metro is Takapuna.
      As someone who like to walk through parks Western Springs is very close, Mt Albert and Mt Eden aren’t too far and the Oakley creek walk is seemingly underutilized walk on the other side of Unitec.

      1. On the other side of Unitec, away from where everyone lives.. it’s also a dark gully bushwalk, not a functional open space for the activities most people visit parks for.

        1. Dark gully bush walks have feelings too.
          If open spaces that are close is your thing then Fowlds park is across the road.
          We do have a large number of golf courses in Auckland but only two of them are not half booked in the core playing time (the weekend) and the people supporting this want to make it one.
          This course supports the kind of golfer who doesn’t have the time or money to join one of the other clubs.

        2. Wait, so this golf course isn’t even fully booked during the peak playing hours? Why then would we keep a golf course that nobody even wants to use?

  2. Well I was convinced until I got to the criticism of exotic trees. Where did the idea that they don’t support biodiversity come from and could somebody please tell the tui that woke me this morning?

    1. Yea the xenophobia of non natives is ill conceived. Further If you’re after carbon sequestration then it should become a redwood or Douglas Fir Forest. Sequestration of carbon on the hectare is 5 fold +…

    2. Exactly, the Tui’s around me hang out on all the exotics and funnily enough not so much the Totara’s around me, particularly feeding off the flowers in the super exotic Aussie Bottlebrush, that is when they are not chasing other birds around.

      The Kereru also are not fussy about feasting on palm berries and hanging out in exotics also. The Ruru’s also seem to love my powerline and that is severely exotic.

      And I swear to God a tree of any kind absorbs CO2. But no one tell that to the people sawing down trees on Mt Albert!

      Fact is I like all the birds and I really don’t care where they come from.

    3. They said “biodiversity” not “birdiversity.”

      Some native birds make a reasonable go of adapting to urban environments but there’s much more to biodiversity than just them.

      1. Biodiverstity – the “totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region”.
        Cutting down all of the ones you don’t happen to like decreases biodiversity, it doesn’t increase it.
        ‘Arborial ethnic cleansing’ is what they are doing at Mt Albert. Just like removing the stunning flowering cherries from Queen Street it is being done for spiteful reasons rather than to improve anything.

        1. That’s a narrow definition of biodiversity, miffy. If New Zealand had twice as many species as it does have, but lost all its native species, that wouldn’t be assisting the world’s biodiversity at all. A diverse ecology for the world requires local places retaining their local native ecologies.

          There are important places for exotics in New Zealand and in Auckland, and street trees are quite possibly one of those places, as you’ve said before.

          But on Owairaka, you’ve picked up the wrong end of the thread. Some of the protesters there are people genuinely concerned about loss of habitat for birdlife – but who seem to have jumped to the incorrect conclusion that the Integrated Management Plan isn’t based on good practice. It is. It isn’t the only way to regenerate, but it is the best way with the funding available, and it may be the best way overall. Retaining the old trees for a nurse cover sounds sensible, for example, but they actually create too dense a shade and suck too much water from the ground so the regenerating planted natives would take too long to grow. They would also continue to provide seeds, so the continued long-term removal of weed saplings would require disturbance of the (unnecessarily slowly growing) plantings.

          And some of the protesters are seasoned protesters with a particular, racist, change-averse, climate-denying agenda. And then there are the politicians supporting them, with their confused agenda.

          Who would sign their name to the foreword of the Tupuna Maunga Integrated Management Plan and then support the ill-informed occupation to prevent it from being implemented?

        2. Just seems bizarre that in this age of climate change we’re chopping down trees because they aren’t the right kind of tree, not topical, not fashionable. Insane!

        3. Waspman – young trees that are growing absorb a lot more CO2 than mature trees. Chopping down mature trees and replacing them with new trees can actually reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, unless of course we burn the old trees.

          There may be other reasons for not chopping down these trees, but climate change isn’t one of them.

        4. Uncalled for, Waspman. Many, many people believe that young trees sequester more carbon.

          What is also true is that a healthy ecology allows trees and soil to sequester much, more carbon. Part of that health is as rich an ecology as possible. So for Auckland’s plantings to be both biodiverse and good at carbon sequestration, we need as many native plantings as we can establish, to allow the biggest possible gene pool. This will mean replacing many exotics.

        5. Old trees store carbon until you burn them or they decompose. Burning releases carbon quickly, decomposing releases it slowly but it still gets released.

        6. Nup, another myth, miffy.

          You can retain that carbon. Either in biochar. Or in soil. As soil deepens and grows higher, the carbon it contains grows. In a healthy forest, there’s more carbon in the soil than there is in the trees.

        7. Heidi I guess it all depends on what you think a park is for. If you think it is meant to be some sort of native forest then fine. But even then they used exotics on Tiritiri-matangi to provide food for native birds until the natives were big enough.
          If you see a park as a place for people to wander and get exercise and see birds then natives are not the only way to go. Exotics put on more of a show throughout the year and birds prefer some exotics the way I prefer Chinese food to tripe.
          These parks were supposed to be about people but arseholes made it all about politics.

        8. Uncalled for? Apparently we are planting trees to offset not only carbon dioxide build up but to back peddle on the deforestation of this country that’s help get us to where we are now, as are other similarly minded countries. Clearly though the experts are all wrong.

          And suddenly it’s sweet as to chop established trees down because potentially new growing plants suck up more CO2. The Koch brothers would be proud of that one.

          I am now ever more convinced climate change WILL happen because mankind is too thick to ever reach a consensus. It’s not about planting trees, it’s about chopping them down and planting new ones, one day I promise, or even as silly, planting woke forests before anything else!

          We are dinosaurs, we just don’t know it.

        9. I think there are different purposes, and I think the maunga are a very special case. They aren’t public parks.

          The politics of this doesn’t bode well for the state of the AELB, which has been a progressive board until now. There was cross-party support for the TMA plan and for the changes at CP. The ones creating the political conflict now seem to have no interest in actually learning about the science nor caring about the race relations aspects. Real arrogance on both counts. It makes me very angry.

        10. Heidi – thanks for the links I was working on the assumption the existing trees had finished growing, which is probably wrong.

          However, looking at the second link it appears as though replacing exotics with natives would still be beneficial in the long run for sequestering carbon, or am I misinterpreting it?

        11. I think that’s correct.

          Imagine the vision of Auckland with all the maunga planted as per the TMA plan. That will provide amazing on-going support for every other planting in the city. Seeds, and birds to distribute them, coming from all those high points. Incredible!

          The effect will be to enhance the carbon sequestration rates in every little planting of native bush everywhere – because the carbon is being stored in the soil, too, which can only grow if there’s a more full ecology.

          Meanwhile there are difficult spots where being able to choose species from the whole world provides a better plant than what’s available from our natives.

          We shouldn’t be cutting down exotics just because they’re exotics. They may be the best plant for the location. They’re certainly more biodiverse as an older tree than a young native will be. But in general, we need to revegetate with natives, bit by bit. The TMA plan and the plan for restoration of the stream within Chamberlain Park, are fantastic places to start.

        12. Heidi maybe nobody told the people who live there that their park is neither their’s and nor is it a park. Now they are expected to see an area of mature trees levelled and one day there might be large trees there again but maybe not in their lifetime. The fact that a previous local board went along with that without complaining doesn’t count for a lot. Nor does science if it means you lose amenity.
          Personally I might cut down my natives and replace them with some more exotics just demonstrate my mana.

      2. Why have only indigenous trees?
        I’m rather fond of Oak trees, European pines, Chestnut trees, American hickory trees, etc.

        Imagine how cool it could be walking into a public park and gathering pine nuts or chestnuts…

        1. Ditto fruit trees

          How cool would it be for all our curbs to have various varieties of food growing along them.

          Start the planting in the lowest socioeconomic areas.

          If my rates go up for the maintenance of them I’ll view that as some of the best money I spend all year.

    4. That debate got a bit to broad to generalise. As I look at Chamberlain Park, I see some strings of mostly exotic trees and a lot of open space. You don’t have to cut any down to create new native growth. You may want to cut down pest plants that will invade native planting and leave the rest. Or – if you must – cut some down to make room for team sports pitches. A dead wattle is good for perching while smaller stuff is growing to replace it. An oak tree shouldn’t be much trouble on its own. Plant something 5-10 m from it.

  3. Publically subsidised golfing… the net benefit to the relative few vs the opportunity cost of not having greater access to the many just does not stack up! Arguments that removing publically owned golf courses will result in increased inequity/accessibility for golfers is true; however on the balance that is far outweighed by free access, better community access and environmental benefits. Auckland has ample golf clubs in less strategically significant places which I’m sure will absorb most of the Chamberlain park golfers.
    Disclaimer – I love golf.

    1. “Publically subsidised golfing”
      Is it really publically subsidised?

      If it is: Then a solution could be to end that subsidy and watch the club go out of business. Then the council can snap it up and turn it into a public park.

      1. Yes. If the value of the land and actual costs were recouped by those occupying and using the space ‘the golfers’. Then i’m sure the green Fees would be hideously expensive like hundreds of thousands of dollars a year expensive. I’m of course shooting from the hip.
        But I would bet the farm that the current green fees nowhere near capture the underlying value of using this prime land.

        The resultant short fall in what people pay vs what they should pay is in effect a subsidy by all for the few.

        Cheap/free parking is the same deal. Private individuals storing personal assets on public land at rock bottom prices.

        1. This needs to be balanced against the fact that other uses of public parks such as rugby and cricket are also effectively subsidised.

          If we are targeting subsidised golf courses I’d start with Remuera as that is an exclusive access club paying a peppercorn rental to the Council, unfortunately our councilors have allowed this to be locked in for nearly 100 years.

          If that club was charged market value for the land it would very quickly find an alternative on the edge of the city.

        2. I quite agree, Jezza. This is not the first golf course I’d look at putting to better use, particularly because it’s the one where people who can’t afford golf club membership play.

        3. “This needs to be balanced against the fact that other uses of public parks such as rugby and cricket are also effectively subsidised.”
          Maybe a stop needs to be put to that too?

        4. Agreed Jezza. All golf courses should be looked at in terms of return to people of Auckland. Rugby and cricket fields are slightly different in the sense that most of them are freely accessible the overwhelming majority of the time. This is not the case with golf courses. If we followed this logic then you’d need to start charging a group of school kids who occupy a space for a game of touch. Which of course would be ludicrous.

        5. Remuera golf course plays a commercial rent, not like Chamberlain or the large number of community leases by interest groups. Looking at a loss of park land look at OBC on Tamaki Drive fencing in Hakumau Reserve.

        6. @Kintyre Kid: I’m getting the impression that this particular golf course is different because it IS accessible.

          And are cricket and rugby really all that accessible? There’s plenty of snobbery in cricket, especially for people who can’t afford the equipment. And some rugby clubs don’t just let anyone join.

        7. Lost – it may well be a ‘commercial rent’ but it is in a no way a true market value rent that reflects the value of the land for other uses.

        8. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12085721

          “A spokesman for Takapuna Golf Course said there had been little discussion about any sale:

          “But we would be unhappy about it. We don’t want it to be sold.”

          The club bills itself as the most played public golf course in Auckland and says more than 60,000 people hit a round each year.”

          I think there needs to be a facts based approach to this subject.

          Takapuna is serving the needs of 60000/365 days = 164 people per day.

          It had a 2015 valuation of $230 million.

          Say Auckland invested the sale profits at 4% per annum = $9.2 million per year; or each round is costing $153.

          I don’t mind public subsidy of sport, or culture, but isn’t this level of subsidy absurd? And remember this is Auckland’s most popular golf course.

          I struggle to see that there is any rationale to subsidise people to play golf just because they are poor; in the same way we don’t subsidise people to drive race cars, or sail yachts.

          Golf courses like Takapuna, because of its location, are calling out for intensive housing in time. There is little point immediately as the adjacent Smales Farm is not fully developed. There may also be a case for further public space to support such development .

  4. For some perspective there is a save Chamberlain Park website putting arguments against the Eden-Albert local board redevelopment plan. Some points of discussion include:
    -cutting down more than 1000 trees
    -Eden-Albert and its periphery actually has an abundance of playing fields and green space
    -the golf course serves a much wider population and demographic than just the Eden-Albert ward
    -it is well utilised, accessible and only 1 of 2 courses open to the general public
    -restoring the creek is supported and can be done while maintaining 18 holes

    1. “the golf course serves a much wider population and demographic than just the Eden-Albert ward”

      Large publicly accessible green spaces also serve a much wider population and demographic than just the Eden-Albert ward. Look at all the people who visit Western Springs Park, the demand is certainly there.

    2. From a golf point of view, I wish the local board had looked at how to increase the use of the course through the week. Golfers don’t want to play a 9-hole golf course, generally, so there should have been more work done on how to keep all 18 holes. There could have been school and work place programmes to introduce and support people playing golf there. But there would be a limit to this. And it could still be done with the 9-hole course the local board proposes.

      I don’t think the Save Chamberlain Park website is particularly accurate but the demographic information about who uses the golf course is something people should be taking into account. This is the place that Maori and Pasifika tend to play.

    3. Where did the “removing >1000 trees” claim come from.
      Did some golfers count trees during their Sunday golf?
      Did they assume that removed trees will not be replaced?

      The Save Chamberlain Park website is publishing highly facetious and unsubstantiated claims.

      1. And the Eden-Albert board wouldn’t provide a better number. Large 80+ year old trees have seen far better protection in other parts of the city.

        1. Shandon Golf course in Lower Hutt has a shared pathway thru the middle of it. That makes me a lot more tolerant than nearby Manor Park golf course with no public access too it and struggles financially. I ca t wait for them to go bust so the Hutt River trail can be extended thru there.

        2. So it has… and look at this. It took me a while to figure out what mobility device Google was using here, but eventually I found the shadow:

          https://www.google.com/maps/@-41.2290199,174.8987598,3a,75y,118.25h,23.94t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAF1QipOmxMLV3az4Lpknu6U_9mjTWxCWLek_haXj7YAr!2e10!7i3840!8i1920

          But back to the point. Having a public path through the golf course. If they can…! Do you know if they’ve been under pressure to close that for safety reasons?

  5. This post seems very binary which is the entire issue at play.

    While not interested in the least in golf, I still strongly oppose the costly, and in my very highly negative changes being proposed.
    I believe the issue for most opposed to the change is not about losing golf, but rather the intended use after the changes, with seemingly small benefits considering the cost. With significant green space and sports fields across the motorway, a change should consider past the ward boundary too.
    The fact this significant Auckland asset is controlled by a ward I also find concerning as its use is certainly not limited to the ward, in fact most likely aren’t part of the ward. The fact those pushing lost support at the election also suggests there may not be support for these significant changes even locally.

    While this article talks about the payment of greens fees in this case, all sports monopolise the land for significant periods of time. How is this different to say the speedway.

    1. Would be good to see Greater Auckland do an article proposing how “you” think the area should be used and then compare against the proposals.
      This approach that is typically used is why I read the blog.

      1. This is what Greater Auckland should propose:
        1) Turn half of the land into a public park and recreation reserve with a mix of sports fields, community centre, playgrounds, cycleways and walking paths, and urban forest and the like.
        2) Sell the other half for development as a master planned mixed-use dense residental area with some shops and businesses. Make it all four or five storeys and get 2,000 new homes. Selling the land should bring in about $200m.
        3) Use some of the money from selling the land to build a new public golf course on cheap land out the back of Westgate.
        4) Use the rest of the money toward the Northwestern rail line and building a new station between Chamberlin Park and Western Springs, and a green bridge over the motorway linking it all togehter.

        1. “Sell the other half for development as a master planned mixed-use dense residental area with some shops and businesses. Make it all four or five storeys and get 2,000 new homes. Selling the land should bring in about $200m.”
          If there’s one thing that Auckland sadly lacks; it’s any sort of green belt. I’d honestly rather it was just left as an 18 hole golf course than have any more development.

  6. As far as I know, because of a 4-4 split in the Albert-Eden local board, the final decision may depend on who is elected chair. All four C&R members oppose, all four City Vision members support.

    Has the chair been chosen yet?

  7. Chamberlain Park would be an excellent location for a new Speedway track. That would free up Western Springs for a cricket oval.

  8. There seems to be a lot of parks and green space in the area already anyway.
    I thought this generation Zero is supposed to be about environmentalism. How the hell is forcing a golf course to halve in size and become public park space part of that again? Why are Generation zero even interested in Golf courses?

    1. A quick google search would show you:

      “We campaign for smarter transport, liveable cities and independence from fossil fuels by lobbying government, business and other actors to advance climate change action.”

      Campaigning for cycling and walking links to allow low carbon transport, and for liveable neighbourhoods with good access to open spaces is core to what Generation Zero do, because these things are key to a low-carbon city.

      1. There’s already a lot of public green space in the area. Forcing Thai golf club to halve in size and turning the rest into public park land will not change a thing.
        All this will serve to achieve is put people off of generation zero.

      2. I might take the more seriously if the proposal was merely to end public subsidies for the golf course and the plan for if/when the club goes belly up is to turn it into a nature reserve with a full forest.

  9. I’m really annoyed with GenZero about this as I generally support them on most things.

    Their whole argument seems to boil down to “We don’t like the exotic trees in the park” and “I wish we could have a cycleway through here.”

    Surely you can do those two things without cutting the only public course on that side of the bridge down to 9 holes. Hagley golf course in central Christchurch has paths all through it and it seems to work.

    Sorry for the rant, guess I was triggered.

  10. I think City Vision and Gen Zero have approached this the wrong way. There appears to be a strong argument that there would be better use of this prime city land than exclusive access to those who have paid a green fee.

    There is also a strong argument for an affordable golf course that anyone can play on even if they are not a club member, nine holes isn’t really going to cut it.

    It seems the best solution would be to find some land, ideally already belonging to the council or government on the edge of the city and build an 18-hole course there, then redevelop Chamberlain Park.

  11. I think the main point is that golf courses are naff use of large areas of space for the worst human activity ever dreamed up, when such land might be used for football or a pump track and any number of other wonderful non exclusive leisure activities. If I had any say all golf course would be under seige, such a pointless waste of a day at such a great expense to green areas for all. Trump plays golf, need one say more?

    1. If you look at it from a mental health point of view, though, it’s a bit more complex.

      Living near open spaces covered in tree canopy is associated with better mental health. Living near open expanses of grass is associated with poorer mental health. (Probably from some ancient part of the brain that associates open spaces with danger.)

      Spending several hours walking around the former (playing golf or not) is undoubtedly very good for coping with the stresses of modern life. Driving to a quick game of footie on the latter is probably not so helpful (although it’ll be good for fitness.)

      Having good cycling and walking links, in areas with tree canopy, to either a park, a golf course, or a sportsfield, probably improves mental health to the point that it doesn’t matter which one it is you’re going to. 🙂

      The absolutely worst part of the AELB’s plan is to put in a new carpark, with access off St Lukes Rd. So not only can you nip to the sports field for a quick game of footie, the driveway across the existing cycleway will create a point of conflict that puts cyclists at risk.

      There is so much pedestrian and cyclist connectivity required in the area. To suggest putting in a carpark, with all the traffic it will generate, is completely regressive.

      1. That explains an awful lot. Back of my home under trees is glass half full feeling but front of home looking over extensive grass lawns is glass half empty feeling. This probably explains why most peaceful location is on loo in smallest no view room in house

      2. I keep being told, the “unitary plan isn’t a system of rules.” It’s to be interpreted intelligently and if necessary there are other routes to get a consent. There’s no excuse for ignoring evidence about how extra parking induces traffic when extra traffic adds to our traffic safety problem and to our carbon emissions problem.

        We should be able to expect the local board to take a leadership role here and to demonstrate the other approaches that can be taken, so that private developments follow their lead. Instead, it seems the private developers are the ones pushing the boundaries.

        The AUP references the Parking Strategy which requires that existing parking is priced before new off street parking facilities are installed. This hasn’t been done.

        The requirement to demonstrate how the proposal would “integrate with the transport network” has been applied in a conventionally car-biased way, with the addition of a carpark in the design, worsening the cycling and walking transport networks. No walking / cycling bridge over the motorway to join with Waitemata’s imminent Motions Rd cycleway. No path has been identified to the closest train station for bikes and feet, with raised crossings along it wherever required to allay any parental fears of independent travel by travel as would be expected in a world-class city.

        “Parking and loading supports urban growth and the quality compact urban form” – the way that an increase in parking detracts from the quality compact urban form has been ignored.

    2. I personally have no interest in Golf. For about 8 times now; friends have tried to get me into it and I just don’t like it.
      But to use the fact that someone you don’t like likes something (in your case Donald Trump) as a justification against it is rather stupid. Do you like Hamburgers? Because reputedly; Trump loves those.

      How is having the land used instead for any football field (like there aren’t already enough of those) any more of a waste than using it for Golf? And are you sure that golf at this park is that inaccessible?

      Good thing you don’t have any say in anything (and aren’t likely to with your intolerant attitude).

    3. Interesting comments everyone but the few time’s I’ve played golf (way back) as a guest or casual player I’ve quite enjoyed it. Probably because I seemed to be either naturally good at it or fluked a few shots.

      Regardless some will like some will not so seems a good plan to have such a central area more accessible to more everyday & fee free use yet still retain a golf aspect to it.

      I didn’t have time to read all the comments today or get my head around thIs fully but it seems the tree issue is a misinformed or a deliberate red herring protest.

  12. Matthew has it. Cities subsidise all their parks, green spaces, sports fields and recreation areas, usually 100% on the taxpayers bill. Most cities seem fine with this as a concept.

    The issue isn’t that it’s a council owned and run golf course, that’s the same as council owned and run swimming pools, footy fields, playgrounds etc.

    The issue is whether this is a good use of this particular 40 hectares of inner city council land. Is one golf course better than 20 playing fields in the same location, or 100 playgrounds, or a mix of uses.

    It’s pretty hard to claim that the best community benefit comes from one 18 hole golf course taking up all the land.

    1. Riccardo
      Absolutely well summarised – does the best community benefit come from one 18 hole golf course taking up all the land?
      I agree with you – absolutely no. There are so very few people who use it that it is an extravagant locking up of public resource.

  13. I am completely fine with the Council “subsidizing” golf by providing a public course, just like it “subsidizes” other sports and recreational activities. But in the middle of a dense, desirable urban area is a terrible location for golf, simply because golf is so land-hungry compared to the number of people it serves, and there’s so many other uses for the space that would benefit more people.

    Either turn Chamberlain Park into a park that more people can enjoy, or turn it into housing and commercial space, or a mix of both. Have public golf courses, but put them out in the wops where there’s room for it, where we put other land-hungry recreations like horse riding or rifle shooting. The courses could be part of the regional parks network.

  14. Enabling the opportunity to build 1000-2000 affordable apartments in a fairly central urban location would also help in terms of ‘Carbon Zero’. If 6-8 storey apartments were built through the park, then the footprint would be fairly minor. That could also enhance safety of the space.
    Of course, such an idea is far too radical for this council.

      1. yes.
        That’s why I said build up. Not out.
        You could keep 75% of the land as open space, if you built 6-8 storey apartments.
        Do them with CLT, nice timber aesthetic. Show the way in terms of sustainable design.
        We’ve got a housing crisis.

        1. But fairly dense development is already on the cards for nearby (Unitec) so maybe we don’t need it again at Chamberlain.

        2. Erm but those “1000-2000 affordable apartments” are going to require land space even if you build up and the people living there will impact whatever “green space” you leave.
          One thing Auckland lacks is a green belt.
          “We’ve got a housing crisis.”
          Surely changing park and recreational land is the last resort. Auckland already has ample land in residential zones, most of which are mostly dull and uninspiring suburbs of mostly ugly detached single-story houses. Why not instead replace some of them with these apartment bocks you want and leave the green space alone? Especially if they’re close to transport nodes and centres of commerce…

        3. Yes I think this is a key thing: the golf course may be large, but it is tiny compared to the huge heritage villa museum blanketing the nearby areas.

  15. Overall I wonder how many trees were cut down by all these people who now claim the Maunga Owairaka theirs even though it has a (rightful owner). I feel constant pain when looking how more and more building sites, driveways and formal landscaping it cut out of the mountain by many of these self-righteous people.
    Have they been to the last two student strikes for climate change?
    Are they walking to the shops to lower their own CO2 footprint which helps a huge lot towards ecology?

  16. Glad that the local board changes have meant it’s more likely Chamberlain Park will stay as a golf course. It’s one of two public courses in the city and is the most central and accessible to most number of people who want to play golf but can’t afford the huge private fees. There’s plenty of other parks in the area to play in for locals who are non-golfers.

    1. Unfortunately when we are talking about the greatest benefit for the most people, public golf courses are rubbish. So much land being used by so few people. It is a tragic use of public resources. All I hear are very weak arguments about the need for cheaper green fees. What about my access to a subsidised shooting range or a subsidised toboggan race track? We are talking about public money. If people argue that council should tie up huge resources for hobbyist golfers, then you have the exact same argument that council should also tie up huge resources for hobbyist shooters or hobbyist tobogganists. The argument is weak either way.

      At maximum, the course gets used by a couple hundred people a day. That is nuts. What sort of benefit does that bring other than saving those few people some money.

      We are talking about a few hundred people depriving thousands of housing AND a great public park, all the while being paid for by public money. It really is monstrous what these people are arguing to keep when you really think about it.

      Playing golf is not a human right. If they can’t afford to golf, sucks to be them, but life isn’t fair. If people really want to play golf, they can take a drive out of Auckland to another course for $10.

      Sadly with the new deadlocked local board, I don’t expect much change in the next few years.

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