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: