Auckland council proposes to open golf courses to all to increase equity and end ‘exclusivity’
The draft Auckland Golf Investment Plan will help the council determine the future use and development of golf courses owned or managed by the council. In February 2022, the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee asked council staff to engage with the public, stakeholders and local councils on the proposed Auckland Golf Investment Plan .
The draft plan sets regional policy for golf courses owned or run by the council and aims to increase land use by as many Aucklanders as possible. Its three main objectives are:
- Increased equity, sport and recreation by opening public golf courses to all Aucklanders
- increased equity and participation by providing a wide range of golf experiences that attract and retain participants and services for low participation groups
- best practices in ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation of public golf courses.
There are also four key changes from the status quo to:
- Increased accountability and transparency
- increased equity and participation rates in sports and recreation
- increase in equity and golf participation rates
- increased natural and environmental benefits.
Councilor Alf Filipaina, chairman of the council’s parks, arts, community and events committee, said that as Auckland continues to grow at a rapid pace, there are competing demands for land – putting pressure on on the board to increase the benefits of public investment.
“Public golf courses are usually large patches of open space and there is a lot of potential to open them up for more of Auckland to enjoy.
“We could see increased benefits such as making space for new playgrounds, walking, running and biking trails and other sporting and recreational activities.
“Of course, as a plan for golf, it is important that we continue to invest in the sport. The draft plan provides for a wider range of experiences and golf courses that attract new participants, with services targeted at low participation groups such as women and young people.”