Golf Facilities Plan
In a bid to ease mounting concerns, a direct response fromom Auckland Council stated that the purpose of the Golf Facilities Plan “is not to propose selling golf land”.
“It will identify current and future provision levels and what might need to change,” says Paul Marriott-Lloyd, team leader, Parks and Recreation Policy — Central, Auckland Council.
“The need of the Golf Facilities Plan derives from an Auckland Council directive to ensure recreation and sport facilities keep up with a growing population.”
The main components of the plan, according to Marriott-Lloyd, aim to provide an overview of “demographic and golf participation” trends, providing an overview of current lease arrangements and the impact on different golf business models on the long-term sustainability of golf clubs across the city.
As CEO of New Zealand Golf, the game’s governing body, Dean Murphy remains unfazed by the “inaccurate media reporting” of late late, but acknowledges that such “sensationalism” has led to a more public discussion of the review process.
“New Zealand Golf fully supports the council developing a Golf Facilities Plan,” says Murphy, alluding also to the Sport Facilities Network Plan, outlining the sport facility needs of 36 sports in Auckland for the next 20 years.
“We think it is vitally important the council, and the golf sector as a whole, has a strategic document in place that sets an ideal future state for the provision of golf across Auckland.
“Golf is just one part of this plan in that respect and this is not a quick project; a lot of analysis and research is required.”
Despite a unified response, Whiley believes Auckland Council has failed to put the issue to bed, lamenting a lack of clarity for the region’s 13 golf clubs still in the dark.
“Why haven’t they shut it down?” he asks. “They could have easily slammed Eaqub’s comments as not being on the cards. Where was the hard ‘no’ that the golfing community needed to hear?”