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Auckland Council plans what to do with its $2.2b of golf courses

Newshub logoNewshub 12/09/2018 Tom McRae

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Auckland Council says it has no plans to sell off its golf courses for housing at the moment.

However, it is looking at the best way to utilise the land - and that could mean more are turned into parks. 

Omaha is not a bad spot for a round of golf - but the problem is, it's not a bad spot for housing either.

With land in Auckland at an all-time premium, the pressure is on Auckland Council as to how best utilise the city's public golf courses.

Chairwoman of the Environment and Community Committee Penny Hulse says there are no plans to sell, because they are looking at how best to use the resource first. 

There are 13 public golf courses in Auckland, six of which have been identified as having potential to be developed for housing.

The combined land value of Omaha, Takapuna and Waitemata in the north, Chamberlain Park and Remuera in the city, and Clarks Beach in the south, is almost $2.2 billion.

The council is in the middle of working on a plan for its courses - and to help with that, it commissioned a report.

The report looks at the cost-benefit of each one, and found the courses return virtually nothing back to the council.

Just less than 9 percent of Aucklanders play golf - roughly 90,000 people - and the council wants to see the number of people using the land increase.

Ms Hulse says what they have to decide now is whether the land would be better used for parks or housing.

"That's pretty much the entire discussion: how do we make the best of these wonderful green spaces?"

The golfing community is adamant they should stay as courses, and New Zealand Golf chief executive Dean Murphy says no decision has been made.

"No golf courses are for sale, so I don't think it will happen in the foreseeable future."

Any decision is a long way off, as most clubs have decades-long leases.

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