Archive | Amenities

Council has no budget to implement preferred Chamberlain Park option

Auckland Council’s Albert-Eden Local Board has come up with 4 draft scenarios for a masterplan for Chamberlain Park, the public golfcourse beside the North-western Motorway in Mt Albert, but has no money to implement any of them.

The board has a recommendation for its meeting on Wednesday to approve in principle scenario 4, reducing the public golfcourse to 9 holes with a driving range & practice area, 2 multi-use sportsfields, an aquatic centre & parking.

92 of the 263 submissions on the masterplan (35%) favoured that option. 39 (15%) favoured a reconfigured 18-hole golfcourse, 33 (13%) favoured a reconfigured 18-hole golfcourse with driving range, practice & beginners’ facilities – and 67 (25%) favoured “none of the above”.

The council staff report by principal policy analyst Shyrel Burt & team leader Paul Marriott-Lloyd, outlined why the first 3 scenarios weren’t recommended and said the fourth scenario had the highest level of community endorsement.

They said the reconfigured full course wouldn’t provide for increased open space, a wider range of sports or greater community use. It would also not provide an improved golf experience to address the low useage, and increasing the subsidy to the course was ruled out because the benefit would accrue to a very small number of users.

The second option would provide an easier course that beginners might like but experienced golfers wouldn’t, and the third option was unlikely to improve revenue streams because its layout was unlikely to have widespread appeal from golfers.

The report authors said scenario 4, reducing the course from 34ha to 23.4ha & 9 holes with a par of 35 and moderate to high level of difficulty, should appeal to existing users.

While the recommendation is to support a wider mix of uses for the park in principle, 3 policy projects being undertaken by the council would also influence what happens.

Auckland Council is preparing a sport facilities network plan, which will identify & prioritise sports facility needs around Auckland for the next 20 years. The council is also investigating the provision of pools in the western corridor of Auckland to address potential gaps and to account for projected population growth, and is investigating long-term council ownership of golfcourses and the public/private provision of golf required to support changes in demand. All of that is scheduled for completion next year.

Council staff have recommended that the local board redevelop the western end of Chamberlain Park as a priority project, suggesting local events could be organised to allow the community to experience how that end would function as open space.

The local board has earmarked $900,000 over the next 3 years to start implementing the masterplan. However, the council long-term plan through to 2025, approved by the council’s governing body at the end of June, provides no funding to implement the masterplan, and the report authors said a recommendation to adopt a masterplan without a full funding commitment “may create unrealistic community expectations”.

Also recommended is funding of a feasibility study of a Chinese garden, performance space & theatre “in light of other community facility needs & provision before it is considered as an element in the final masterplan”.

Establishing the western park has been priced at $1.38 million, doing the feasibility study on the Chinese garden $50,000 and running a temporary event another $10,000. Beyond those sums, any masterplan would rely on funding out of the council’s parks & recreation budget.

Link: Local board agenda

Attribution: Local board agenda.

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Council meeting today to consider more fanzones

Published 4 October 2011

The Auckland Council will hold a special council meeting this evening to approve Rugby World Cup fanzone expansion beyond the city wharves.

The council has a report proposing a new fanzone on Wynyard Wharf, others already planned for Henderson & Albany and a contingency plan for one in Mangere.

After a huge crowd turned out on the waterfront on the cup opening night, the Government quickly passed a law to commandeer a second cbd fanzone, enabling spillover from Queens Wharf to Captain Cook Wharf, at a cost of $4 million.

The council has priced its Wynyard Wharf fanzone at $805,000, the Mangere contingency at $280,000, to cater for 17,500 more fans.

Council staff said they had $1.5 million of savings in the cup budget to draw from.

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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Grudgingly, council votes to pay amenities bill

Published 1 April 2011

A payment mechanism for a dozen Auckland cultural & sporting groups – put into legislation to give the organisations more certainty of income and to give councils certainty of outgoings – has been causing angst at the new Auckland Council for that council’s loss of power over a piece of its finances.

The council was confronted with applications for double-digit increases by some organisations and the council’s strategy & finance committee refused to approve payments, largely for lack of information.

That was also one of the arguments when the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Motat (the Museum of Transport & Technology) and the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board’s requests for funding went before the full council yesterday, although requests had been reduced.

The amenities funding board reduced its increase from a potential 20% increase, based on the applications made by the 10 amenities it represents, to 14%. The museum cut its request from a 6.53% increase to 5.29% and Motat from 9% to 8%.

Despite arguments against paying big increases when the council itself was searching for savings – a $60 million cut to get its overall rates rise down to 4.9%, and $2.24 million of cuts to meet the council’s share of the increased cost of hosting 3 more Rugby World Cup games – the amenities payments went through yesterday.

Apart from the museums, the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act, enacted in 2008, covers 10 other regional amenities: the Stardome, Voyager Maritime Museum, Auckland Philharmonia, NZ Opera, Auckland Theatre Company, Auckland Festival, Coastguard, Surf Lifesaving, Watersafe, and Rescue Helicopter.

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Attribution: Council meeting & agenda, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Mayor proposes sports & recreation and disability reference groups

Published 17 January 2011

Auckland mayor Len Brown has launched an investigation into the feasibility of providing free admission to council-owned swimming pools throughout Auckland, a policy which has been in place only for the 7 pools previously run by the Manukau City Council.

Normal adult admission charges at other swimming pools range from $3.10 in Papakura to $7.80 in Mt Albert.

Mr Brown said at the weekend the investigation would include a review of the benefits of free swimming pools & subsidised water-safety education programmes.

It will be complete by the end of March and will provide input for consideration as part of the council’s long-term planning process for the 2012-13 financial year.

Mr Brown said: “Free access to swimming pools is a great gift to our young people, somewhere local to go & have fun, to be active and to get off the streets. Auckland is surrounded by water and it is critical our kids learn to be safe & confident around it.

“I strongly believe in investing in communities, for the health & well-being of the people who live in them. And I believe in financial prudence, which is why we are taking a close & careful look at expanding free admission to other parts of Auckland.”

The study is one of the mayor’s 100 projects in his first 100 days. He also announced 2 other 100-day initiatives at the weekend – proposals to establish an Auckland sports & recreation reference group to address the sport & recreation needs of Auckland & its communities, and a disability reference group.

He said the group of key sports & recreation stakeholders would engage with the council about sport & recreation projects, provide input to regional planning, including the spatial plan, and be a vehicle for collaboration between council, private enterprise & community groups.

“Work is under way to define the terms of reference for the group & its composition, and recommendations will be made to the regional development & operations committee in March.”

The mayor will attend a workshop with key stakeholders on Tuesday 1 February to discuss liaison between the council & the disabled community, look at issues affecting the community and the role, purpose & composition of the disability reference group.

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Attribution: Mayoral release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Mayor commissions update study on theatre developments

Published 11 January 2011

Auckland mayor Len Brown said yesterday he’d commissioned a study on proposed Auckland theatre developments, including potential refurbishment of the St James on Queen St.

Mr Brown said the study would identify the need & market demand for professional performing arts venues in Auckland and would help guide & prioritise Auckland Council’s provision of and investment in such venues over the next 10-15 years.

He said the council had been approached to support a number of theatre developments, including the proposed Auckland Theatre Co 600-seat theatre at Wynyard Quarter, the proposed purchase & refurbishment of the Mercury Theatre just off Karangahape Rd and potential refurbishment of the St James.

The study will be an Auckland-wide update of a 2008 study the former Auckland City Council conducted. It will take into account factors which have changed since 2008, including Q Theatre, which is under construction behind the Town Hall in the Aotea precinct, and the proposed National Convention Centre, which the Government is considering.

The study is one of the mayor’s 100 projects in 100 days and is due for completion by the end of February.

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Attribution: Mayoral release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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ARC chairman hooping for Asian happiness

Published 25 June 2006


Auckland Regional Council’s regional strategy & planning committee endorsed a submission on reform of the Unit Titles Act on Wednesday but council chairman Mike Lee felt another little addition was needed.



He wants basketball hoops & pingpong tables introduced to the cbd to cater for Asian tenants living there as a result of the intensification strategy.


“There is a certain blind spot we have in New Zealand about the provision of public recreation. Overseas, these sorts of developments have provided table tennis tables & basketball hoops. It doesn’t happen here and a number of Asians have raised it with me,” Mr Lee said.


“It’s not a language issue. It’s a cultural, recreational aspect, as a part of the inner-city living experience.” Cllr Lee felt the provision of these amenities could be incorporated into the design requirements, as bike racks & rubbish rooms have, and as minimum apartment sizes have been set.


“It could be as part of the provision of amenities in mixed-use developments that those types of facilities are looked at in some way. It’s not necessarily within the apartment building but in the precinct and that may be something for a city council to look at.”


The council’s principal advisor on regional development, Brenna Waghorn, felt it was something that might be considered in the next review of the building code.


Nobody mentioned it, but the term development contributions springs to mind. Local councils levy these fees for the good of the community and the regional council is examining if it can get into the act too. Auckland City Council occasionally demonstrates what it’s applying these contributions to, and if ashtrays can spring up around the cbd almost overnight to cater for smokers outside bars, some hoops to keep them fit will surely be on the way.


The only hoop inside an office that I know of is in the foyer of law firm Knight Coldicutt on Princes Wharf.


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Attribution: ARC committee meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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