Mark Richardson: Hands off my beloved Remuera golf course

Opinion 26/11/2018

By Mark Richardson, The AM Show's sportsreader.

OPINION: Watch out people, 'cause Phil Twyford is coming to a park near you.

Phil 'John Wayne' Twyford and his new housing authority - aka the New Zealand People's Republic of Housing - wants unchallenged powers of what land it can take for building affordable housing.

So who's at risk here of losing their park, nature reserve, recreational oasis? I'll tell you who - the 'evil' wealthy.

How do I know? Let me tell you a story.

A wee while ago I got invited to play golf at Maungakiekie Golf Club. At 9:45am I pulled up in the Akorana Golf Club carpark. Quickly realising my mistake, I walked round the corner to the correct golf club - leaving my car where it was, because it would be just as quick to walk.

When I got there, I recognised the Titirangi Golf Course was just over the hill - bloody hell! Three golf courses falling within a 2km radius.

And yet when it comes to whining about golf courses taking up potential affordable housing land, it's always Remuera Golf Club that appears to be the villain. The only course in the eastern suburbs, miles from the next. 

Akorana, Maungakeikei, Titirangi -  hundreds of thousands of square feet of affordable land out west versus a few hectares of already overpriced real estate in the east.

Why my beloved Remuera?

Is it because, in the Remuera car park, are BMWs, Mercedes Benzes and Maseratis, but in the Maungakiekie park there are Corollas, Pulsars and a few work vans?

Is it because on the fairways of Remuera are doctors and lawyers, but on the greens of Akorana, factory workers and retail assistants?

No. What you need to realise is that Maungakiekie, Akorana and Titirangi golf clubs sit right in the middle of the New Lynn and Mt Roskill electorates - Labour-controlled electorates. Remuera? Well that's a National stronghold.

It's nimbyism! Not just confined to those in the posh suburbs, eh Mr Twyford? So watch out east Auckland - communism is coming to a club near you.

Mark Richardson is The AM Show's sportsreader and host of Three's The Block