Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Park Life

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  • Matt Pitt, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Gauntlet is somewhat hyperbolic, but yes the stretch from Lynwood Ave to the overbridge. Which is an extra mess at the moment, what with the motorway upgrades (though that should mean an improved cycleway once it's done). Heading townwards on the west side of St Lukes is generally fine, but coming home on the east side is a mess: the options are, a) ride on the footpath (dubious legality) which involves cycling across turning traffic and queueing traffic at Western Springs Road, then cutting out onto the cycle lane or, b) dropping over the extra-height edge of the footpath to join St Lukes Road as soon as possible, which puts you in the path of traffic turning into Western Springs Road but is the only way to get to the cycle lane directly as it starts in the middle of the intersection.

    Being able to access the quiet, suburban streets directly from the cycleway (as you can all the way from St Lukes Road to Newton Gully) via Chamberlain Park would be a much preferable option.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to Matt Pitt,

    It’s a great wee spot with a cool playground for the little monkey – shame about the nose-curling funk that comes out of the stormwater/sewage vent right in the middle of it.

    They say you can tell the human body was designed by a Council planning committee, because of the sewage line running through the recreation area.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matt Pitt,

    Being able to access the quiet, suburban streets directly from the cycleway (as you can all the way from St Lukes Road to Newton Gully) via Chamberlain Park would be a much preferable option.

    Sure would. And as you say, it's the southward route that's dodgy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Sean C,

    I came to the so called meeting last night at Chamberlain Park. For what it was it was a poorly organised and misleading event. Assumptions were this was a meeting. But for all it was worth it was just more of a show and tell.

    For some reason (and this may be because there has been no real communication to anyone that either plays gold at the park or lives int he neighbourhood) i was under the impression that the Chamberlain Park plans were just an idea being thrown around. But to get there and see some of the research that has gone into this "proposal" it is much more than just an idea, and more that is pre-determined that chamberlain park WILL BE redeveloped.

    There is a part of me that thinks some of the ideas for here are great, a driving range would be great, an area for teaching new and old golfers would be amazing. Some gardens would also be sort of fantastic.

    But when i take a look around, all of this smacks of yet another under-thought council idea because someone has mentioned their kids can't play on a field at 6pm on a Wednesday night. Jeepers, there is some free land being under used. Lets spend millions there and turn them into sports fields, and if there is any land left over, we can probably build some houses there too.

    Have a look around, less than 500 metres away from where you are proposing you have Fowlds Park, Western Springs Park, not too much further up the road we also have Gribblehurts Park, Grey Lynn Park, Eden Park (selling off for apartments and shopping), Nixon Park in Kingsland. Just to mention a few alongside what all the schools currently have. And not sure how much time you have spent at these parks, but the amount of time i have been tho them and seen them barely used is incredible. Perhaps the council could look at finding ways to better organise the current fields times of use? Seems a bit more logical to me, rather than spending the how many millions upon millions building across the road.

    Oh and as for communal gardens, have we forgotten about Western Springs across the road, with some amazing walk ways, wildlife etc right next door?

    It really seems that everything the council is proposing for Chamberlain Park is already existing a stones throw away.

    Also, what about the traffic. Where would the cars be entering these new sports fields? Off St Lukes Road which is already massively congested? Or using the current entrance off Linwood Ave? Which again is already a very busy residential street.

    Anyway, i can see the thoughts behind the ideas, but i truly believe that the council isn't looking at it the right way.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2014 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Haynes, in reply to Sean C,

    The Open Day was only ever advertised as an open day, because that is all it was ever intended to be. You may have assumed that it was to be a meeting, but that was never intended to be a meeting. Again, you're making an assumption that it will be redeveloped. The Board has worked long and hard considering possible "upgrades" of existing sportsfields to increase capacity, and looking to partner with schools (e.g. AGS). But even if we do every the upgrade possible (Fowlds Park and Nixon Park are on the cards, Gribblehurst Park is possible and we have no control over Eden Park), then we would still have the biggest shortfall in the Auckland region in ten years time. And our neighbours Waitemata and Orakei Local Boards are almost as badly off, so it's not a matter of driving over the border, unless you consider Glen Innes close to Mt Albert (I don't). It's not about the times of use. Grass sportsfields have around 20 hours/per week max, then they turn to mud in Auckland's climate; artificial fields are providing up to 50 hours and more. In 2010, the lack of sportsfields was an election issue. That said, it's not just about lack of accessible open space for local residents, or sportsfield capacity, as many of the comments on this post have discussed. Happy to discuss it with you further, if you're not yet convinced that this isn't a half-baked idea. Believe me, I don't want to spoil anyone's golf.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    The end of the road at Rawalpindi Reserve. It only needs another 50m, a right turn and a little walk-cycle bridge and it connects with Chamberlain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Sean C,

    Actually in this day and age, i don't consider getting in the car and driving to a sports field much of an issue. I do it all of the time. And i remember growing up, playing on fields in the weekend where my parents would drive me to Maharani for a game of rugby, so going to Glen Innes really shouldn't be a problem. There is a multitude of fields out Waitakere also available for use. Pretty much a 10 minute drive once you get onto that motorway. Am pretty sure most people that would be using the proposed fields would end up driving down anyway...

    Auckland • Since Dec 2014 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sean C,

    And not sure how much time you have spent at these parks, but the amount of time i have been tho them and seen them barely used is incredible.

    That's certainly true, although even when operating at peak capacity, an 18 hole golf course doesn't have very many people on it. A group every 200m maybe, so about 30 groups all up. That's over a hectare each. It's a really, really space inefficient game, which is why it costs so much to play, unless the course is in the countryside. Which even in Auckland is only a 20 minute drive away. And the amount of times I've ridden past Chamberlain and not seen many people on the course...

    Of course the parks are often quite empty, playing fields particularly. But when they're full they're really, really full. There can be thousands of people in Western Springs. They can stage big events there. On a busy day in the park there can be hundreds of people out, whole families enjoying a free activity. Certainly there isn't the continuous use that a busy golf course gets, but part of that is a function of how inefficient they are, that people have to carefully pick the time to play their game, and then they do it in a small group, typically a group of adults. It's always been manufactured exclusivity, that's been a big part of the appeal of the game, just how much of a luxury it really is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sean C,

    Actually in this day and age, i don’t consider getting in the car and driving to a sports field much of an issue. I do it all of the time.

    Yup. You can also drive to golf. Most people do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham, in reply to Peter Haynes,

    Thanks for engaging, Peter, and giving out a bit more information.

    Just a point on the trees on Gt North Rd - are we still really losing these? In spite of the public outcry?

    I thought it was possible to retain them with a small tweak to the design. If so, why are they going to be removed and how can we stop it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Just out of curiosity, would it be impossible to integrate the playing fields within the golf course? Yes that would mean some fences to protect people from slices and hooks. But the separation of the golf area from the rest of the public space seems to make the whole area feel exclusive (even if it isn't).

    Personally I think it would be kind of cool to have the golfers weave in and out of the areas that are used for other activities.

    As an aside for a few years a mate and I used to regularly bowl on down to Chamberlain at about 4pm each Friday to play for half price.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sean C,

    And i remember growing up, playing on fields in the weekend where my parents would drive me to Maharani for a game of rugby, so going to Glen Innes really shouldn’t be a problem.

    And for midweek training too? Local school and club teams driving to the far end of the isthmus to play home games?

    There is a multitude of fields out Waitakere also available for use. Pretty much a 10 minute drive once you get onto that motorway. Am pretty sure most people that would be using the proposed fields would end up driving down anyway…

    I guess it depends on how much you're prepared to privilege an 18-hole golf course at the expense of the rest of the local ratepaying community.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Personally I think it would be kind of cool to have the golfers weave in and out of the areas that are used for other activities.

    Until someone loses an eye. Unfenced golf courses are for areas where there's not much foot traffic. Putting one in the middle of popular facilities for children? I'm astonished that Hagley Park had one, can only put that down to it being flat as a pancake so one could see the golfers and they could see people that they might hit. Chamberlain Park is nothing like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Well, from my childhood in the UK I remember that footpaths over golf courses are common, so not an impossible problem to solve...education and tolerance!

    But then of course, as I appreciate when I go back, footpaths everywhere are common there...walking through farmland, talking to cows, sheep, horses and enjoying the countryside without needing a car to get to it (!!!) are joys not available in NZ, sadly.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    One thing that strikes me about playing fields is that the fields in local schools do seem to be underutilised outside of school hours esp. the primary and intermediate schools.

    Could local councils come to some sort of arrangement with schools regarding maintenance of grounds in exchange for use in evenings/weekends?

    Even helping with the $ to make the school fields all season a la Seddon Fields in exchange for use outside of school hours. The kids can’t even use the school fields themselves most of the winter.

    There is generally a lack of co-operation between local governement and the MoE from my observation. Just look at the recent Unitary plan re-zoning and the effect on school rolls. The council just says “not my problem jack” talk to the Ministry.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    teed off...

    Until someone loses an eye.

    indeed:

    Each year, nearly 40,000 golfers are admitted to emergency rooms after being injured at play, most by errant golf balls and flying clubheads. It's accidents like those -- and untold other injuries and near misses -- that led Golf Digest to conduct the most ambitious golf-safety test project ever attempted. We wanted to find out exactly what kind of damage can be expected from the most common types of impact -- and how to prevent it.

    from memory the tee off areas at Hagley point away from the path, but a superhuman shot from else where or a mis-hit , deflection or dislodged club head could still wreak havoc...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7947 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    Personally I think it would be kind of cool to have the golfers weave in and out of the areas that are used for other activities.

    Until someone loses an eye.

    Sure it might be a complicated puzzle to solve, but if it could be solved then it would be kind of cool. Bear in mind that no playing field is perfectly safe. Also bear in mind that Chamberlain is not a tournament class golf course so some compromises in the course are possible.

    I'm sure you can come up with a couple of hundred reasons to disagree with me but I still think the idea would be cool. At the very least it would be nice to have a golf course where golfers are not completely segregated from the plebs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz,

    It's probably something that would only cause a serious injury very rarely. But it's injuring someone else. I don't have much of a problem with dangerous sports where the people the participants are endangering are themselves. When it's endangering passers by in a really busy area, though...fences seem like a good idea. But yeah, I guess the utility of people being able to pass through is pretty big. Pathways through the course could be done, so long as it's really clear that you can't cross fairways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I’m sure you can come up with a couple of hundred reasons to disagree with me but I still think the idea would be cool.

    Yes, I shouldn't dismiss it out of hand. The idea of tree lined pathways (which they already have anyway) through the course, where passers by can walk, cycle, or just sit and watch or even have a picnic, sounds nice. But it does have the issue that anyone can sneak onto the course to play at any time, without paying. I can see many conflicts arising.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    At the very least it would be nice to have a golf course where golfers are not completely segregated from the plebs.

    Well, Chamberlain has always been a course where the golfers ARE the plebs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    At the very least it would be nice to have a golf course where golfers are not completely segregated from the plebs.

    I think for some golfers, that's half the point.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I think it's most golfers. Even if they are a pleb, sometimes it's nice to rub shoulders with the gentry, or at least to play their game for a little while, completely segregated from the world, wife and children by a high fence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz,

    Well, yes. Traditionally in most of Europe, land isn't seen as something you have exclusive possession over. When you go walking in the Lake District, or skiing in Switzerland, you are for the most part on somebody's farm, or on remaining common land.

    I think traditional Maori attitudes were similar, at least if you were part of the local iwi or their allies.

    A tragedy of settler society was that it held out a promise that everyone could be a "laird" and take exclusive possession over their domain. Of course, this couldn't work and you wound up with a tiny minority controlling much of the land.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes...I'd always wondered (and not wandered).

    The settler thing does seem to explain the attitude to land here.

    When I cycle round the countryside that surrounds Hamilton, unable to walk on it, I feel a bit sad really...people are missing so much. Especially as most of it has nothing on it, save grass and livestock.

    I guess it's become a cultural thing, because when I suggest to people that a network of several thousand kilometres of footpath all over the country would be nice, they immediately try to find reasons why not.

    And they aren't even the landowners!

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    If the Old Course - literally the most iconic course in the world & next to the most exclusive golf club in the world - can get by without fences and with a public right of way lying across, I reckon Chamberlain Park can.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

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