The Albert-Eden local board's plans to take parts of a 33ha golf course for an expressway for birds, walking trails, multiple sports and an aquatic centre, has prompted a note of caution from a senior Auckland Council politician.

Christine Fletcher, who is parks, recreation and sport committee chairman and a councillor for the Albert-Eden Ward, said the board's desire to develop a master plan for changing Chamberlain Park risked being at odds with future needs and costs for the region.

Cr Fletcher said the board had "jumped the gun" on work which the council had underway.

This included a regional view of future plans for golf and other sports facilities in the next 20 -30 years, in light of trends and Auckland's development.


Council parks policy staff were investigating its long-term ownership of 14 of the region's 39 golf courses.

In addition, its sport facility network regional plan - to advise on buying land, capital spending and community access - was due at end of the year.

On Wednesday, the board earmarked $900,000 over the next three years for a master plan for the park, noting that it could take 10 years to implement and cost between $8 million and $13.25 million, excluding an aquatic centre for $15 million.

Councillor Fletcher said the board should be mindful that the council was working in a "fiscally-strained" environment.

Its masterplan decision would face intense scrutiny from the council's governing body and maybe changes.

Board chairman Dr Peter Haynes said the board was pre empting the council's work, because it needed to push local needs for more recreational space and sport fields to the forefront of future thinking.

Master plans were flexible to change but present thinking was to reduce Chamberlain from 18 holes to a superior nine holes, plus practice and learn-to-play facilities.

The council was looking at provision of pool space in the western corridor to address potential gaps and the board wanted an acquatic centre on the park site.


Dr Haynes said the board strongly supported the conversion over time of the 14 council-owned golf courses into, either in part or in whole, public golf courses as opposed to clubs.

He said the council was going to look at how its 14 courses fit with the trends in the privately owned golf courses.

"Some are merging and some are moving out and looking at whether some of council courses could be opened up the public.

"It maybe some of the council ones are given over to building housing, but that's not our decision and I hope people will pay close attention to that review when it happens."