Matarangi Open Space, its Community Centre and the Dunes Golf Course
Why ask the Council to assist in protecting Open Space?
In more than 50 years since Matarangi development started, Thames-Coromandel Councils have repeatedly failed to protect Matarangi amenities and open space, with the most glaring case being the failure to make the Spit Head a Reserve. Following the recent Environment Court decision disallowing residential subdivision of the Open Space golf course, Council has this opportunity to assist Matarangi into community ownership and perpetual protection of this asset.
To find out more about “Why”, read the background here.
Why can’t the current owners continue to operate the golf course as a business in private ownership?
The current owners are shareholders in a company that is undercapitalised and there is a mortgage over the property.
There is no compelling reason for the shareholders to put the protective covenants on the land that would protect as open space in perpetuity.
The company was formed with urgency to take advantage of a window of opportunity to acquire the property. The shareholders view their company as the temporary owner pending broader community ownership.
Until this occurs the open space and amenity value of the property remains under threat of eventual changed use, including for residential.
Who would own the land?
Our community would prefer broad community ownership of the Open Space golf course and the Community Centre, through an entity such as the Matarangi Community Trust. It is possible that part of the property would become Council owned for stormwater purposes.
What happens if the golf course operates at a loss?
Any owner will expect the golf course be operated to break even. The proposed targeted rate will provide support for maintenance of the land, only to the standard of open space reserve, and the Community Centre building.
Does 100% of the proposed targeted rate get returned to Matarangi or is there an admin fee?
This would have to be negotiated once a targeted rate is approved. The cost of collection to Council has to be minimal.
If it is not a Golf Course, will it still be open space?
Our top priority is to protect the open space property in perpetuity. This will be possible only if the property maintenance is put on a sound financial footing.
The best way to care for our coastal open space with such high scenic, ecological and coastal value is to maintain it as a public amenity golf course.
What is to stop the Trust selling off the land in the future?
There will be binding limits on both sale and use of the property:
Because an encumbrance is registered on the title to the property, whoever owns the property, they will be bound by the proposed covenant prohibiting use of the land for residential development or other purposes such as a campground or motor home park.
A further protection could be an amendment to the Trust Deed to restrict sale only to a trust with similar purposes or a public body such as Council.
If I don’t play golf, why would I bother supporting this proposal?
You would be supporting
precious open space land with its shoreline designated by Council to have high scenic value
a lively Community Centre, the Spit Head walkway and the lawn bowls rink in addition to the golf course
an amenity that adds significant value to all Matarangi properties
What happens if the Council votes to “do nothing”?
If there are enough submissions supporting Option 2, we will remain at the table. There are many options for Council support other than the ones listed.
What are the other benefits for the community (aside from golf)?
We now have a Community Centre located at the Dunes, a focal point for a growing community. It has become a meeting point for community groups and activities, including yoga and mahjong.
This is a win-win project for Council and the Matarangi community. It enhances Matarangi as a resort township, now increasingly attractive to permanent residents. It is a community project that will add to the health and social fabric of Matarangi.