Home' The Wellingtonian : May 19th 2011 Contents 20 THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 19, 2011
To order your own
copy of photos in this
paper, or other CCN
titles, check out:
the firing line
Axe hovers over golf course
Still swinging: Mornington Golf Club patron
Duncan Mackenzie has been playing at the
historic Berhampore course for 57 years.
Photo: GARY HAMILTON-IRVINE
By GARY HAMILTON-IRVINE
A nine-hole card may be introduced to
the Berhampore golf course in an effort
to stave off the threat of closure by Wel-
lington City Council.
Mornington Golf Club president Ron
Fairburn said he was determined the
‘‘people’s golf course’’ would survive and
has won backing from two city council-
lors in his battle to keep it open.
The club was recently told by council
officials that the course could be closed
to save an estimated annual council sub-
sidy of $140,000.
Club member Vincent Burke said
members met this month to devise vari-
ous strategies to save the course.
Improving the website and initiating a
nine-hole card (which currently doesn’t
exist at the 18-hole course) were two
ideas put forward.
Mr Burke said he was bamboozled by
the restrictions the council had placed
on the club.
These include stopping the club from
putting up a bigger sign to advertise the
course, handling cash, and policing
‘‘No-one polices the [green fees] mach-
ine. We’re happy to police it,’’ he said.
John Morrison, the council’s sports
and events portfolio leader, said he
would not let the course be shut.
‘‘I’m not going to have this course
closed down,’’ he vowed. ‘‘The threat is
very real, but the interesting thing
coming out of this threat is its potential.’’
Southern ward councillor Paul Eagle
insisted the club was of great value to
the area. ‘‘This is the only city-owned
course we’ve got that is affordable. It is
Mornington Golf Club was formed in
1916 to give working men access to
Club patron Duncan Mackenzie has
been playing there for 57 years and
described it as ‘‘the people’s golf course’’.
He has a 1920 article from The Even-
ing Post, that explains the club was
formed to give workingmen cheap golf,
as in Great Britain and the United
The article notes the risk of closure for
the course, which at the time was
criticised for needing council subsidies.
Mr Mackenzie, the longest playing
member of the Mornington club, said the
Berhampore golf course offered what
others didn’t – an affordable public
Mr Fairburn said recent publicity
about the closure threat had cost the
club membership, but reiterated: ‘‘We
are not closing down.’’
Football forced to schedule on weekdays
By MARK TAYLOR
A surge in player numbers and a shortage
of pitches are forcing Capital Football to
move matches from Saturdays to weekdays.
There are 29 more teams in Wellington’s
senior grades and 39 more in junior grades
than last year.
This is proving a headache for Capital
Football’s competitions manager Jamie
‘‘It’s not too bad on the weeks where
we’ve got Te Whaea Park [Newtown’s arti-
ficial sports surface], but every second
week, when rugby takes it over, the fields
around Wellington are absolutely bursting
at the seams, especially in the junior
‘‘We have just started moving some kids’
games to Te Whaea on Friday nights, which
has proved quite successful.
‘‘Last week we moved four masters
matches to weekdays.’’
Wellington city councillor Andy Foster, a
masters player who was involved in last
week’s reshuffle, was philosophical about
‘‘People already train
Wednesdays and play Saturdays, so what’s
to say they can’t play Wednesday and train
Saturday or Friday?’’ he said.
Mr Foster said the two artificial pitches
at Wakefield Park were due to open early
July and the five more planned for the next
two years would revolutionise football in
‘‘It will not only change the amount we
play but also the quality. You won’t be
kicking balls out of puddles,’’ Mr Foster
However, the introduction of the new
turfs would mean playing costs would
increase, he added.
Mr Cross said Capital Football’s use of Te
Whaea had already resulted in a 2.5 per
cent increase in club fees.
But not all players would likely be
expected to use the artificial pitches, he
‘‘The move to weekday football on arti-
ficial turf would most likely be aimed at the
more social grades, with premier grades
remaining on grass at the weekends.’’
Links Archive May 12th 2011 May 26th 2011 Navigation Previous Page