With the Rawhiti Domain “Have-a-Go” Day yesterday being a success, I think it’s high time to bring you all up to speed on what’s happening in Christchurch, and what’s going to be happening.
Rawhiti Domain: No Need To Die In A Ditch!
Last week, local councillor David East (who supports disc golf and helped us prevent a car park being built inside Jellie Park last year) declared that he would “Die in a ditch” before he would let a land-swap take place which would see Rawhiti Domain covered in houses.
It turns out that no one – except Regenerate Christchurch, thinks this is a good idea, including the golf clubs involved. This is a dead idea, and you can consider it buried as of now. There is no threat to Rawhiti Domain, or the ball golf course within it.
They Had a Go!
There was a lot going on in New Brighton yesterday; classic motorcycle races on the beach, a VW car show close by, and an open day at the Community Garden (adjacent our proposed No. 1 tee) and so we had a lot of traffic to the disc golf gazebo.
We had many young families with children through the 4-basket course we set up for the day, and the response was overwhelmingly positive, with no negative feedback at all. All the feedback was captured by local council worker, and friend of disc golf, Jacqui Miller, who had made signs for the event, and went out into the park to send the public to us.
In fact the feedback we got was so positive that it now seems a foregone conclusion that we’ll get permission to develop a course there fairly soon, but as yet no funding is available for that project. That should become available once permission is granted.
The Friends of Rawhiti Domain
Arrived and put the kibosh on baskets in any part of the children’s “Natural Play Area” (see below) – the wild links area where I have marked out 4 disc golf holes on my initial course design. However, it is not clear to me that they have any control of land use in the park, or that they fully understand the nature of disc golf, or how desirable it is to have adults frequenting an area to ensure the safety of kids using the area.
We will need to have further meetings with this group.
Rawhiti Earthquake accommodation is gone
Emergency accommodation for workers was placed in the domain 5 years ago, taking a large area away from the park. These houses have now been removed, and the area sown in grass. The fences will be removed shortly. This area will be reserved for Cricket on Saturdays, but it seems almost certain the area will also host one or more baskets.
Two-Nines, not One Eighteen
It seems likely that the course at Rawhiti will effectively end up being 2 nine-hole courses separated by a little distance, unless the Friends Of Rawhiti can be persuaded to allow us to wind through the designated Natural Play Area.
Not being allowed to use it would not be a deal-breaker, but I seriously want to use it as it offers challenges absent from the rest of the park, and I do not want to water down the difficulty of this course, as I hope to create a Championship-type course which will provide a new level of competition in the city.
Ascot and Burwood Red Zone: Our cup runneth over!
Local golfer and tournament host Dave Rose has been in talks with council about the future of the old Ascot golf course. I got all excited about this place back in November of 2012, and made the video you see below.
It seems that disc golf is now a real possibility at Ascot, and with the new pool complex coming soon (when?) plus the new schools for Avonside Girls and Shirley Boys are being constructed on the same site right now – this is a tremendous opportunity to pull a lot of school kids into the sport, with 4 proposed DGCs within 3 kilometres of the site.
The Burwood Red Zone (shown below) is also a distinct possibility for another new course, but this was a relatively new suburb and the trees there are not mature. It is an ideal place for another beginner-type pitch and putt course. I have walked the area and a very non-descript course can be built there.
I am not so keen on it personally, but of course, we will never turn down a place for a DGC, or the funding required to install one! This small area of the Red Zone is controlled (owned?) by a local trust, and I have no idea about their funding.
It’s All East All The Time: Queenspark 9-basketer!
Less than 4 klicks from Rawhiti, and still in the salty sea air, Queenspark Residents Association has 80% of the funding needed to go ahead with my proposed 9-basket course design (below).
Tomorrow sees a New Brighton Community Board meeting, where Jacqui Miller is going to urge the Board to give the planning committee a wriggle-on with permission for the course to go ahead. It seems almost certain this will be Christchurch’s next DGC to be installed, but the exact layout has yet to be approved.
The Red Zone and Regenerate Christchurch
Club President Paul “Mc”Deacon and myself attended an invite-only meeting with RC about 10 days ago. That meeting did nothing to impress either of us, and it now seems clear that the Standard Operating Procedure at RC is to do as little as possible, and take as long as possible to do it, to ensure that their massive salaries will continue for the foreseeable future. That means two or more decades, and jobs-for-life.
It is abundantly clear that NOTHING is going to happen in the Red Zone for the foreseeable future, and that despite claiming that “connecting people with the river and the land is our top priority”, that is nothing but a platitude, as cars and residents are banned from the Red Zone with nasty signs that say “AUTHORISED ACCESS ONLY”.
It is utterly despicable the very residents who wish to reconnect with the Red Zone, and enjoy it, are being threatened with prosecution if they are found in the Red Zone, by overzealous security guards.
Together, Paul and I have decided that we will take action in the Avonside Loop (just behind my home) and install a temporary tone-hole course in the area, without permission, and we will use the area illegally. We will be making a statement about land use and stupid access regulations imposed by CERA.
I wonder if we’ll actually get arrested for playing disc golf there. Let’s hope so! As that would serve to push the issue into the public awareness.
Hoping you all have a great Sunday disc golfing. Cheers all -- Chris/Dingo/Mobius