• March 20, 2017
Takapuna Croquet Club with construction on its northern boundary. Photo: Madison Levy
The Takapuna Croquet Club is under the shadow of closure.
The club, which is more than 100 years old, is in Auburn Reserve and has a new apartment block being built on its northern boundary.
This threatens the continuity of the club, said past president Graham Vaughan. “The four-storey building will cast a shadow onto the croquet lawns, severely affecting the grass growth.”
“If the council then allows six or possibly eight-storey buildings, the sun-shading effect on the lawns will kill the croquet club, which will be a huge loss for the older community,” said Mr Vaughan.
Croquet has been recommended by the American Heart Association for older people and provides moderate physical exercise for people well into their 80s.
The Minister for Seniors, Maggie Barry, whose electorate covers the club, said it was important to keep older people engaged with their communities and leading active, healthy and positive lives.
She supported seniors engaging in healthy outdoor activities such as bowling and croquet for social and health reasons.
Current club president Anne Mortimer said, “There should be more emphasis on recreational space for seniors, as with longer life expectancy there will be many more of them.” She added that 80 was the new 70.
Statistics New Zealand’s latest census data revealed the number of New Zealanders over 65 has doubled in the last three decades and will more than double again in the next two decades.
North Shore ward councillor Chris Darby said the council’s open space needs assessment for Takapuna already indicated a deficit of reserve land for active and passive recreation.
Mr Darby identified Takapuna as a growth centre, recently confirmed in the unitary plan. “Takapuna will in the near future have even greater numbers demanding access to open space.”
He offered a clear message to club members concerned about the future of their Auckland City Council-owned site. “Retaining the scarce open space we already have is critical, though in some instances reconfigurations and land swaps to achieve better reserve outcomes is worth considering.”