Caledonian Bowling Club chairwoman Jan Tucker speaks about the club's future at the Caledonian Bowling Club in South Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The Dunedin City Council has a fight on its hands if it is to
proceed with the sale of the Caledonian Bowling Club, the
club's board chairwoman says.
The club intended to take the fight with the council as far
as it could and would not go quietly, club board chairwoman
Jan Tucker said yesterday.
The council called for submissions on a proposal to sell 223
Andersons Bay Rd - the site of the bowling club - in a public
notice published in the Otago Daily Times on February 15.
However, club members became aware of the council's intent to
sell the site after council economic development and property
group manager Robert Clark included the Caledonian Bowling
Club in a list of parcels of surplus land the council planned
to sell to pay down $10 million in debt.
His comments were made during annual plan discussions on
The club is sited on council land which was sold by the
Caledonian Society of Otago to the council in 1943.
Mrs Tucker said her position and that of the club's board was
clear - ''We don't want to see this place go ... What I want
from the whole thing is to try and reach an agreement that
It was a site of historical importance, as Dunedin's oldest
bowling club, but also of community importance, she said.
The club had sought legal advice and believed it had a case
to renew a 20-year lease with the council under the Physical
Welfare and Recreation Act 1937 and the Sport and Recreation
New Zealand Act 2002.
Specifically, the club was still operational and the sale
could not proceed if the club did not want to leave the site,
She also believed any profits from the sale could not be used
to pay down debt and even if it could, ''why should we be a
party to paying off a debt we didn't incur?''
Council infrastructure and networks general manager Tony
Avery said if the club ''make the claim, we will investigate
it'', although the council had a ''long-standing approach''
of using profits from land sales to pay down debt.
The sale of the site was not a foregone conclusion and the
purpose of the consultation process was to provide the
council with the information necessary to proceed, he said.
When asked how much the council stood to gain from the sale,
he said he could not discuss it as it was ''commercially
''If the council decides to proceed with the sale, the value
of the property will be determined by the market,'' he said.
When asked if the sale was proposed because of the interest
of a potential buyer, he said ''No'', although council had
received ''some expressions of interest''.
If the sale was to proceed, ''there will be a public tender
of some description'', he said.
The council's information pack regarding the sale of the site
pointed to the club's declining membership as one of the
reasons for its sale, a claim Mrs Tucker denied.
''It's stable,'' Mrs Tucker said.
''In 2008-09 we had 28 members. Now we have 32. Is that
It was a small club, but that was part of its appeal to
members. The club had recently repainted the clubrooms and
was always a good tenant, she said.
Before councillors made a decision, she urged them to visit
''How can you sell something when you don't know what's
here?'' she said.