Businessman having a shot at harbour enterprise

Peter Graham at the Otago Harbour site of his proposed new tourism operation. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Peter Graham at the Otago Harbour site of his proposed new tourism operation. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A tourism operation including a hole-in-one golf challenge into an ''underutilised'' Otago Harbour could be the latest tourist attraction in Dunedin.

Dunedin businessman Peter Graham has applied for consent to develop a business by the Vauxhall Yacht Club with the golf challenge, kayak canoe and bicycle hire, and a coffee and food van.

Mr Graham has had to apply to both the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council, as the latter controls the coastline and harbour.

The applications have been publicly notified. Submissions ahead of a joint hearing close on October 30.

In Mr Graham's application, he says a scuba diver will be hired to collect balls every week.

Tests had shown the balls were unaffected by tidal movement, and would not affect water quality.

The hole-in-one challenge will be similar to one in Taupo that has run since 1993.

Players will tee off from the shoreline reserve south of the yacht club, aiming for an 8m by 12m pontoon, with a $10,000 prize for anyone who manages the feat.

Mr Graham, the managing director of Traffic Management and Control Ltd, said he was a keen sailor, a ''local boy'' who lived close by.

Having grown up in Dunedin and spent a lot of time on the harbour, he had noticed it was underutilised.

Most tourism in Dunedin was wildlife-based or indoors, like Cadbury World.

''There's nothing that reflects one of the biggest assets we have, which is the Otago Harbour,'' Mr Graham said.

The council had developed an ''awesome'' cycle track that would eventually connect Portobello Rd with Port Chalmers, but that track needed somewhere for riders to stop for coffee and other refreshments.

Bicycles would be purposely designed for the cycleway, rather than mountain bike trails, and there would eventually be drop-off points for them along the way.

He said his experience with the city and regional councils had been ''nothing but positive''.

Enterprise Dunedin had been supportive , and had offered its own ideas to help.

The application said a floating pontoon would be permanently moored in the harbour, about 95m off-shore, with golf holes on it.

A ''spotter'' would monitor people teeing off, and ensure there was a ''clear and open space'' between the shore and the pontoon.

''We are going to give priority to water users.''

The Taupo operation was under ''very stringent environmental monitoring'', and there was no indication balls had an adverse effect on water quality.

Mr Graham said retrieving balls was essential to the business model, which would not work if balls were not re-used.

Dunedin City Council senior planner Campbell Thomson said it seemed unlikely a hearing could be scheduled before the end of the year.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

Great Idea except the $10,000 prize for a hole in one (a bit tight) Isn't the one up north $1 Million. Got to love how Mr Graham is giving credit to the council for the cycle way (IMO greasing / crawling to council ). I've lost track of who paid for what cycleways Council or NZTA? But a good idea. Dunedin City Council senior planner Campbell Thomson said it seemed unlikely a hearing could be scheduled before the end of the year. They should plan for such meetings every month and cancel if not needed. Christmas is coming up with visitors and school children on holiday.

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