New Zealand golf bodies look to sustainability
Organisations representing New Zealand’s golf industry have announced their unified support for a new national initiative that will drive the sport’s sustainability performance over the coming months and years.
Announced on Wednesday, the commitment was made at the launch of OnCourse® New Zealand – a national version of the international program developed and assured by GEO Foundation.
New Zealand Golf Chief Executive, Dean Murphy launched the initiative from Remuera Golf Club in Auckland - the home of New Zealand Golf, the Golf Managers Association of New Zealand (GMANZ) and the New Zealand Golf Industry Council (NZGIC).
He advised “all of the associations felt it was time to take our existing efforts in environmental stewardship and social value to the next level. We see this as vital to the long-term health of our clubs and the sport, and we also want to make a meaningful contribution to the issues that we know are of significant concern for the people of New Zealand.
“We are extremely grateful to GEO Foundation, whose strategic expertise and custom solutions for golf enabled us to move quickly, effectively and credibly. OnCourse New Zealand will become the engine room of club support and engagement, performance measurement and sharing many inspiring grassroots stories, that’s why New Zealand Golf is committing investment to these important issues and support for our clubs.”
Spencer Cooper, board member of the NZ Golf Course Superintendents Association is sure the organisation’s members will embrace the opportunity to join the OnCourse program, adding “this is a very exciting moment for golf in New Zealand and a tremendous reinforcement of the stewardship and care that greenkeepers try to deliver day in and day out across the country.
“Joining OnCourse will enable our members to review and track their practices, key performance data and highlights, which will also help them plan and deliver new and exciting projects.”
The NZ Golf Industry Council recognises the complexity of the issues around sustainability, with Chairman, Des Topp stating “these important issues need the whole of golf to unite in the commitment, the action and the promotion of the results. We look forward to helping coordinate and represent what this great sport does to foster nature, conserve resources and build healthy, sustainable communities across New Zealand.”
Having visited New Zealand in June, Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of GEO Foundation immediately recognised the strong fit between great golf, the environment and sustainability.
Commenting on this week’s commitment, Smith advised “in so many ways, golf in New Zealand highlights the natural compatibility between golf, the environment and strong communities, and this is a tremendous foundation to push further as an example of leadership and inspiration – domestically and also internationally. We are proud to support this strengthened commitment and action”.
Aware of the valuable work being undertaken by other partners in the sustainability space in New Zealand, Murphy sees OnCourse as an extension of that.
He concluded “this will build upon what’s been achieved to date with initiatives such as Project Litefoot, which will continue to provide free advisory to clubs in relation to energy, materials and water conservation. Other advisers in landscape, ecology and sustainable agronomy are also lined up to help us all pull in the same direction.”
The golf industry is keen to provide healthy and sustainable facilities for the enjoyment of their communities and to be a part of the New Zealand Government target of becoming a Carbon Zero economy by 2050.
6th September 2019 - New Zealand Government commits to cleaning up its polluted waterways
9th August 2018 - New Zealand Golf responds to potential Auckland Council course sales
9th March 2018 - Awards recognise achievement in New Zealand Golf
13th November 2017 - Sport sustainability issues to be discussed at Melbourne SEA Summit
26th September 2017 - NZ Golf forms industry council to help expand the game
8th November 2016 - New Zealand experiencing record golf tourism growth
7th November 2016 - Remuera Golf Club the first in New Zealand to be GEO accredited
19th April 2014 - Case studies help New Zealand Golf create a greater community
8th March 2012 - New Zealand Golf endorses Project Litefoot’s LiteClub
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