The Overseas Investment Office has moved plans for two new coastal golf courses near Mangawhai, where former US President Barack Obama has played the links at Tara Iti

Expanding on golfing success

by Andy Bryenton

Kiwi resident, American billionaire and world-renowned proponent of golf, Ric Kayne has already established his credentials as a patron of the sport, establishing the top-ranked Tara Iti golf course near Mangawhai. 

Now the force behind this exclusive ‘members-only’ club has secured the next stage in creating even more golfing opportunities on the east coast, this time for the public.

Last week, the Overseas Investment Office approved Kayne’s proposal to obtain, by a mixture of freehold and leasehold, 169 hectares of coast-adjacent property near Tara Iti. Itself recently named the world’s silver medal golf course outside the USA, being narrowly beaten by the old-established Royal County Down course in Northern Ireland. 

It’s estimated that more than $100 million went into the creation of Tara Iti, and another $50 million has been indicated as the cost for the proposed two new 18 hole courses yet to come. The OIO reports that Kayne has plans for not just golf courses open to visitors, but also clubhouses, accommodation and hospitality. The land earmarked for transformation is currently utilised as a forestry plantation, producing pine logs.

While the famous existing golf course is named for the endangered fairy tern, consultants hired to assess the impact of the new construction report that there will be no impact on the breeding sites of the tiny shorebirds, which traditionally nest further north. The project to establish the initial golf course also included a substantial native revegetation programme alongside pest and weed control. A similar initiative is expected to be part of this new project as well.