Weak support for merger plan

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 03/12/2012

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A proposed merger of the three clubs in southern Rangitikei now looks dead in the water.

Hawkestone Golf Club members voted by a resounding margin in favour of staying put at their Kakariki site.

One estimate suggested about six members yesterday voted to proceed with merger plans and about 30 opposed.

That came a week after Rangitikei Golf Club members turned it down by a large majority and elected virtually a new committee.

All of which left the Marton Golf Club, the obvious new location for an amalgamated club at Santoft, as the only one in favour of talks going ahead.

Hawkestone's Russell Kane was on the amalgamation committee and he was at the club meeting on Saturday.

He said the door would remain open for both clubs. Hawkestone has funds in the bank, but both clubs have limited memberships.

Hawkestone sold off bits of land to stay viable and after selling the last chunk they re-designed the course. Part of their 12 holes is on Rangitikei Aggregates' land and in time the company might want to use that land.

Amalgamation committee independent chairman Martin Townend said the committee would have one more wrap-up meeting.

He said the proposal sits with the club and now it is up to them.

"Marton have shown their willingness to go into some sort of merger," Townend said.

"I still think we had a very workable solution and it had merit for the future of golf in southern Rangitikei."

He did pose the question to Rangitikei and Hawkestone:

"Do they really know what their future is?"

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- The Manawatu Standard

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