US billionaire Ric Kayne wants to make NZ top golf destination, plans more courses

Tara Iti Golf Club, designed by Tom Doak, could soon have two neighbouring golf courses.

US billionaire Ric Kayne isworking with iwi to build two new golf courses at anorthAuckland beach, right next toan existing luxury golf course he developed exclusivelyfor the rich and famous.

In 2015Kayneopened private members golf clubTara Ition the sand dunes of Te Arai beach, 75minute drive, or a15 minute helicopter flight, north of Auckland.

The course, designed by renowned course designerTom Doak,is considered one of the best in the world and last year hostedBarrack Obama and formerprime minister John Keyduring the formerUS presidents visit to New Zealand.

Now Kaye wants to build two more golf courses at the same beach to create a world famousgolfing destination.

*US billionaire Ric Kayne builds fence on Mangawhai Wildlife Reserve

*Should the Government allow private individuals to fence off public land?

NgtiManuhiri Settlement TrustchairmanMookHohneckconfirmed discussions withKaynewere under way forsome of the 764 hectares of landthe iwi receivedas part of its treaty settlementto be leased outfor multiple golf courses.

Itll be huge for tourism. Were like everyone else, we want the land to prosper. We want the land to be looked after,Hohnecksaid.

Hohnecksaid he had knownKaynefor more than a decade and had met him a number of times.

Kayne told theHeraldhe wanted to make New Zealand aworld golfing destination, with the member-only Tara Iti to the north and the two new 18-hole public courses to the south.

In 2016Kayne toldBloomberghe fell for thestretch of north Aucklandcoastline 20 years ago, imagining how the rolling sand dunes could be transformed into a spectacular golf course.

He and wife Suzanne have returned multiple times since, from their home in Los Angeles,enjoying the New Zealand aboard their super-yacht.

Kayne is now building a large home for himself on the sand dunes of Te Arai beach, next totheMangawhai Wildlife Reserve, home to one of New Zealands most endangered birds, the fairy tern.

Ric Kayne owns the luxury Tara Iti Golf Club in Northland where former New Zealand prime minister John Key took former US president Barack Obama for a round.

The site has become a topic of controversy with locals and environmentalists expressing concerns about aneight-stringfence built by Kaynes companyTara Iti Holdings, that extends – in places -up to 90m into the public reserve.

In total, 2.62 hectares of public land lies within the fence.

The fence was built with the approval of the Department of Conservation.The understanding is it protects the native planting work done by the golf club and weed control within the fence would be done by Tara Iti Holdings.

But based on OIA responses, DOC was unaware a house would eventually be built on the boundary.

New Zealand, withalmost 400 golf courses, isbecoming a popular destination for rich golfers looking to play rounds on dramatic courses likeCape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs, bothrankedin the top 50 on Golf Digests list.

Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs areboth owned byfellow USbillionaire Julian Robertson, wholate last year was givenGovernment and Overseas Investment Office consentto buy waterfront land on Waiheke Islandfor $18.9 million for a luxury lodge.

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