Golf course owner wants more taxpayer funding

March 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Government needs to significantly up its investment if the New Zealand Open tournament is to boom to the levels Sir Michael Hill dreams of.

Hill, who owns the tournament’s home course, The Hills, said the event was on the verge of being something “truly extraordinary” and he expected its popularity, growth and contribution to New Zealand’s tourism market to snowball.

But for the event to take off it needs television coverage and Hill thinks the taxpayer should foot the bill.

One of the tournament’s main drawcards is Hill’s course and the breath-taking Arrowtown surrounds.

Without television coverage, their impact is obviously reduced.

The Government already puts in $900,000 to the event, which offers a $900,000 purse but costs closer to $1.8m to run.

Television coverage would cost about $600,000 and the highlights package and live streaming the event organisers are already springing for costs $200,000.

Hill said the $400,000 shortfall should be covered by the Government, but he also said organisers were grateful for the contribution they already received.

I can think of many better things for my taxes to be spent on than televising a golf tournament. The taxpayer is already funding half the costs of the tournament, and now they want us to pay for the broadcasting costs also!

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41 Responses to “Golf course owner wants more taxpayer funding”

  1. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Everyone else has their hand out,it’s almost a national past time.

    We’ve included it in our constitution on race grounds,so why should rich whites be left out?

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  2. mandk (998 comments) says:

    There is no market failure here.

    Moreover, Sir Michael is wealthy and so are most of the players. By and large, the followers and viewers are comfortably off, too.

    So where is the justification?

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  3. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Michael Hill needs to realise that, because the NZ Golf Open is (currently) being staged at his own private course named The Hills, it doesn’t mean the taxpayer should contribute (further) to the cost of TV coverage.

    If it can’t be funded under the present model, then either NZ Golf or Michael himself should knock on commercial doors and find commercial sponsorships.

    IIRC, one of the reasons it was handed to The Hills in the first place, was that the costs of staging it were fixed.

    Hill is simply flying a kite. But whilst he’s doing it, he should keep his hands away from the taxpayer’s long suffering pocket.

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  4. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Why is the Government putting any money into it? If it cannot survive on private funding then it is not a viable proposition and should be allowed to die.

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  5. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    And people wonder why these people donate to Labour.

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  6. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    No mo’ money for that fucken boat race either.

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  7. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Dear Michael…..

    You need to find a taniwha on your golf course. Tell the government that the taniwha is “sick” and that it can only be made well again by a million dollar koha stolen from taxpayers.

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  8. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Yeah

    and

    LEN BROWN can OPEN IT

    with

    TIGER WOODS

    “The Len Brown Tiger Woods” Woody open

    Who do you ROOT FOR

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  9. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    It’s certainly hard to feel any sympathy at all for a very wealthy businessman who owns his own golf course; and this from a golfer too :D

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  10. tvb (4,431 comments) says:

    This is an outrageous try on because some other source of funding is not available. If Hill cannot make it work then the 900k should be withdrawn. And yes no money for that damn yacht race.

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  11. Ben2001 (26 comments) says:

    I was stunned to learn that the taxpayer already contributes $900000.

    Hills should be told to take his snout and place it somewhere else.

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  12. slernz (33 comments) says:

    No, this is a small time event that would have little or no interest internationally. It should not receive a cent of taxpayers’ money.

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  13. freedom101 (505 comments) says:

    Everyone should read Bryce Wilkinson’s column in a recent NBR on tax being the price of a civilised society. It seems that government spending to cover the basics of civilisation costs about 10% of GDP, the next 30% is basically people with their hands out, and voting for more.

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  14. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I consider watching golf on TV as similar to watching paint dry. But I guess if there are enough NZers that do enjoy it, then they are just as entitled to see coverage as supporters of other sports are.

    Just how you’d work out the percent of supporters to taxpayers god only knows.

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  15. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    I would support it only if David Bain plays golf. He is a master of a hole in three or four!

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  16. wiseowl (899 comments) says:

    But its OK to fund movies!

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  17. lolitasbrother (702 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t print articles like this Farrar if I were you,
    It tells us sickening things about Michael Hill, and Alan Gibbs and Gary Hart, and you play right into Cunliffe’s hands.
    We are not going to pay for fucking Michael Hill golf or fucking boat American cup riders or bloody Peter Jackson film crew, or any of that. that . If you want to lose the election just keep on talking money.
    Already ACT is dead. Jesus Christ what is wrong with you people

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  18. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    We love you Michael please take our Money
    How much do you want

    let’s all

    Bend Over

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  19. hane (69 comments) says:

    Golf isn’t even a real sport. It’s a nature walk interspersed with tiddlywinks.

    There are too many golf courses in NZ and in the cities most of them are simply a waste of valuable land. Of course if golf clubs had to pay proper rates most of them would shut up shop next week, but since the 1% who write the laws are golfers taxpayers must continue to subsidise their wasteful hobby indefinitely.

    Crap fashion too.

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  20. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Hill is a 90s marketing dinosaur which shows up in his approach to television rights.

    The event is tiny. The real fans will access on line, which the event already funds. The marginal benefit of a couple of channel surfers pales in comparison the the marginal cost.

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  21. Tauhei Notts (1,724 comments) says:

    Actually I find golf ( at which I am no good) the best sport in the land.
    It is the only sport where good players and useless players (like me) can compete on an even basis.
    I regard it, not as a nature walk, but as a four hour exercise, the sole reason for which is to determine;
    “Who pays for the piss”.
    The following sports, all of which I am no good at, are a complete and utter waste of time whilst playing with competent players; Cricket, rugby union, rugby league, soccer, tennis, table tennis, badminton, croquet, snooker, billiards, bowls, cycling, track & field, and many others.
    The handicapping system at golf is wonderful. Also the sport has a remarkable number of quaint terms; terms like a Rock Hudson putt, a Brazilian putt, a vaseline shot, a sister shot, a hook shot, a slice, a fade, a whisky shot, a twot shot; all of which make it a wonderful sport.

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  22. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    The handicap system of golf was designed by the Labour Party central committee. It’s all about equality of outcome.

    For that reason alone it is not a sport.

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  23. Chinarugby (88 comments) says:

    Seems the very very wealthy amoung us have a very tentative grasp on the reality of things – if this tournamament needs money then let Hill and others knock on doors and see if the market responds.

    Leave us out of it.

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  24. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    I can think of many better things for my taxes to be spent on than televising a golf tournament.

    But you support 50 times that going to Team New Zealand?

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  25. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    he taxpayer is already funding half the costs of the tournament,…

    Not to mention the PM’s turning up to it for a round (and a nice photo op).

    If only there were some organisation devoted to exposing and criticising this sort of waste of taxpayer’s money by individual MPs … .

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  26. Liberty (267 comments) says:

    Mr Hiil has worked bloody hard and is now a rich prick . He even built his own Golf Course.
    Good on him he did well. In fact he should be applauded. As some golf clubs are subsidized
    by councils by having a cosy rate deal. All in the public good.
    Now Mr Hill if you want to hold a Golf competition on your private land that is commendable.
    But I don’t want to pay for it. I don’t want to watch it. Life is too important to spend watching the grass grow. Nor should the poverty stricken on struggle street have to pay.
    This your little hobby. Pay for it yourself. or be a real capitalist and go to the market for the capital.
    Or you could be a” looter and moocher “

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  27. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Well….Look at the irony! David Cunliffe’s rich pricks’ 39% tax can pay for this! Wouldn’t that be nice :-)

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  28. thePeoplesFlag (247 comments) says:

    Hey while we are on the topic of the NZ Golf Open DPF – are you and your sidekick Jordan Williams going to get your little astro-turfing “taxpayers union” to investigate the cost to the taxpayer of John Key, DPS bodyguards and staffers flying down to Queenstown for a round of golf at the New Zealand golf open?

    Or will you guys just stick to soft targets like bullying deaf female MPs?

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  29. wreck1080 (3,923 comments) says:

    i think the same about the americas cup. Dump the thing.

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  30. Tauhei Notts (1,724 comments) says:

    The Peoples Flag;
    It was good that Key got to play at Queenstown.
    How many there had ever played golf with a Kenyan in Hawaii?
    Key’s the man.

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  31. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    Micheal Hill, Beneficiary.

    Not quite the same is it?

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  32. freemark (581 comments) says:

    Small fry $$$ compared to what NZ pays on other useless shit. If it attracts another 100 wealthy offshore golfers or tourists here the money will be recouped easily. Why should someone who probably contributes $100,000’s at least to the state coffers via jobs, personal spending etc not be eligible to get some back, when we spend $1,000,000’s per day on the perpetually unproductive bludgers, and 10,000’s per day on oxygen thieving Opposition Politicians?

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  33. Johnboy (16,653 comments) says:

    When Mr. MMMMcCarten gets to call the shot’s all the golf courses will be closed and turned into free range rabbit farms for the proletariat to feed their starving sprogs from! :)

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  34. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    @AG:
    “If only there were some organisation devoted to exposing and criticising this sort of waste of taxpayer’s money by individual MPs … ”

    Which Ministerial portfolios does Key have again? I could have sworn there’s one starting with ‘T’….

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  35. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Use his gold course for a Russian Tank Biathlon

    more fun than golf Comrade

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  36. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

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  37. Fairfacts Media (372 comments) says:

    Surely Sir Michael can strike a deal with a tv network.
    He sponsors the coverage with ads for his own business.
    He must have some rich mates that have businesses that can take advertising too.
    And since the event will be promoting Queenstown, maybe some businesses there can take out advertising too.
    Problem solved.

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  38. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Meh, sounds cheaper than an Ughby World Cup or a racing yacht…?

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  39. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    I’d support an end to ALL state funding of sports and arts. You want to play, you can pay.

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  40. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Maybe Waitangi recipients would like a slice of the action, they are the only bastards getting something for nothing!

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  41. Nigel Kearney (1,019 comments) says:

    If he is begging people to televise it at their own cost instead of selling the TV rights to the highest bidder, chances are he doesn’t actually have something “truly extraordinary”

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