Millbrook’s green light

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Overseas Investment Office approval for Millbrook Resort to expand is a likely shot in the arm for Queenstown golf tourism.

The office last week allowed Millbrook’s founding Japanese owners, the Ishii family, to buy a 66 hectare farm west of its existing resort, near Arrowtown.

It’s great news for Millbrook’s continued future development, property and development manager Ben O’Malley says.

“The sale approval gives us the flexibility to proceed with a number of options, including an extended golf offering or rural lifestyle options.”

O’Malley says the preferred option is to add nine holes to the resort’s present 27, allowing the resort to offer two 18-hole championship courses.

To make the nine-holer viable, Millbrook would integrate it with further residential development.

“Such development will first require a plan change … which could take 18 months to three years.”

Local former pro Greg Turner says adding another nine holes would effectively add another course to Queenstown.

“That’s not only good for Millbrook but also for Queenstown and New Zealand as a whole given the high daily spend of the average golf tourist.”