Dunedin’s Carisbrook


@10PARK All this garbage in ODT about ‘consigning Carisbrook to history’. There is NO demolition order. The ground is still *backup* for RWC 2011.


### ODT Online Sat, 19 Jun 2010
Editorial: The beloved ‘Brook
When a South Dunedin swamp first became a sports ground, no-one could have predicted Carisbrook’s eminent future. No-one could have imagined Carisbrook as one of the world’s rugby cathedrals, as the focal point for rugby and cricket in Otago, as a field of drama and dreams. The time has come for this special old lady of New Zealand sport to retire as a premier home of All Black rugby. The Silver Fern, the All Black haka, the national anthem and the test matches themselves will, by about 9.15pm today, be consigned to history.

What a life she’s lived – from gestation with the Carisbrook cricket club in 1874, to the first major event when Otago met Tasmania in cricket in 1884, to the first rugby international two years later when New South Wales lost to Otago, to 1906 when the Otago Rugby Football Union bought the lease, to the first test (against the Anglo-Welsh) in 1908.

Read more


### ODT Online Sat, 19 Jun 2010
Rugby: Ground’s place in rugby history secure
By Brent Edwards
Few people have seen more test rugby at Carisbrook than Brent Edwards. The columnist and former long-serving Otago Daily Times sports editor looks back on some famous games at a famous ground. There are much bigger and better rugby stadiums around the world but few which evoke the passion and nostalgia of Carisbrook. It’s a no-frills name and a no-nonsense ground. It’s smaller than most, the facilities are basic yet it fairly drips with rugby heritage.

I’ve been fortunate to watch all the [Carisbrook] tests in the past 51 years. My father, uncle, cousins and I queued from 9am. Many on the terrace fainted, many vertically challenged patrons saw little of the play, but the experience was unforgettable.

Read more


### ODT Online Sat, 19 Jun 2010
Rugby: All Black history at Carisbrook
By Hayden Meikle
Thirty-six All Black tests have been played at Carisbrook since the first in 1908. Sports editor Hayden Meikle looks back on a century of All Black highs and lows at Dunedin’s famous ground.
Read more + Images

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Economics, Events, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

20 responses to “Dunedin’s Carisbrook

  1. Richard

    Well Elizabeth, here is a northern view from Wynne Gray in the New Zealand Herald that, perhaps, redresses the balance!

    “Describing Carisbrook as a great rugby ground is like saying the All Whites created the greatest moment in recent New Zealand sports history.

    But the quaint old arena in South Dunedin has been the centrepiece for southern sport for the past 127 years and for many southern sporting devotees, carries all their treasured memories.”

    To read more, just point your browser to:

    After 50 years of going to ‘The Brook, I will be watching things unfold from home.

    Would have been there though if the kickoff had been at 2.30pm in the bright sunshine of a glorious day rather than in the dark at 7.35pm. And I understand Sky would have been pleased/happy to accommodate such a request!

    Go The Blacks!

    • Elizabeth

      “Great” surely depends on what it is measured by.
      As far as I’m concerned, Richard, Carisbrook is a great place for crowd, sport and Dunedin expression!! I don’t have to like cricket or rugby to throw that hat in the ring – we’re talking here, both of us I suspect, of great social, sporting and media traditions – undeniable cultural heritage!
      That’s chiefly why the ’Brook is registered as a Category 1 historic place. Carisbrook has outstanding heritage significance. Great!

  2. wirehunt

    NZRFU #FAIL again, a night game when everyone going to it preferred a day game. In fact yet another fail by them, yet we are building a stadium for them.

    I believe as far as rugby goes that the new (has it got a name yet?) won’t hold as many people as the old faithful has in the past.

    On that note, what is the word on real names for it? We all know it won’t be known by the one over the door. The lemon has a ring to it….

    • Elizabeth

      wirehunt – it’s officially / legally named “Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza” (you can even check it out at wikipedia, the font of all knowledge…) – occasionally referred to as “Forsyth Barr (Otago) Stadium”, “(The) Otago Stadium”…

      I try not to use the branding here at What if?…it’s tagged “Otago Stadium”.

      A correspondent reminds me that it’s affectionately known as F%#*UP
      …which solves the branding problem.

      • Elizabeth

        Carisbrook tweets:

        @classyadele Ah I can hear the excitement wafting through Dunedin’s nite air … #carisbrook #allblacks #wales

        @classyadele how close am i to carisbrook? yup,this close… http://twitpic.com/1y1kuo

        @OtagoLad Rembering the cricket at Carisboiok with the burning of the couches to stay warm v Pakistan. Oh the great memories……….

        @classyadele OHhhhhHHH HHhhhhh I can hear the HAKA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #carisbrook #allblacks #wales

        @bobsyauncle I bought my first jug of beer at The Gardies & saw my first #allblacks game at Carisbrook. Fair to say, I’m feeling emotional Dunedin

        @OtagoLad Great to see a yappy halfback lead the haka bloody well done that man @Powza13 you bashed it out of the park. Great way to see off the Brook

        @ottid88 Glad they did the new haka, after christening it at #carisbrook #AllBlacks

        @GreerMcDonald The Welsh guys are pretty hot, I’ll give them that. Drop-kicking whimps though. #allblacks #rugby

        @jjdiscovery Wales have 1st points on board @ The brook. Drop goal

        @mellopuffy not a bad time to order a pizza…delivery time ~30 min #everyoneelsewatchingtherugby

        @OtagoLad Go @soup15 great try!!!!

        @GreerMcDonald Carter is having a mare! ABs 15 – 6 #allblacks #rugby

        @mellopuffy kitten placard at the rugby…#rugbywtf?

        @TheWineVault wow, what a try! holy smoly

        @GreerMcDonald Halftime – ABs 15 – 9 Wales #allblacks #rugby

        @OtagoLad Ted looks like he’s giving the AB’s the Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment.

        @RadioOne91FM RT @samuelfscott Poi E blasting out of Carisbrook!

        @five15design Pretty boy Carter is in danger of shedding his Undie Model status and being known for his sublime rugby skills again. #AintNoMertherns

        @GreerMcDonald ABs 28 – 9 Wales #allblacks #rugby

        @GreerMcDonald AWESOME Dan Carter try! #allblacks #rugby

        @five15design Sorry to my Welsh buddies as the All Blacks step up a gear and a running away with this. 42-9

        @GreerMcDonald Full time at Carisbrook: All Blacks win 42 – 9 against Wales #allblacks #rugby

        @TheWineVault RT @ProudKiwi Great game by the #allblacks esp by DC – now we need the #allwhites to do the same!

        @mellopuffy good deliver time, but pizza was a bit anaemic and soft/steamed #HELLpizza666

        @five15design Farewell Carisbrook, All Blacks send off the old shit hole with a big win 42-9. Here comes the pipers. Kiwi As!

        @bobsyauncle Farewell Carisbrook. I will always remember the first couch being burned on the terraces

        @OtagoLad Well that’s Carisbrook stuffed then now to get the Shield at the new stadium ASAP #adream

        @WeezleBlondini Byebye Carisbrook :( and good riddance Gardies!

        @OtagoLad Anyone know what they are doing with Carisbrook now???

        @WeezleBlondini @OtagoLad Apparently they’re going to fill it with dirt and have an X games type event or something. Whatever it is, it sounds cool.

        @10PARK @OtagoLad Meeting for invited parties to brainstorm Carisbrook’s future on 28 June…

        @OtagoLad Oh shit my battery is dying oh n………

        @OtagoLad @10PARK no rumours at the moment?

        @paulusthebrit Farewell to Carisbrook, The final fireworks http://flic.kr/p/8byHcw

        @10PARK @WeezleBlondini @OtagoLad Carisbrook to get makeover for Supercross event (November) http://bit.ly/cv0tpc

        @10PARK @OtagoLad Ideas range from bowl it for industrial park, social housing +park, retirement village, retain for local field sports use, etc…

        @paulusthebrit Photos of the fireworks over #Carisbrook Dunedin NZ tonight. RIP Carisbrook http://ow.ly/20B4l

        @paulusthebrit Farewell to Carisbrook http://flic.kr/p/8byHsG

  3. kate@strathburn.co.nz

    Sorry, a great field can be defined by the number of wins compared to losses and just the design. As far as old grounds and records Carisbrook has to be right up there. Yes new grounds may have better showers and look after the media better but how do they compare to results? Yes Athletic Park is the easy comparison but that wasn’t just about rugby – I just hope the new Stadium will give NZ the same record against all teams – but that will be a couple of years away at least before a new record even starts. Thanks for the memories Carisbrook, see you in 2011 for the Otago games at least.

  4. Wirehunt – boring. Welcome to the debate circa 2008.

    Sorry you’re not getting over the “we’re building a stadium for the ORFU – NZRFU” failed line.

    On a side note (since names are also mentioned), Westpac Arena in Addington has been re-named CSB Events centre (or something to that extent), but yet another rebrand is on the cards when that bank merges. It’s still Lancaster Park in my heart despite it being called Jade Stadium.

  5. To Clarify “Farewell Carisbrook, All Blacks send off the old shit hole with a big win 42-9. Here comes the pipers. Kiwi As!”

    It is! It’s an icon, in the same vein of Marlon Brando. Classy actor on the outside, shagged and no bloody use to anyone on the inside. Melrose Rugby ground in the Borders Scotland – home of the 7s game, has better changing facilities, despite capacity of what 3-400. I love the Rose stand, it’s a classic, but the place exists in our hearts, not in our lives.

    • Elizabeth

      Sent you the pics today, little wrong with its condition except the changing rooms. Nothing some swanky architect or plumber couldn’t fix, pal.

  6. David M

    Given its price tag, my suggestion for a nickname is the Palace of Pain.

    • Elizabeth

      ### D Scene 16-06-10
      Details: The finer points
      Bye to the ’Brook (page 10) #bookmark
      After more than 90 years, the curtain falls on test rugby history at Carisbrook this weekend. Mike Houlahan reports. Story p11-12.

      Storming the fortress (page 11)
      It was the 99th rugby game New Zealand had played and just their 12th test match when Billy Stead lead his side out onto Carisbrook on the afternoon of June 6, 1908. Stead – the star first-five of his day and the vice captain of the 1905 Originals – would have liked what he saw. A fine, sunny day, a hard ground, and 23,000 Dunedin’ites poised to roar on his boys as the national side took on the British and Irish Lions … Things will be somewhat different when Richie Mccaw follows in Stead’s footsteps this Saturday.
      {continues} #bookmark

      The changing game (page 12)
      Unlike today, when the players are rolled out regularly in front of the media and star in advertisements, Smith and his contemporaries seldom spoke to journalists, let alone fronted for deodorant or underwear companies. They also operated under a stern disciplinary code which would never have tolerated the appearance and antics of some of today’s All Blacks.
      {continues} #bookmark

      Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Jun 2010
        Rugby: Serious business off to sketchy start
        By Mark Price

        To get to Dunedin, the 30-strong Anglo-Welsh touring team had spent six weeks at sea, travelled 500 miles from Wellington, suffered two losses on the way and suffered injuries to 10 players.

        The last test at Carisbrook on Saturday will be played against the background politics, issues and attitudes to rugby we are all so thoroughly familiar with – the looming World Cup, the rise of soccer, the faux pas of former players etc etc. But, what were the issues and how strong was the feeling about our national game in Dunedin 102 years ago when the Anglo-Welsh touring side arrived to play in Carisbrook’s first test? Mark Price has been sifting through the files of the Otago Daily Times for a taste of rugby fever 1908-style.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Jun 2010
        First Dunedin rugby test (1908) in pictures
        By Illustrations
        Dunedin’s first rugby test, between New Zealand and Britain on Saturday, June 6, 1908 was illustrated in the Otago Daily Times the following Monday with pen sketches by a staff artist. Higher-resolution prints available from otagoimages.co.nz.
        Read more + Images


        ### ODT Sat, 19 June 2010 (page 52)
        Funny old game
        A 1908 Carisbrook joke:
        “There’ll be a lot of pickpockets at Carisbrook today I expect, sir,” said an office boy to his employer.
        “Yes,” replied the employer, “I expect there will.”
        “Well sir, they won’t get much out of me,” remarked the boy as he ruefully looked at the small amount of his wage.

  7. Anonymous

    “1908 Carisbrook joke:
    “There’ll be a lot of pickpockets at Carisbrook today I expect, sir,” said an office boy to his employer.”

    So, really 102 years of the public having to be wary of thieves at Dunedin stadiums?

    • Elizabeth

      New Zealand Historic Places Trust
      Register Search >> Carisbrook
      Corner 50 Burns Street and Murrayfield Street, Neville Street, Caversham, DUNEDIN

      Register Number: 7782
      Registration Type: Historic Place – Category I
      Date Registered: 26-Sep-2008
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Once again the ODT goes into freefall with the mention of pending Carisbrook demolition… as discussed at What if? previously, several times, our local field sports need an affordable accessible stadium. Here it is: CARISBROOK.

        ### ODT Online Mon, 21 Jun 2010
        Final salute to the grand old venue
        When the bulldozers eventually rumble across the ground, destroying everything in their path, the glue which held the ‘Brook together will remain…
        By Adrian Seconi
        The All Blacks farewelled Carisbrook in style with a comprehensive 42-9 win against Wales on Saturday night. A capacity crowd of 28,000 did not want to leave and lingered long after the final whistle. They watched respectfully as dual international Jeff Wilson cut into the turf with a spade and removed a block to be carried by helicopter to the roofed stadium being built in Awatea St.
        Read more

        Slideshow: Carisbrook warms up for the final test
        Slideshow: Carisbrook – a celebrated venue

  8. wirehunt

    My son (10) was watching the game with his mother, when he heard that this was the last game at the Brook he was gutted. When I said they were talking about pulling it down he was not happy. Can’t they use it for other thing’s???

    If a 10 year old can work that out why is the council struggling?

  9. lanternfish

    It wasn’t the last match at Carisbrook, it was the last test. Still Super14(15) and if University Stadium isn’t finished on time then the RWC matches will be played there.

    As for pulling it down, it could be turned into a $7 million carpark.

  10. Russell Garbutt

    Lanternfish, you should get hold of Richard Walls who is looking for ideas of what to do with Carisbrook. He (collectively) bought it for a price that was based on something that isn’t able to be shared with the people who actually stumped up with the cash, and now presumably wants to come up with something that is workable.


    But you need something to park the cars for.

    Apparently the valuation was based on the corporate boxes being used as offices. How about the new ORC building? Stephen Cairns I’m sure could broker a good deal once he is no longer Chair of the ORC.

  11. lanternfish

    Hi Russell. I was being sarcastic given the DCC’s recent stuff up with parking in and around Dunedin.

    Having been at the last ‘test’ match, looking around I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Carisbrook wasn’t redeveloped (turn field 90deg, expand towards South Rd, Andy Bay Rd and Hillside, rebuild stands to accommodate 40,000ish … need I go on) to accommodate a truly multipurpose stadium. Instead we have had the University Stadium foisted on us and still only reaching B grade status.

  12. Russell Garbutt

    Ah, lanterfish, you need to know the circumstances of the ORFU to understand all that.

    You see the initial group to look at the whole issue of what was happening to the ORFU was gathered together by the ORFU. They knew they were in the financial doggie-doos and so gathered together the people who they thought could give them lots of money – the DCC, the ORC and the CTO. All just informal of course.

    That got taken over by the CST and you only need to listen to the interview that Malcolm Farry gave to Newstalk over the weekend to better understand some of that process and some of the drivers. Really important though to package it up and surround it with a bit of spin.

    The CST was, and is, a private trust and that was an important condition. The next thing was that the development of Carisbrook was not on, but a new stadium was. The first drawings of the new stadium were, as you probably remember, rugby ball shaped and big enough to take cricket, but things changed fairly rapidly and soon it became smaller and had a roof.

    The difficulty was that Carisbrook was in the private hands of the ORFU and was a liability and not an asset. The ORFU were able to borrow to levels based on Carisbrook operating as a rugby stadium, and their borrowings could not be sustained by their lavish spending and lowered incomes.

    Solution? Get the DCC to purchase Carisbrook – doesn’t matter that they didn’t need it, or know what to do with it – all they were were cash providers or debt relievers. Or rather, the ratepayers were. The ORFU were temporarily relieved of their debts, they get a new stadium which they haven’t contributed to and neither will they contribute in any meaningful way to operate.

    Now the next thing to do is to look at the names of those that agreed to this state of affairs and make really sure that they don’t get to ever sit round a table where quality decisions need to be made.

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