A Southern Demolition excavator turns the Carisbrook terrace to rubble yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery
It has been a home away from home for generations of Otago
and All Blacks rugby fans, couch-burning scarfies and Mexican
waves, but the one-time beating heart of Carisbrook is no
The old ground's famed - and sometimes infamous - terrace is
being demolished, and the Cantabrian in charge of the diggers
says he intends to do a proper job.
Alan Edge, owner of Christchurch-based Southern Demolition,
has confirmed his workers would leave behind almost no trace
of Carisbrook, including the terrace and the hospitality
complex above it.
All the ground's grandstands - including the four-storey
terrace hospitality complex - would be demolished over the
next few months, he confirmed.
Only the historic brick Neville St turnstile building and the
remains of the playing surface would be left behind, he said.
The cleared site would then be fenced while new owner Calder
Stewart sought tenants for one or more industrial
developments. It was the first time anyone had confirmed the
fate of the relatively modern terrace complex - it was built
for $4 million in 1994.
Calder Stewart had obtained two demolition consents from the
council - one covering the terrace complex and the other
covering all the ground's other stands.
However, while a $200,000 bond from Calder Stewart would be
repaid only if demolition was completed within six months,
the terrace complex did not need to come down as part of the
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull suggested in June the complex might
be spared, but Calder Stewart staff have so far declined to
discuss their plans for the site.
Mr Edge told the Otago Daily Times his demolition crew
would work their way around the ground over the next few
weeks, removing the lower parts of each stand to gain access
to corporate boxes on the upper floors.
That would make it easier for his workers to strip the
interiors and push the material straight out the windows to
the ground below, rather than climbing up and down stairs, he
Following that, the old stands' fittings, roofs and
foundations would be removed, and about 90% of all material -
including wiring, crushed concrete and roofing steel - would
be recycled, he said.
Each stage of demolition would take about six weeks, but Mr
Edge hoped to have most of the stands down within two months.
That would leave only the terrace corporate box complex,
which would be the last to go.
Demolition was expected to be finished by Christmas, leaving
behind only the Neville St turnstiles and an
otherwise-cleared and fenced site.
Mr Edge said he had enjoyed watching All Blacks tests at
Carisbrook in the past, and, even for a Cantabrian, it was
''the end of an era really''.
''It's quite sad.''