John Andrews, of Waipiata, pictures an alternative future
Elton John officially reopens Carisbrook ... in a howling
northerlygale. His toupee is blown off early in the concertIN
2007, the Dunedin City Council vote down a proposal to build
a new stadium in North Dunedin, and instead decide to spend
$30 million upgrading Carisbrook.
The Rugby World Cup is held in the revamped stadium in
October 2011 to lukewarm reviews from local and international
Mike Tindall (the England captain) prematurely ends his tour
after catching pneumonia in the England v Romania game.
He spends a week in Dunedin Hospital recuperating with Zara
at his side and misses the England "team-building" weekend in
Elton John officially reopens Carisbrook in November 2011, in
a howling northerly gale. His toupee is blown off early in
the concert. He refuses to continue and leaves 15,000 cold
and unhappy fans to find their way home.
Jamie Joseph decides against renewing his coaching contract
with the Highlanders and is picked up by the Blues franchise
for the 2012 season. The Blues make the playoffs in 2012.
Adam Thompson decides to ply his trade with the Crusaders.
Hosea Gear (who was rumoured to be interested in moving to
the Highlanders) instead takes up a lucrative contract
playing in Japan. Pat Lam is recruited to coach the
The retained Rose stand at Carisbrook is painted bright green
to reflect the new Highlanders playing strip. The Highlanders
struggle and finish 13th in the 2012 Super 15 season and dead
last in 2013. Crowd attendance averages 5000.
The Otago Rugby Union goes into liquidation in early 2012,
sounding the death knell of NPC rugby in Otago. The
Highlanders franchise is lost to Napier and New Plymouth in
Dunedin and the wider Otago economy notice a significant drop
in business over time. A proposed $100 million five-star
hotel that was hoped to aid revitalisation of the Dunedin
economy is reassessed and does not proceed. Parents in
increasing numbers choose to encourage their children to
attend university in alternative centres. By 2025, university
enrolments have dropped 30% from their peak in 2011.
By 2030, Nelson overtakes Dunedin as New Zealand's 10th
The ever-shrinking number of Dunedin ratepayers are lumbered
with paying increased rates to cover fixed costs.
Recently retired gentlemen are overheard in a Nelson bar
reminiscing over their previous working lives in Dunedin.
"Didn't we do well to stop that ridiculous proposal for a
covered stadium back in the day?"
"Sure did. Power of the pen is a wonderful thing"
"By the way, what did you do with the rates money we reckoned
you would save over your lifetime as a result of them not
building that White Elephant?"
"Put it towards a trip to Wagga Wagga. Me and the missus are
heading there next month."
"Wagga Wagga? What's the attraction there?"
"All the kids and grandkids are there. Haven't seen them in
years.They packed up and left Dunedin back in 2018. Lovely
town, just no work and not much left there."
"Sad but true mate. Sad but true. Say, I see your glass is
half empty mate"
"Always has been, mate. I prefer it that way."