Green Island, New Zealand

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For the nearby island, see Green Island (Okaihe). For the other small uninhabited islet near Ruapuke Island in Foveaux Strait, see Green Island (Foveaux Strait) .

Green Island is a suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand. Not an actual island, this former borough takes its name from the Green Island bush, uncleared native forest extending from the valley where the community is centred over the hills towards the coast. The name of the nearby offshore island — Green Island (Okaihe) — was used to identify the bush and, thus, also lent its name to the mainland suburb.


Green Island suburb

Photograph of Main South Road, Green Island, Dunedin. Green Island, Dunedin.jpg
Photograph of Main South Road, Green Island, Dunedin.

Under the 1989 local government reforms, the city of Dunedin and its surrounding region was grouped into a territorial authority called Dunedin City. Under this system, Green Island is officially an outer suburb within this territorial authority.

Green Island is on State Highway 1, about 9 km (6 mi) west-southwest of the Octagon, Dunedin's city centre. Along with neighbouring Abbotsford (see below), it is the westernmost suburb within Dunedin City's main urban area. As of the 2013 New Zealand census (delayed from 2011 due to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake), Green Island had a population of 2,580 an increase of 3.6% from the population of 2,490 in the 2006 census. [1] Green Island accounts for 2.1% of the total Dunedin City territorial authority population. [1] Green Island's main economy is based on light and small scale heavy industry.


Prior to 1950 Green Island, and neighboring Burnside, had a strong Brass Band and Silver Band communities. Historical comments in this regard would be welcome.


St Peter Chanel School is a Catholic primary school located on Main South Road. Other schools in the community are Abbotsford Primary and Green Island Primary.


Green Island Rugby Club

Established in 1884 and known as "The Grizzlies". The club's colours are green and gold. The club's home ground is Miller Park. In 2017 the club fielded three senior teams, one colts (U-20) team and a thriving school age grade consisting of 22 teams (ages 5–13). Green Island won the Premier Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1978. The clubs playing strength has dropped since the late 1990s with the decline of employment opportunities in the town and a general drop in player numbers throughout the Dunedin region, although the club has a thriving social side and a loyal band of supporters and has seen a resurgence off the field in recent years. [2]

The club has in 2019 won the Speights Jug Trophy for winning the first round of Premier Rugby. They have also won numerous interclub trophies through this round.

The club has had six All Blacks:

Current squad

The Green island squad for the 2019 Dunedin Premier Rugby Season is:

Green Island squad




Loose forwards

Halfbacks (Scrum-halves)

First Five-Eighths (Fly-halves)

Midfielders (Centres)


Full Backs

(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is Mitre 10 Cup capped

Other sport

Green Island has a football (soccer) club Green Island FC based at Sunnyvale Park. [3] The park is also the home of the Green Island Cricket Club. [4] The Cricket Club has been highly successful in recent times winning multiple national club championships. The town is also home to a successful boxing club, and Green Island Rhythmic Gymnastics Club is a nationally ranked local sporting club.


Immediately to the north of Green Island, and only separated from it by the State Highway and South Island Main Trunk Railway (opened to Green Island in 1874), [5] is Abbotsford. Abbotsford is also a suburb within the Dunedin City territorial authority. Abbotsford is an entirely residential suburb with virtually no retail or service sector of its own - for these it relies on Green Island which lies only some 300 metres to the south. As of the 2013 New Zealand census , Abbotsford had a population of 1,770 a decrease of 0.8% from the population of 1,785 in the 2006 census. [6]

The Abbotsford landslip

On the night of August 8, 1979, a major landslide occurred in Abbotsford, resulting in the destruction or relocation of some 69 houses, and requiring the evacuation of over 600 people. No-one was killed. This remains the largest landslip to have occurred in an urban area of New Zealand.


In the southwest corner of Abbotsford, abutting the northwest corner of Green Island, is the Sunnyvale neighbourhood. Until the early 2000s, the main road route south out of Dunedin passed through Sunnyvale, but it and Fairfield, 2 km to the west, were bypassed by a motorway extension in 2002. The sports arena of Sunnyvale Park, serving Abbotsford and Green Island, is located in the suburb.

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  1. 1 2 "2013 Census QuickStats about a place: Green Island". Statistics New Zealand . 2013. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  2. "Green Island Rugby Football Club". Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  3. "Green Island FC Web page" . Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  4. "Green Island Cricket Club" . Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  5. "OPENING OF THE GREEN ISLAND RAILWAY. EVENING STAR". 1 Jul 1874. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  6. "2013 Census QuickStats about a place: Abbotsford". Statistics New Zealand . 2013. Retrieved 2018-10-30.

Coordinates: 45°54′10″S170°25′50″E / 45.90278°S 170.43056°E / -45.90278; 170.43056