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Green Island, New Zealand facts for kids

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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

Green Island, since 1989 officially an outer suburb of Dunedin, is on State Highway 1 8 km (5 mi) west of the Dunedin CBD, at 45°54′11″S 170°26′04″E / 45.90306°S 170.434384°E / -45.90306; 170.434384. It has a population (2001) of 2,430. Green Island's main economy is based on light and small scale heavy industry.


Immediately to the north of Green Island, and only separated from it by the State Highway and South Island Main Trunk Railway, is Abbotsford. 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. Abbotsford has a population of 1,677.

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.


At the southern end of Abbotsford is the smaller suburb of Sunnyvale. This was until the early 2000s the site of the main road route south out of Dunedin, but it and Fairfield immediately to the south were bypassed by a motorway extension in 2002. The sports arena of Sunnyvale Park is located in the suburb.

Green Island Rugby Club

Established in 1884 and known as "The Grizzlies". The club's colours are green and gold. The clubs home ground is Miller Park. There are 3 senior teams and 1 junior team. There is also a thriving schoolboy club(ages 5–13). Green Island won the Premier Championship in 1972,1973 and 1978. The clubs strength has dropped since the late 90s 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.

The club has had five All Blacks:

  • Greg Cooper
  • Lyn Jaffray
  • Merv Jaffray
  • Brian McKechnie
  • Ben Smith

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Green Island, New Zealand Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.