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Green Island, New Zealand facts for kids

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Green Island
Main South Road, Green Island
Main South Road, Green Island
Green Island is located in New Zealand
Green Island
Green Island
Location in New Zealand
Country New Zealand
Local authority Dunedin
 • Land 365 ha (902 acre)
 (June 2022)
 • Total 2,390
Fairfield Abbotsford Kaikorai Valley
Green Island

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


Green Island covers 3.65 km2 (1.41 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 2,390 as of June 2022, with a population density of 655 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 2,283 —    
2013 2,235 −0.30%
2018 2,319 +0.74%

Green Island had a population of 2,319 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 84 people (3.8%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 36 people (1.6%) since the 2006 census. There were 948 households. There were 1,155 males and 1,164 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.99 males per female. The median age was 38.9 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 435 people (18.8%) aged under 15 years, 426 (18.4%) aged 15 to 29, 1,098 (47.3%) aged 30 to 64, and 354 (15.3%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 91.3% European/Pākehā, 10.3% Māori, 2.5% Pacific peoples, 3.1% Asian, and 2.8% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 9.2%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 60.7% had no religion, 28.1% were Christian, 0.1% were Hindu, 1.0% were Muslim, 0.4% were Buddhist and 2.5% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 249 (13.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 459 (24.4%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $32,300, compared with $31,800 nationally. 168 people (8.9%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 993 (52.7%) people were employed full-time, 255 (13.5%) were part-time, and 72 (3.8%) were unemployed.

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