Demolition work has begun in north Dunedin to make way for the construction of the city's new $198 million enclosed sports stadium.
The Awatea Street site was cordoned off from the public last week as industrial buildings in the area were stripped ready for demolition.
Dunedin mayor Peter Chin and the Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry each took a turn in the driver's seat of a 20-tonne excavator to start the demolition.
Both admitted the experience had them feeling like schoolboys again and expressed excitement at the start of work on the site after more than three years of planning.
Mr Farry says the demolition work will take up to four weeks, using heavy machinery and wrecking balls.
Mr Chin says despite a tight construction schedule, the stadium is still on track to be finished in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.