10 Oct 2010

More than 18,000 attend Eden Park opening

6:30 pm on 10 October 2010

More than 18,000 people flooded in to Auckland's Eden Park on Sunday for the official reopening after its $270 million redevelopment for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The project took three years and came in on budget and ahead of time.

The event began at dawn with the blessing of four tekoteko (carved poles).

The tekoteko were blessed by Ngati Whatua o Orakei. Mounted on concrete bases, they are more than six metres tall.

Representing Tanemahuta, Rongo, Tumatauenga and Tawhirimatea, they stand guard at the four corners of the park.

By 10am the gates were open to the public, who paid a gold coin donation that will go to charity.

At 11am, Prime Minister John Key announced the park officially open, joking with Auckland Mayor-elect Len Brown, that no one built a stadium for him when he won the election.

Mr Brown said Eden Park will become the cultural hub for Auckland.