WHAT IS OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?
The Eden Park Trust set out to highlight the stories, triumphs, history and honour of Eden Park through a special photographic exhibition on the walls and halls of the stadium itself. An exhibition celebrating community, place and a passion for sport through the eyes of its team, supporters, local businesses and neighbourhood.
HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?
While visiting his favourite café in the neighbourhood, Nick Sautner, Eden Park’s General Manager – Commercial was captivated by an exhibition featuring the faces and people of Kingsland, by local photographer Lee Howell. Nick wanted to extend this project into Eden Park to tell the park’s own stories. And so Our Neighbourhood was formed – a partnership between Lee Howell, the team at Eden Park and those who embrace the stadium.
EDEN PARK NEIGHBOUR AND BIG RUGBY FAN
I’m only five and I love rugby and the All Blacks. Mum says I’m very emotional because I sit on the edge of the couch and hide my head under the pillow when my favourite team doesn’t win. I also throw my hands up if they’re winning and sometimes I dance and chant and sing (don’t tell anyone!). My family loves going to Eden Park and watching our favourite players. We even met some of the Blues team on the field and have their flags in our bedrooms.
EDEN PARK MEMBER
I’m 71 years old and my time with Eden Park goes back a long way, across three generations. My greatest memory is leaving work on a Friday afternoon and camping out at the gate to get the best seats for the 1966 Lions Tour. My parents thought I was mad. I live locally now and I would never want to see the stadium move. It’s ingrained in our family history and has been a big part of our lives for decades.
EDEN PARK MEMBER AND LOCAL PASTOR
My involvement here dates back to my Mum and Dad. Dad played rugby and met Mum here! When he asked for a date she said no, so Dad asked “If I score a try and convert it, will you go on a date with me?”… she agreed and the rest is history. I vividly remember the All Blacks versus Springbok game in 1981. And the flour bomb, which ended it all. I’ve now been a member myself for over 15 years, and come to every game I can.
EDEN PARK NEIGHBOUR AND FAN
I have lived down the road from Eden Park since I was a baby so it’s like my backyard. I liked it when we would take our bikes and ride in the car park when there were no cars there. My favourite thing was when all the Eden Park neighbours were invited to the dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup in 2011. I love hearing the crowd cheering and I can’t wait to go to lots more games.
Sam “Sammie” Samnieng-Hong
CORPORATE PRODUCTION CHEF
Over 20 years ago when I was living in Thailand I responded to a newspaper ad for a Sous Chef. After cooking six different Asian dishes I got a job at Eden Park. I have been here ever since, and even met my wife here. Every day is different – we meet so many different people and serve so much amazing food. I’ve heard my green curry is famous amongst the regulars. That makes me proud beyond words.
Susan “Bubs” Campbell
CORPORATE FOH SUPERVISOR
I was here for the last Rugby World Cup and I’ll be here for the next. I’m a part of something different every day. My moko gets me talking to all sorts of interesting people and helps me connect with people I never dreamed possible. It’s a true honour.
MEMBER AND IRISH RUGBY MAGAZINE PUBLISHER
It was the ’87 World Cup that changed everything for me. I had been living in Australia and wanted to come to New Zealand on my way home, to visit Eden Park. One thing led to another and I ended up staying in Auckland. I’ve now been an Eden Park member for 23 years and I only have one way to describe my experiences here – simply magic!
EDEN PARK NEIGHBOUR
The first time I came to Eden Park was for the All Blacks versus Australia game in 1979, and I’ve been to nearly every big game since. I now live just down the road and walk my dog around the park every day – rain or shine. It’s a safe area, an area for the community, and I consider it the ‘garden of Eden’.
At the 2011 World Cup, we made T-Shirts for the tour. The day of the final was the busiest day in the history of our business – we sold over 2000 shirts! We’re now a neighbour, with our premises about 12 cricket ball throws away from the park. We love collaborating with iconic New Zealand brands, and Eden Park is one of the biggest. It’s a complete privilege.
EDEN PARK MEMBER
We have so many stories from here, it’s hard to know where to start. Apart from our family being members for a very long time, there’s one story which stands out. Fiji were playing France with only nine minutes to go when my beeper went off – my wife had gone into labour. Now that was a big decision to leave the game! It took 13 hours for my daughter to be born, so I actually could have watched the last nine minutes!
Aside from the amazing people I’ve met along the way, I think it’s the history that makes Eden Park so special. It’s the home of the All Blacks and coming to a game here is the ultimate Kiwi experience. Being part of that now, experiencing the families smiling and hearing their stories, means the world. The vibe is always positive and that’s what brings it alive.
EDEN PARK NEIGHBOUR
When I grow up I want to be an All Black. Richie McCaw is my all-time favourite player. To be an All Black you need to try your hardest, practise a lot, be a good team player and be strong and healthy – that’s why Mum makes me eat my vegetables! My favourite thing to do is play rugby with my friends. We play in our lunch break and after school for my club Eden. I’m not old enough to play tackle rugby yet but can’t wait until I am!
COMMUNITY LIAISON, TOUR GUIDE & HISTORIAN
I’ve been working at Eden Park since 1992. My father brought me for the first time in 1946, so that’s 71 years! I’ve met so many wonderful people and built so many great relationships along the way – Michael Jones, Richie McCaw, Sachin Tendulkar. It’s a special place with an amazing legacy, and it’s not just a job, it’s part of my life.
I’ve worked here at Eden Park for 30 years. I’ve always had a passion for sport. I even got married here! Eden Park is ingrained into my life now – we work really hard. My daughters know if they want to do anything with me they need to look at the calendar because Eden Park is a big part of my life and sometimes we work around the clock. It’s not a nine to five job, you need to have passion and a lot of dedication.
This job is about passion. It’s not about how many days you work in a row, or how long things take, it’s about creating a product that delivers to your highest personal standards. My work is shown on a very public live stage and there are no opportunities to muck it up. It’s on show every time there’s an event. I don’t wear my pride on a banner, but it’s there, and it’s real. I come in to work even when I’m supposed to be on holiday – that says a lot.
JASMINE FLORIST DESIGNS
I’m a huge All Blacks fan. I’m proud to tell my family that I do flowers for Eden Park. Every time there is a big game here it’s amazing to see everyone so busy and my business gets a lot of exposure. I love hearing the comments as people walk past my shop window. People create memories here. I enjoy being a part of it. It’s such a pleasure and a big achievement for me.
Maree Gladding & Jessie Stanley
I LOVE PIES
Ten years ago we brought a friend to Eden Park who was visiting from overseas and told him that our goal was to one day sell our pies here. Today we’re a supplier and it’s a dream come true – one of those pivotal life moments which means so much to us and our families. We just want to make people’s lives more enjoyable through our pies and we hope we can do that for the visitors of Eden Park.
EDEN PARK NEIGHBOUR
I manage a local home which helps thousands of people with alcohol and drug dependency. They come to us because they want to get well and our job is to support them. On game days we charge for carparking at the house and the money goes towards activities for those who stay with us. Eden Park is not only important to us, it’s important to New Zealand.
I work with visitors here every day. From the day I started all I’ve wanted to do is the best I can and to make sure people go home happy. I hope the things I teach the young ones who come through here will help them make the best of every opportunity along the way. I hope I make a difference.
As soon as I finished my studies I got a placement here, and ended up staying on. One of the first times I ran an event we lost power right before a big ITM Cup game. But we got through it and it’s one of my proudest achievements. They say you create your own luck but I feel lucky to have fallen into this job. I’m so proud to be part of a team who always want to deliver the best events possible.
ASSET PROTECTION OFFICER
Apart from actually being able to work here in the first place, there have been two highlights in my time at Eden Park. The first was RWC2011 when it was so busy and quite awe-inspiring. The second was becoming team leader in 2013. It’s the most favourite job I’ve ever had, and the two best bosses I’ve had in my career. People have Eden Park on their bucket list. Visitors from overseas just want to walk around here. They love this place.