Rugby Park work checked by expert

Remedial work on Rugby Park Stadium to address historic leaks and maintenance problems has been peer reviewed by a weather tightness consultant, who believes the work has been carried out to a high standard and the water entry issues have been resolved.

Dean Johnston
Dean Johnston

The Invercargill City Council’s Director of Finance, Dean Johnston, said the Council in 2015 entered into an agreement whereby the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust would gift Rugby Park to Council, in return for Council paying a $400,000 debt that the Outdoor Stadium Trust owed to the Community Trust of Southland.

“Council’s aim was to keep the facility open for the public and the region, as without intervention there was a credible risk that it would have to close, effectively leaving the province without a facility to hold first class rugby matches.”

Council-owned Invercargill Venue and Events Managements (IVEM) was contracted to manage Rugby Park alongside its other venues, the Civic Theatre and the Scottish Hall.

As part of this contract, Council also provided $250,000 a year to IVEM, comprising of $100,000 to cover operating costs and $150,000 to cover maintenance issues for Rugby Park.

Mr Johnston, who is also on the Board of IVEM, said there had been a lot of stories and rumours in the public arena as to problems at Rugby Park with leaks and damage to the facility.

“In order to fully understand the extent of these issues, IVEM contracted an independent building surveyor and weather tightness consultant to provide a report on the current state of the grandstand and develop a plan to remediate the facility.”

A detailed report was provided that divided the recommended work into two categories: Weather Tightness and Maintenance.


Report findings


Weather tightness
The report identified four key areas that were causing moisture to enter the facility:

  1. The steel frame placed on the roof to support a stags head had not been fully sealed to prevent moisture entering the facility where it had breached the roof structure.
  1. The spouting had approximately 200kg of plant matter in them which was preventing the flow of water and also has resulted in the degradation of the spouting.
  1. The steel bracing on one part of the roof was not correctly sealed where it was fixed to the guides and moisture entered the facility at this point.
  1. The soffits and flashing around the entranceway were not correctly sealed and allowed moisture to enter at this point.

In order to ensure the weather tightness of the facility, the Directors of IVEM engaged Calder Stewart Industries Limited to complete this work with urgency.


As well as the urgent works to make the building weathertight, there were a number of maintenance issues also identified that the IVEM Board resolved to undertake at the same time due to the cost efficiencies of having the scaffolding on site.

  1. Cladding and Flashings: A lot of the cladding was not properly fixed during the building process, or the screws had become rusted so therefore had to be replaced. Also, as the cladding was not regularly washed down, it had also rusted.
  1. Seals: Some of the seals and sealant on the windows and concrete panels were in disrepair and have been replaced.
  1. Moss Kill: The main stadium roof needed be sprayed with moss killer to correct and prevent further moss build up.

Mr Johnston said “these repairs have all been undertaken at a cost of $185,000 that has been fully funded from IVEM reserves that were generated through the maintenance grant that Council provided and through surpluses from IVEM operations”.

Upon completion of these repairs, the weather tightness consultant was re-engaged to check the quality and effectiveness of the work.

His findings were as follows: “I found the remediation/maintenance work carried out on the Stadium by Calder Stewart to be of a very high trade standard and in accordance with the schedule.  This includes the further invasive investigations undertaken to ensure all leak sources were understood and resulting damage identified.  The works appear complete and while still under test to ensure final weather tightness sign-off, all indications are that the water entry issues are resolved”.