Bernie Wood

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Bernard Joseph Wood MNZM (9 December 1939 – 28 April 2013) was a New Zealand rugby league administrator and sports historian.


Wood was born in Greymouth in 1939 and was educated at Marist Brothers Boys' School there. He was a member of the New Zealand Schoolboys rugby league team in 1954.[1]

After moving to Wellington, Wood served for 24 years as secretary–treasurer or chairman of the Wellington Rugby League He was deputy chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League in 1992.[1]

Wood was an historian of rugby league and harness racing in New Zealand, writing several books on the subjects.[1] He edited the New Zealand Rugby League Annual from 1977 to 2002.[2]

In the 2000 New Year Honours, Wood was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to sport.[3] In 2008 he was made a life member of the New Zealand Rugby League.[4]

Wood died of cancer at his home in the Porirua suburb of Whitby in 2013,[5] and was buried at Whenua Tapu Cemetery, Pukerua Bay.[6]


Books written or co-written by Wood include:

  • Flying sulkies: a history of the New Zealand Trotting Cup 1904–1980. Moa, Auckland (1981).
  • The Cup 1904–2003: 100 years of the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Trio Books, Wellington (2003).
  • The Kiwis: 100 years of international rugby league (with John Coffey). Hodder Moa, Auckland (2007).
  • 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908–2008 (with John Coffey). Huia, Wellington (2008).
  • Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909–2009 (with John Coffey). Huia, Wellington (2009).


  1. ^ a b c Becht, Richard (6 May 2013). "Rugby league king left lasting legacy". Dominion Post. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  2. ^ Dando, Kris (7 May 2013). "Gentleman of league left strong legacy behind". Kapi-Mana News. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  3. ^ New Year Honours LIst 2000. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  4. ^ Millmow, Jonathan (30 April 2013). "Rugby league administrator, historian dies". Dominion Post. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Bernie Wood obituary". New Zealand Herald. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Burial details". Porirua City Council. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2015.