Mount Maunganui is the home of the Nan Chair

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Mount Maunanui (via Sky Sports)

You know what a Nan Chair is. You do. You just didn’t know it was called that.

A Nan Chair is one of those folding camping chairs with fabric arms and a cup holder – the ones that fold into a column that slots into a bag, rather than the old 1980s ones with plastic arms that fold flat.

It’s called a Nan Chair because our mate’s nan always used to sit in one – even indoors. Or at least we thought it was. Turns out she used to sit in a slightly different chair that supported your legs and that kind of chair was a Nan Chair. What we’re describing is actually just a normal camping chair.

It’s too late though. For 20 years we’ve been calling camping chairs with cup holders Nan Chairs and now pretty much everyone we know calls them Nan Chairs as well. You can’t undo that. Sometimes you make a mistake and against all logic and reason it sticks and then takes on a life of its own. Just look at Joe Denly.

The reason why we’re talking about Nan Chairs is because last night we got our first look at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. What immediately struck us is that it must be the NanChairiest Test venue on the circuit.

Plenty of grounds have grass banks, but Mount Maunganui is almost entirely grass seating. There’s a sort of tiered amphitheatre type bit, but on closer inspection even that’s lawned.

So you have to bring your own seat. And most people seem to have brought a Nan Chair.

This is unarguably a very fine and civilised way to watch international sport. Well played, New Zealand.


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  1. I decided to Google “Nan Chair” to see what the internet thought one was. The first hit was….. this very article. You are either globally popular, have aced the Google Search algorithm or this Nan chair thing is entirely of your own invention.

      1. …yet.

        Let’s get working on the marketing proposition.

        There’s an enormous day time television audience just waiting to have the “Nan Chair” concept advertised to them.

        Maggie Smith or Judy Dench to be the super-satisfied Nan in the advert.

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