Ode To Whangarei

There is a Facebook page called Poem Online, where the following poem about the North Island town of Whangarei (vision statement: “To be a vibrant, attractive and thriving District by developing sustainable lifestyles based around our unique environment; the envy of New Zealand and recognised world wide.” ) has been published.

One line of it Whangarei your teenagers are pregnant with the next generation of criminals has caused quite a stir in the town with the pensmith,  Peter Larsen, being called to account by a group of teenage mums who took offence at his words. He was less than complimentary about the mayor too.

According to the Northern Advocate he was “assaulted while reading his poem about Whangarei’s social problems and said the town had a culture of unprovoked violence.”  A example of art reflecting life reflecting art perhaps?

Here’s his poem:

Whangarei I pour my guts out and you dont give a shit.
Whangarei teenage burnouts in the burger king car park.
Whangarei domestic violence on Friday night.
Whangarei your new police station and courthouse are monuments to shame.
Whangarei Vine Street is a Venus fly trap.
Whangarei I only go to Danger Danger to feel a strangers hand up my skirt.
Whangarei Rugby is not a way out.
Whangarei hurry up and punch me in the face so we can be mates.
Whangarei no one at the library can tell me what Whangarei means.
Whangarei the stories of the names of your rivers are being forgotten.
Whangarei you dont know what you have.
Whangarei you dont know what youve lost.
Whangarei your mayor is a recycled mumbling idiot obsessed with trucks and concrete.
Whangarei you dont give a fuck about culture.
Whangarei your teenagers are pregnant with the next generation of criminals.
Whangarei if dont sort it out you will be overrun by bogans.
Whangarei anyone with a finger of talent and half a brain gets the fuck away.
Whangarei everyone is high on pot because theyre so damned bored.
Whangarei violence is a cheap thrill.
Whangarei Ive been chased by packs of dogs in your streets.
Whangarei if you dont start caring for your artists you will remain famous for your bypass.
Whangarei your museum is a hospice to your history. Its dying.
Whangarei I came here to get well.
Whangarei if I dont tell you this Im gonna get sicker.
Whangarei I picked up a twelve-year-old hitchhiker proud to be in a gang.
Whangarei no wonder youre so fucking brutal.
Whangarei you have no face.
Whangarei no one knows who you are.
Whangarei youre lucky no one cares who you are.
Whangarei talk is cheaper than violence.
Whangarei you need to start taking a few risks.
Whangarei grow some balls and stop trying to be so nice.
Whangarei Im putting my balls on the line for you.
Whangarei go tell all your politically correct busybody councilors to go fuck themselves.
Whangarei I gotta get off my taxpayer funded stipend and get a real job.
Whangarei Im leaving unless you get off your arse.
Whangarei Im not right in the head and youre not helping.
Whangarei Ill pass the course if I pay my fee.
Whangarei you are so mediocre.
Whangarei you kill your own potential by voting in politicians with dead visions.
Whangarei do you wanna give me a spiddy ow?
Whangarei raw sewage in the harbor.
Whangarei this rage is good for my creativity.
Whangarei this is war.
Whangarei I dont wanna die here.
Whangarei I dont have the fucking answers.
Whangarei I reduce the syllables in my words so you dont think Im pretentious.
Whangarei I dance like a spastic and dont give a damn.
Whangarei Im sick of your brutal secrets.
Whangarei Im bored by your feigned decency.
Whangarei your talent is escaping you.
Whangarei what am I gonna do?”

15 thoughts on “Ode To Whangarei

  1. Whangarei is all of that and more. All I can say is DO NOT raise your teenages there. It seems like the police, the media and the politicians are too afraid to say what actually does go on in Whg!

  2. text was for some reason deleted on post. pasted here

    Dope `is robbing students of drive’

    Whangarei campus cop Hank van Engelen and Dargaville High School principal David Bargh say marijuana is destroying teenagers’ lives by robbing them of their desire to learn.
    With Northland’s harvest hitting the streets, increasing numbers of Northland teens are turning up stoned or smoking at school.
    “I think there’s an acceptance that marijuana is OK. We should be making it look really uncool and not glamorous, because a lot of kids think it’s cool,” Mr Bargh said.
    At Dargaville High, socials have been canned – in part because a stoned and drunk third-former smashed a window and threatened teachers.
    According to Whangarei youth drug and alcohol service Rubicon, some Northland youth are smoking marijuana four times a day.
    Manager Jenny Gibbs supported tougher penalties for drug dealers, and said there were “tinnie houses on every corner”.
    Currently Rubicon puts about 12 pot-smoking students aged 11-17 on “drug contracts” each week. The contracts are one-year agreements to stay off marijuana, signed by the student and police.

  3. We were directed here by another concerned poster.

    My wife and I almost moved to that area, but we have preteens, and we reconsidered based on what we were told about the extensive drug problem in Northland.

    Among the anecdotes from friends and many other sources, we read a Northern Advocate article revealing that


  4. Whangarei blokes are no shakes either. I would not rate the women any more highly than the men, in reality, but matters have not improved since this date –

    Northern Advocate May 2007


    Brigid Lynch | 5th May 2007

    Rachael Chester, Vanessa Parkinson and Janine Parkinson want Whangarei’s bars and men to sharpen up. Picture/Tania Webb

    Amid claims that Whangarei after dark is all sleaze and binge-drinking, local women are speaking out on the need to tidy up – and a group of bar owners is working on ways of improving the city’s nightlife.

    One woman, who heads into town with friends every few weeks, is so appalled at the male “road kill” they encounter and the venues on offer she wrote an impassioned letter to the Northern Advocate.

    “Are there any NICE, classy, single guys in this town?” asked Janine Parkinson, a senior administrator and single mum from Whangarei.

    With the leering, groping, spillage and name calling, well-dressed young women can’t even walk a couple of hundred metres between bars without getting harassed.

    “I’ve been called `whore’ when I’m just going to my car,” the 38-year-old said.

    Whangarei men pull down tops, slip hands where they’re not invited and slosh drinks over women. Some women encourage it, they say, but many Northland men think they have a licence to behave badly because women outnumber them.

  5. One more reason for Americans not to migrate to New Zealand. They blame Yanks for the stupidest and most diverse range of ills. Pay heed, Americans.

    The concept of free will is alien to Kiwis. They accept no responsibility for anything either on a collective or personal level. It is somewhat akin to blaming Afghanistan for your own heroin addiction, or Colombia for your coke addiction. Americans are not moving the arms of the good citizens of Whangarei, like marionettes, forcing them to do the…”things that they do”. Whangarei girls even have a rep within New Zealand for being especially trashy and amoral.


    Americans are not building you meth labs.
    We are not planting bombs and calling these in to foment chaos.
    We are not committing armed robbery in your banks.
    We are not brawling in your streets, force-feeding you liquor, forming criminal gangs, mooching off your welfare system or raping your women.

    You Kiwis are doing all this yourselves.

    n a gr8 job u r doin 2! Maaaaaaaaate!

  6. In other words look in every direction to apportion blame except inwards?

    NZ is a long way from the USA, a country that has no effect whatsoever on a poet being chased by packs of dogs on the streets, or the sewage in the harbour.

    But surely there are some New Zealanders who must’ve been grateful for the support given by the States to the people of Canterbury over this last week in their time of need?

  7. Nice small city.
    Shame about the world today so corrupted and that corrupts our youth…I don’t think you can blame Whangarei for that.
    The rotten corruptness has comes via USA and permeates the world.
    A huge shame but look in the right direction when it comes to blaming.

  8. He has his points. I lived in Whangarei for a couple of years and there was never a week going by without some stupids ending up in the news for some stupid primitive behaviour. I got cought up in some situatins as well. I couldnt stand it anymore so i left… And to the comment from James, people tend to see only the good things about something so they dont have to fix anything about it. But thats the kind of attitude that will never change anything! Stop dreaming. IT TIME TO WAKE UP!

  9. That poem is pretty accurate. He forgot to mention all the illegal brothels. These charming Kiwi cities and towns hide their criminal underbellies very well. Reading regional papers in hard copy from day to day will give you a truer picture of what it’s like here, in terms of the crime and seedy behaviors.

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