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?”

Danger Danger is a “bar, casino & cookhouse located in the heart of Whangarei.”

18 thoughts on “Ode to Whangarei

  1. its sad that people feel like this, I grew up out of Whangarei in Ngunguru and have good memories of this place. Why don’t you all try getting out for a while, I’m sure you will appreciate it more, stop bagging your roots, obviously don’t have any

    • “Getting out for awhile” is something you hear a lot from New Zealanders. We heard it when for example we could not heat our spaces to a degree sufficient to do our work (hands froze). We were told to get out for awhile to warm up by running around, and then go back into the spaces and try typing again! Or a court case that dragged on in the muck for years. “Go out and mow the lawn or pull weeds in the garden! You’ll feel better!” Basically, any complaint you might have is dealt with by them telling you that you need to go outside and engage in some physical activity. Simple equation. Not crap housing or crap justice system or crap economy, or anything else you might reasonably object to, given the degree to which they make their country out to be heaven on earth. New Zealand sucks – and if you stay there long enough, the scenery won’t do it for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xBq5NDyhzI

  2. live in whangarei and i recon this poem is pretty true. all tho the whole of the district isnt bad there are some nice places outside of the main town to live, provided you can afford to and there isnt many jobs let alone any half decent ones around which makes this difficult.

  3. A boy from the “best in Northland” public boys school in that city just participated in the group stoning of a mother duck on lunch break, and ripped the head off of one of her ducklings. The school has drug problems and absenteeism problems. “Best in Northland”. Sociopaths, all of them, and as corrupt local as corrupt local can be.

  4. This site is just to warn people who are not aware of local news. They come over here thinking it’s all palm trees and quiet and they will be escaping their own country’s problems and all – and then they find this shit but it’s too late, they have already moved their whole lives down here. So it’s good to have sites like this so that people can see that they aren’t running away from certain social problems by moving down here. They are just adding isolation and higher cost of living to the ones they already know.

  5. Strange in the online news covering Whangarei and parts further north today, they do not mind reporting on the terrible employment situation, namely that there are 3000 Northlanders competing for 59 job vacancies registered with Work and Income. That crumb of news made it online.

    But not a word online about the schoolchildren’s home break-in crime ring they just busted there. Maybe it will appear later? Many stories do not make it to the internet. What criteria do they use to decide whether to publish online or not publish? The level of crime seems to be an object of special censorship. I am sometimes tempted to start a blog on the news they see fit to print locally.

    At least capsicums were less dear at the grocery today. I was able to afford two!

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