A city in New Zealand steeped in the music of Celine Dion

A city in New Zealand steeped in the music of Celine Dion

“It's upsetting for us” and people “can't sleep anymore,” Anita Baker, the mayor of Porirua, a town of 60,000, said on Thursday. Voice battles have become a trend in New Zealand for several years. The goal of each participant is to saturate the sound of others with his own voice, through ultra-powerful audio systems.

“They love Celine Dion,” says Anita Baker. Porirua residents can no longer listen to his songs like “My Heart Will Go On” and “It's All Coming Back To Me Now” at full volume, especially as the “fights” sometimes last for up to two hours in the morning, according to the mayor.

“The noise spreads like a drum”

Randomly, during the week or on weekends, competitors park their cars with their engines running, blast their music at the top of their lungs and change positions frequently to avoid the police.

“This happens in our city centre, which is in a basin, so the noise spreads like a drum to all the suburbs,” explains Anita Becker.

According to the elected official, the “fights” began in November 2022, when local rugby fans celebrated the performance of the Samoa Islands in the Rugby League World Cup, where the Pacific nation reached the final.

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