Sage Advice | The City of Dunedin (Part I)

Sage Advice | The City of Dunedin (Part I)

“We run Dunedin and every other city in this nation. You can’t stop us, because you need us. Just let us do what we do, and nobody gets hurt.”

- Dave, spokesperson of ‘The Workmen’ Dunedin chapter


Over the ages, the city of Dunedin has been home to many great sages and bards. Who better to help uncover its rich and ancient heritage than a local Dunedin expert and historian? This week I have been contacted by a local woman with a huge brain, filled with secret histories of Dunedin that are rarely spoken about. She wishes to remain anonymous, but I can reveal that she hails from the wonderful suburb of Wakari.

“Ah, Dunedin! A shroud of mystery envelops her! The riddles scrawled on her stone walls and icy streets are indeed hard to solve! It has taken me most of a lifetime to put all the pieces together, but I will humbly share some of what I’ve gathered on this, one of the great cities of the world...

Dunedin is a veritable utopia of the mind. Only the smart and the eloquent may survive here; it’s a dog-eat-dog town. Oh, is that a flat-billed cap? Get the fuck out of here. Oh, what’s that, you’re studying? Medicine, is it? Ha! Tend to my rash, slave, and then begone! I am reading about the trials and joys of the human soul, you would not understand.

The culture of Dunedin is so distinct that newcomers often need a briefing as soon as they arrive. I am getting mad at the amount of times I have had to tell people all this. Firstly, pissing in the park is completely fine. Secondly, most facets of Dunedin are run by a small, secret society which operates somewhere out of South Dunedin. They are known collectively as ‘The Workmen,’ and dictate the goings-on in the city. They can slow the entire town to a complete standstill at their pleasure, but their goals for doing so remain well hidden. Members can be identified by their attire; fluorescent vests and pants, which are very badass.

It was revealed to me that Dunedin has been populated since the early 7th century. Exact details of this period are unknown, but legend has it that the hills of Dunedin once formed the rim of a large volcano. Knowing this, members of a pagan cult from modern-day Lithuania immigrated to the area because the enormous volcano provided a perfect site for performing their human and cattle beast sacrifices, via immolation. The cult died out long before the arrival of the first pacific peoples, but their legacy is rumoured to live on through the modern-day ‘Workmen’. The warmth from the Dunedin volcano allowed the men of the cult to walk around with their peens and shrimpy balls hanging out (not shaming, people were just different back then). Also, the women of the cult were cool and did not wear bras – because, if they did, those big Haast’s eagles would go wild when they caught a glimpse of the bras (because they were made out of fur and looked like the eagles’ natural prey), and they would swoop down and steal the bras with their large talons. Some even say that the big eagles would wear the stolen bras sometimes, but I reserve judgement on that point.

The music scene of Dunedin has been charming locals and visitors for centuries. This has given rise to the fabled ‘Dunedin Sound’. But what is my favourite Dunedin sound? I simply open my windows at the crack of dawn, and listen to the birds fighting and shitting loudly all over my driveway. Ahh! Lovely! Bye.”

This article first appeared in Issue 15, 2017.
Posted 2:28pm Sunday 16th July 2017 by Mat Clarkson.