Browned-off locals need to 'lighten up'

Central Otago's mayor and deputy mayor say people need to ''lighten up'' about a satirical Facebook page that has listed Cromwell as one of the ''Top 5 Sh!ttiest Towns in New Zealand''.

The Facebook page describes Cromwell as the ''Mistake on the Lake'' and the ''Toilet Bowl of the South'' and has sparked a furious reaction from some in the town - the creator of the Facebook page received almost 20 death threats.

''People have threatened to stab our eyes, throw us off a bridge, that sort of thing,'' said the page's creator, who asked to remain anonymous.

The fruit statue at the entrance to Cromwell. Photo: Joy Bennett
The fruit statue at the entrance to Cromwell. Photo: Joy Bennett

But Central Otago Deputy Mayor and Cromwell Community Board chairman Neil Gillespie says people have over-reacted.

''People need to lighten up about the page,'' Mr Gillespie said.

''It's [the page] just a big p... take. People shouldn't take it so seriously.''

When asked if he was offended by the page, Mr Gillespie said: ''I could be, but what's the point ... I don't know why people are taking it personally. People just need to go 'whatever' and move on.''

NZME reported that on the streets of Cromwell there was also a mood of annoyance, rather than anger.

''It's a sense of humour I think a lot of people will miss,'' one resident said. ''It's kind of funny but it's also kind of insulting.''

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan was relaxed about the town's newfound notoriety and said the Facebook page ''takes the mickey out of everywhere in equal proportion''.

''I was a liker of the [Sh!t Towns of New Zealand] page before Cromwell ever came along and got hit by it - it's just great satire, it's a great joke,'' Mr Cadogan said.

''I'm disappointed to hear people are becoming keyboard warriors and getting that threatening about it, but apparently the guy lives in Afghanistan so he should be quite safe.''

The page recently described Oamaru as an economically depressed sh!thole in fancy dress and Queenstown as Remuera with snow.

Dunedin's only claim to fame, it said, was the world's steepest street, which was, ''much like the rest of the city, a celebration of stupidity''.

The creator of the page admits he's surprised by the success - and anger - his Facebook page has generated but vows not to stop until every town in the country has had the ''Sh!t Towns of New Zealand'' treatment.

''The joke is that all towns are a bit sh!t if you look hard enough,'' he says.

''We will get to everyone eventually.''

-Additionally reported by NZME


The same cauld be said of greymouth its going back...people leaving....semi ghost town...but life goes on.