Images by Ben Thomson
Recently VICE offices around the world have been using the Godlike, all-seeing power of Google Trends to unearth some awkward truths about our own internet habits. By cross referencing embarrassing search terms against different population centres, we learned of South Australia’s strange fascination with pregnancy porn, saw that people from London love dad rock, realised Nova Scotia has herpes, and discovered Drenthe doesn’t know what Facebook is.
This time we turn our attention to New Zealand and the creepy nonsense its denizens are trying to research/jerk off too. We made up a list of phrases like Ford Escort, fracking, bundt cake, and Simply Red to see who was Googling what, most. Here are the inflammatory results.
Most searched for: Dots, shame, Fruju, Stacey Jones, meth, cheerleaders, morning after pill, contraception, gay, lesbian, fine wine, escorts, ping pong, bundt cake, Simply Red, how to make bombs, stolen car, how to pick a lock, terrorist, muscle gain, how to get a girlfriend
As New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland likes to see itself as the slick older sibling to the rest of the country. It’s a place where you can get a meal at a world class Japanese restaurant and a lapdance from a stripper with a c-section scar, two hallmarks of a thriving metropolis.
Fittingly, Auckland lives up to its reputation by topping the list for fine wines and muscle gain. But it seems like the trappings of city life are creeping in, with meth, escorts, and Simply Red also making a worrying appearance. Auckland proves you can never escape your dots-smoking, fruju-loving, bundt-cake-eating roots—unless you pick a lock, make a bomb and commit a terror act. Call your mum Auckland, life’s moving too fast for you.
Most searched for: Mince pie (huge spike December 2011), Shortland Street, Kimbra, BYO, wine, cute animals, best coffee
Even if you haven’t been to Wellington you could look at this list and imagine the cigarette-smoking, eye-rolling, guitar (sort of) playing liberal arts students that live there. BYO your own cheap wine to the party, wake up with a hangover, get a pie, complain about the coffee, and say something ironic—probably about a cat meme Shortland Street.
Although credit should be given for loyalty as they’re clearly sticking by Kimbra even after New Zealand’s first ever young cute internationally recognised pop star was ousted by a younger, cuter, more internationally recognised pop star in 24 months.
BAY OF PLENTY
Most searched for: Mean, bomb, sex, weed, pork belly
Jeez, chill out Bay of Plenty, you’re clearly living life firmly in the fast lane. Bay of Plenty residents are keeping it mean eating fine meats, having heaps of sex, loving weed and finishing it all off by either setting off bombs or doing sick bombs jumping into the estuary. Just kidding—nobody who looks up any of those things has ever come within 15 meters of them. Dream big Bay of Plenty, you’ll get there.
Most searched for: Fracking, cousins, condom, ford escort. Moa, ACT party, bong, fish and chips, drones, pansextual, Russell Crowe
Holy shit how fun does Canterbury sound? Is everyone just having safe sex (hopefully not with their cousins) in economic small cars before getting fish and chips? Fish and chips that may or may not be delivered by drones. We’ll let fracking and Russell Crowe slide for that. Hey, Gladiator was a good movie.
Most searched for: Sheep, Katy Perry, weight loss
Don’t go to Southland.
Most searched for: Pregnant, fraud
By itself, pregnancy can be exciting and joyful. But fraud is never those things, and tends to bring down the vibe of a sentence. In this case, it means pregnant women in Waikato use Google from caravans, in the rain, while their boyfriends sell shares to some sort of online gambling scheme involving greyhounds, or invest in someone else’s. In short, Waikato is not somewhere to raise kids.
Most searched for: killing, lawyer
Say what you want about Northland, it’s a straight, uncomplicated place. You don’t like a fella, kill him, then get a lawyer. Bada bing, bada boom. In Northland, they’ve got land, and it’s up north. What’s not to get?
Most searched for: Dolphins, John Key, Rachel Hunter, rain, roast chicken, Reddit, consent
Otago is wonderful. And that term might seem a little old fashioned, but not in Otago. Those folks are just happy to be out of the rain. Dry off, get by the fire, do you want to borrow a jersey? How about some roast chicken? And in Otago, they’ve got the time and care to browse politics and dolphin preservation on Reddit, which has the flow on effect of a lingering interest in Rachel Hunter. Rachel was beautiful you know, with eyes that said “I consent,” but not in a trashy, Kate Upton sort of way. Rachel had style.
Most searched for: Escorts, Lord of the Rings, Miley Cyrus, animal sex, Crowded House
Life is fast in Taranaki. You work hard milking cows, then you go out at night and get weird. Plenty of animal sex, lots of Miley Cyrus played late, real loud. And amongst all that fun, it’s easy to forget that the Taranaki people are some of the proudest New Zealanders around. They’re proud of Lord of the Rings, which was actually shot using their landscapes (as was The Last Samurai) and a world famous band of the 80s, which has little to do with them. Taranakians live fast and die proud from mysterious STIs.
Most searched for: Lorde
This was the only search term that gave equal results across the country. After all, remember when you first heard “Royals” and you were all like “she’s seventeen!” And then everyone played it on loop for like, four-hundred years, and it didn’t matter how old she was, you just wanted her dead. Well, in New Zealand, they’re still all like “she’s SEVENTEEN” which is annoying but still surprisingly accurate. She’s not eighteen until November, which will hopefully be when New Zealanders get a grip and move on.