Absolutely Positively Wellington

January 7th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

An interesting article in the Dom Post about the genesis of the Absolutely Positively slogan for .

It is the stand out success of city or town slogans. Almost everyone knows it, and it is not widely mocked like most slogans are.  God forbid if any future Council ever tries to change it,

Here’s a challenge for readers. What are the city slogans for the following cities:

  1. Auckland
  2. Christchurch
  3. Dunedin
  4. Hamilton
  5. New Plymouth
  6. Wanganui
  7. Invercargill
  8. Napier
  9. Palmerston North
  10. Nelson

 

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59 Responses to “Absolutely Positively Wellington”

  1. Monty (944 comments) says:

    Auckland – pants down brown
    Christchurch -suburban hell full of snobs
    Dunedin – scarfie city. Thanks dads for bring us your daughters
    Hamilton – I bonked your mum
    New Plymouth- drill baby drill
    Wanganui – stinky river and Maori activists
    Invercargill – arsehole of the universe
    Napier – crap beaches
    Palmerston North – suicide capital of the world
    Nelson -full of old people

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  2. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Christchurch rocks!

    Monty (4.10 post): you’ve ruled out everywhere as your home town except Wellington.

    Absolutely, positively Wellington sounds like the opening chant of a meeting of Introverts Anonymous.

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  3. Kleva Kiwi (267 comments) says:

    Invercargill used to be “City of Water & light”. No current slogan on new logo
    Dunedin was “I am Dunedin”. I think its now “its all right here”

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  4. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..Absolutely, positively Wellington sounds like the opening chant of a meeting of Introverts Anonymous….”

    Yep. All Wellingtonians are too afraid to be seen as as individuals:

    As the French Ambassador said on departing Wellington:

    “All the women dress like soldiers, the bus stop queues are full of women all dressed in black.”

    It’s clearly true…..they voted in a communist to be Mayor….one who wants to ‘level’ society by paying them nearly all the same.

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  5. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    Wasn’t Hamilton – Hamiltron – the City of the Future.
    Christchurch – The Garden City

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  6. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    Auckland – The Only City That Counts!
    Christchurch – Now With Less Racism!
    Dunedin – First-Years Eat For Free!
    Hamilton – An Hour Out of Auckland!
    New Plymouth – Come Argue About Mountain Names!
    Wanganui – He’s Not Mayor Any More, We Promise!
    Invercargill – Ask About Our International Airport!
    Napier – Scram, Ya Palooka!
    Palmerston North – First-Years Drink For Free!
    Nelson – Motueka’s Not Here, Man!

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  7. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    These city/town slogans are ridiculous.

    It would be interesting to know how much is spent on dreaming up marketing bs.

    By the way Milton in Otago is “Town of opportunities ”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/239293/criminals-midst

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  8. iMP (2,150 comments) says:

    David, Absolutely Positively is not original to Wellington. It was pinched from an American city, SFO I think.

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  9. iMP (2,150 comments) says:

    Christchurch – Full of crack houses.

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  10. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    Jeez, I offended a few Aucklanders.

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  11. Pete George (21,804 comments) says:

    Dunedin doesn’t have a slogan any more, thankfully, the last two were cringey. The hashtag #DunnerStunner seems to be used a bit but I don’t like Dunner/Dunners being used.

    A gothic font Dunedin that makes the city look historic (very) is controversial but seems to be the only identifier now – shown here http://www.dunedinnz.com/visit/home

    I’ve never liked Wellington’s slogan, “absolutely” is gushy and overdone.

    “The best…” anything is often tried but is a standard that can never be met.

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  12. Steve (North Shore) (4,318 comments) says:

    Auckland – City of Sales/Sails. Keeping NZ alive!

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  13. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    Auckland – City of fails
    Christchurch – The Graded City
    Dunedin – Pete George Lives Here
    Hamilton – Even the river runs through it
    New Plymouth – Come for the twisters, stay cos your wheels were stolen
    Wanganui – Free H’s for all
    Invercargill – We speak different, we are different
    Napier – Rocky beaches for all
    Palmerston North – Don’t massey it
    Nelson – Gods gift returned
    Wellington – We exist because of Government

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  14. iMP (2,150 comments) says:

    Not SFO, but pinched from Federal Express. It’s been their corporate slogan since the 70s or 80s. Even the title of their corporate history publication in 1988.

    Wellington – Completely unoriginal.

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  15. edhunter (434 comments) says:

    One does wonder (not too hard mind you) how much is invested(wasted) in coming up with with some of this dross.
    I mean Auckland use to be City of Sails- not very imaginative, but is one I thought should’ve been in the “if it ain’t broke” category but no they had to go change it to ‘The big little city’ or something like it anyway. For some reason it reminds of the little engine that could.

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  16. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    A friend of mine once described Auckland as “City of Cranes”. I quite liked that.

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  17. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    I like labrator’s (5.13) “Dunedin – Pete George lives here”

    It might just be easier to change the name of the city, though: Peterborough or St Petersburg.

    I’m puzzled by Ryan Sproull’s 4.51 “Christchurch – Now With Less Racism!”

    The fact that it has a higher white people than Auckland is historic, Ryan, not because there’s anything like the Ku Klux Klkan in Christchurch. Nor does Christchurch have yet brown ghettoes like South Auckland and Porirua. And the city gives the local tribe, Ngai Tahu, a lot bigger say in things than Wellington and Auckland’s local tribes get.

    So what the fuck were you getting at, Ryan? The fact that they are hacking down the Avon’s weeping willows that are reputedly descended from slips taken from Napoleon’s grave and replacing them with flax and toetoe and slow-growing idigenous trees? I thought that was the opposite of racism.

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  18. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    The fact that it has a higher white people than Auckland is historic, Ryan, not because there’s anything like the Ku Klux Klkan in Christchurch. Nor does Christchurch have yet brown ghettoes like South Auckland and Porirua. And the city gives the local tribe, Ngai Tahu, a lot bigger say in things than Wellington and Auckland’s local tribes get.

    So what the fuck were you getting at, Ryan? The fact that they are hacking down the Avon’s weeping willows that are reputedly descended from slips taken from Napoleon’s grave and replacing them with flax and toetoe and slow-growing idigenous trees? I thought that was the opposite of racism.

    Yeah, I grew up in Christchurch – the racism I’m talking about isn’t in the City Council or its choice of trees.

    (And aren’t the weeping willows dying of some disease?)

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  19. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    Auckland does not need a slogan It just is. A fabulous city and it knows it. Best climate for a major city in the world.

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  20. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Re Ryan Sproull’s 5.47:

    Surely, Ryan, you’re not saying that Christchurch is “less racist” because you moved away?

    Haven’t heard about the weeping willow disease. The PC, turn back the clock mob, have been dreaming of chopping down the weeping willows for a decade or two.

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  21. SGA (516 comments) says:

    Jack5 at 5:24 pm

    I like labrator’s (5.13) “Dunedin – Pete George lives here”
    It might just be easier to change the name of the city, though: Peterborough or St Petersburg.

    Georgetown – sister city to Georgetown (Guyana), Georgetown (Texas), and George Town (Cayman Is).

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  22. Mobile Michael (364 comments) says:

    Jack5 – Christchurch is the home of Kyle Chapman and his small minded legion. It’s not fair on the rest of Canterbury, but they are NZs best known racists.

    Palmerston Nth was “The Knowledge City” from memory. But playing along…

    Auckland – you are still 3 hours from your destination.
    Christchurch – dull, flat, and insular.
    Dunedin – former home of Marc Ellis
    Hamilton – No Fords allowed.
    New Plymouth – Yes, you need a raincoat.
    Wanganui – At least we’re not Palmerston North
    Invercargill – meet my wife, cousin, and sister. Yes, they’re one person.
    Napier – We got some old buildings and an earthquake zone.
    P North – That’s my sheep.
    Nelson – Pot available over the hill.

    And finally, Wellington: We’re dying, but in denial.

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  23. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Jack5

    If they’re engaged in full on broification in Christchurch then as far as I’m concerned that’s racism.

    In fact that sort of shit is a cultural genocide ,it’s what the political elites in Aotearoa,formerly New Zealand are hell bent on,why,Maori are only 15% of the pop!

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  24. Yogibear (227 comments) says:

    Christchurch- We’re like Hamilton with a smaller river

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  25. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    Surely, Ryan, you’re not saying that Christchurch is “less racist” because you moved away?

    I’d call that a radical interpretation of the text.

    No, I was not saying that. I can’t imagine anyone ever saying that.

    “Now with less XXXXX!” is a cliche in advertising (for example) that I was using to comic effect in reference to Christchurch’s reputation for casual racism.

    If I didn’t want to offend your delicate sensibilities, I suppose I could have gone with…

    “Come for the Flatness, Stay for the One-Way System!”
    “Nor’wester?! I Barely Even Know ‘Er!”
    “Driving Distance From Things to Do!”

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  26. Pete George (21,804 comments) says:

    No naming rights, I’m not even Scottish (but I do have a Robbie Burns medal and some of my grandkids are more Scottish than most Dunedinites). And I wasn’t born here. The main street was named after some other dude.

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  27. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael posted at 5.46:

    …Christchurch is the home of Kyle Chapman and his small minded legion. It’s not fair on the rest of Canterbury, but they are NZs best known racists….

    Chapman does seem to spend most of his time in Christchurch and stands for Mayor at local elections, but he’s from much further south, and that’s where the, ahem, molotov cocktail incident is alleged to have occurred at a marae. He is part Maori, but I believe, not connected to the local tribe, Ngai Tahu.

    I think Chapman’s group has demonstrated against Asian immigration, but when he is of mixed race himself, his politics and philosophy become a little more complex, or confused (take your pick).

    Chapman has spent a lot of time between Christchurch and the Waikato, and may be spending time between the two areas again, depending on the state of his marriage to a respectable and nice North Island Mormon lady.

    I don’t think there has been anti-Semitic vandalism in Christchurch comparable with that in Wellington and Auckland, and where there has been gang activity in the south, it has been multiracial – white gangs and brown gangs, whereas in Wellington and Auckland if you say “gang” you mean a brown gang.

    I think it’s pretentious of Wellingtonians and Aucklanders to sneer at Christchurch people as rednecks when Wellingtonians and Aucklanders have much of their own non-white communities ghetto-ised in communities like Porirua and Mangare-Papatoetoe.

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  28. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Pete George, after whom we want to rename Dunedin, posted at 5.59:

    …No naming rights, I’m not even Scottish. And I wasn’t born here. The main street was named after some other dude.

    I knew it! The magisterial tone, the gravitas.

    You are a Hanoverian George, aren’t you Pete? I mean, Your Highness, Pete.

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  29. dime (8,750 comments) says:

    Auckland – new zealand
    Christchurch – inbred shit hole
    Dunedin – boring shit hole
    Hamilton – about what youd expect from a shit hole
    New Plymouth – i dont even know where this is shit hole
    Wanganui – gang infested shit hole
    Invercargill – should be nuked shit hole
    Napier – such a shit hole ya cant swim at the beach shit hole
    Palmerston North – kill yourself shit hole (the angriest hooker i ever banged was from here)
    Nelson – rates itself but is ultimately a shit hole

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  30. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    Auckland…..the City of Sails & a cheating, masturbating, diseased mayor with premature ejaculation problems.

    Doesn’t have much of a ‘zing’ to it from a marketing point of view. :)

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  31. 2boyz (230 comments) says:

    Auckland – The Centre of Our World
    Christchurch –
    Dunedin –
    Hamilton –
    New Plymouth –
    Wanganui –
    Invercargill –
    Napier –
    Palmerston North –
    Nelson –
    Wellington –

    The others don’t need catchy slogans as according to some they don’t matter.

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  32. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull #

    “….Yeah, I grew up in Christchurch – the racism I’m talking about isn’t in the City Council or its choice of trees…..”

    Oh…….So did I.

    “Christchurch kids turn out best” is at least a truthful slogan. :cool:

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  33. greybeard (46 comments) says:

    Auckland – where ? why ?
    Christchurch – flat, flattened and feral
    Dunedin – fantastic
    Hamilton – bigger version of Palmerston North
    Palmerston North – see above
    Wellington – even better than Dunedin

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  34. Alan (908 comments) says:

    Auckland – Only real city in NZ.

    Who cares about the rest?

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  35. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Hutt City. The home of Braveheart Wallace. The biggest little Mayor in town! :)

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  36. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Hutt City – bum crack valley!

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  37. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Where Plumbers always bend over to give you a fair deal! :)

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  38. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    City slogans, like sister cities are a waste of time.

    It’s a fun game to play though as your drive around; making up slogans. “Huntly, you know you’re standing in it”

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  39. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    True KiwiGreg……. Blackball…you should have had it seen to earlier! :)

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  40. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Wanaka….Where all the locals are tuggers but none of them can spell! :)

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  41. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    See Eketahuna & die happy! :)

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  42. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Bluff….Where bullshit baffles whatever! :)

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  43. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Waipukurau….when you can puk a cow! :)

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  44. Grant Michael McKenna (1,152 comments) says:

    Auckland: Big Little City.
    Christchurch: Garden City
    Dunedin: I am Dunedin. Used to be “Dunedin, it’s all right here”.
    Hamilton: Hamilton, more than you expect.
    New Plymouth: We aren’t Hamilton
    Wanganui: Well worth the trip
    Invercargill: Colder than you think
    Napier: Art Deco Capital
    Palmerston North: John Cleese recommends us
    Nelson: Live the day.
    Porirua: P-Town
    Hutt Valley: Up your Hutt Valley

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  45. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Fairlie….Where it’s fairly awful! :)

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  46. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Gore…..It’s a fucking bore! :)

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  47. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    I always thought “City of Sails” was pretty god as slogans go. Like edhunter (above) I think they should have kept it.
    Dunedin’s “It’s all right here” was widely mocked – though I am not sure why.
    Invercargill: Where dreams are possible [aka Burt Munro] though that seems to have fallen by the wayside lately.

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  48. Crusader (225 comments) says:

    (Wow – some real sharp wits came up with those lists above. Big careers await in stand up comedy.)

    Seriously folks, as far as name recognition goes, everyone in NZ knows Christchurch is the Garden City and Auckland is the City of Sails. Both very apt. Match the city’s character.

    But most of the slogans sound contrived. Even “Absolutely positively” if you were honest about it (what the heck does that mean? how is that particularly applicable to Wellington? couldn’t they think of anything meaningful?)
    Ask most Aucklanders to tell you what is Wellington’s slogan and they would say “what’s Wellington, do you mean Mount Wellington?” In the end, “Absolutely Positively” is about as silly as “I am Dunedin.”

    Just admit it, there isn’t any slogan that fits Wellington except “Windy Wellington”, and that’s the one that most Kiwis from outside Wellington remember.

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  49. Ross Nixon (599 comments) says:

    Palmerston North: used to be ‘Young heart, easy living’ (from memory).
    Palmerston North: next year ‘Gigatown’ (when we win the @ChorusNZ competition).

    And Jeremy Clarkson recommends us highly!

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  50. Andrew McMillan (44 comments) says:

    Timaru’s current advertising slogan is “affordable, accessible … just plain awesome”, a prior one was “Touch, Taste, Feel”.

    I think “mutton dressed as lamb” may be more appropiate

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  51. simonway (356 comments) says:

    I remember two of Hamilton’s previous slogans: “Where it’s happening” and “More than you might expect”. Both were eventually abandoned on account of not actually being true.

    (I kid, visitors who only know the city by reputation are often surprised by the quality of the Hamilton Gardens once they actually go – for them, it really is more than they expect.)

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  52. Left Right and Centre (2,390 comments) says:

    Absolutely Positively 1991.

    Real places don’t need marketing. Vegas – ???? Just come here because it’s so fucking awesome. Gold Coast Aussie – ???? It’s got lots of cool stuff. London. Paris. New York. Tokyo. Do you think Venice needs a fucking marketing catchphrase ?

    What’s Wellington got ? A cable car. Hills. Wind. Politicians. Govt drones. Wind. A cable car. Buses with poles. Trains with pantographs. Lots of shitarse bendy little streets. Wind. Houses with 50-100 steps or so many steps they need their own little cable car. Rainbow immigration policy. Come and see the Noah’s Ark variety of recent two minute noodle arrivals. Weirdos who dress funny and all express their ‘individuality’ collectively to create an urban landscape of junky looking junkies.

    It’s got nothing much that you can’t do somewhere else. I’d say come to Wellington and see some of the funny suburb layouts and interesting older houses in the city suburbs, some of the views, maybe a ‘bushwalk’. That’s it. Te Papa. But again – museums are in every city.

    When you see tourists in Wellington – it just goes to show you that people really don’t care where they go as long as it’s not their own familiar boring home country. Another boring place that’s a slightly different is ok.

    If you’re from Wellington – visiting anywhere in Aussie would be cool. Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth. The other way round…. how excited are you about coming to Wellington ?

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  53. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Just replace the first letter or two with an F:

    Fuckland
    Funedin
    Fellington
    Fistchurch
    Fangarei
    etc.

    Oh, and always thought ‘Och Aye Dunedin’ would be a good idea.

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  54. RF (1,128 comments) says:

    Christchurch – The Munted City

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  55. CeeJay said (3 comments) says:

    I notice Tauranga seems to have such a high profile in Kiwiblogland we don’t even make it onto your list, despite now being the country’s 5th biggest city.

    If we do have a slogan I don’t know what it is. And I don’t think we need any of your suggestions, thanks.

    We seem to be getting on just fine without one.

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  56. Mobile Michael (364 comments) says:

    Tauranga – Winston doesn’t live here any more.

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  57. duggie (16 comments) says:

    New Plymouth spent gazillions on a consultant to come up with the ridiculous: “Like no other”. Down the road, Bulls promptly took the piss with “Bulls, a town like no udder.”

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  58. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Newtown – it’s a bit sh*t

    Palmerston North – the city of the future

    Rotorua – giz twenny bucks au!

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  59. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Failed in Auckland? Try Tauranga!

    Tauranga – It’s almost like the Gold Coast, a bit…

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