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April 7, 2008 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

The Battle of Manner’s Mall

At the end of January inner city Wellington experienced one of its biggest youth turf wars ever. And you thought it was only South Auckland that had problems…

I had an opportunity to sit down with a prominent Manners Mall staffer (who does not wish to be named) who filled me in on the vicious and gory details. The conflict involved two gangs of youths. In the Manners Mall corner were the drunken emo rogues. These little vagabonds would hang outside TimeZone next to Hoyts cinemas, get awfully drunk and try to sell poor quality weed. The second group of hoodlums was the Dark-Siders. A well known youth division of Black Power, they held the territory further East of Manners Mall, rallying around TimeOut, also selling weed and being generally nasty.

Things were going swimmingly for a year or so, until in late 2006 when TimeOut closed (allegedly because the Dark-Siders were driving away customers). Enraged, the Dark-Siders began to expand; they decided to push West, into the lands of the emo — seeking to control the last remaining arcade North of Courtenay.

Tensions instantly began bubbling; the emos didn’t want to move from their treasured drinking spot. Things came to a flashpoint when, in a fit of rage, a prominent emo hit an invading Dark-Sider in the head with a steel pipe. Over the next few days the Dark-Siders and emos parleyed — deciding the time and place for their scrap. They then amassed their troops. According to my source, over 100 emos and 100 Dark- Siders turned up. That’s impressive. And Scary.

On the appointed night, the emos had rallied around McDonald’s, while the Dark-Siders set up camp between Burger King and that naff shoe store. My source described the extent of their weaponry: both the emos and Dark-Siders had armed themselves with bats, golf clubs, chains, knives and bits of wood. The Dark-Siders even brought a slingshot to the battle. Fucking intense, but ingenious. The emos preferred to hide their weapons in the shrubs; the Dark-Siders, being rough bastards, carried theirs openly. Reserves included two van loads of emos parked down the side lane next to Star Mart, and at least two vans of Dark-Siders circling the Manner’s Mall area. At 10pm the battle began.

In an obvious act of legislative nuance, the Dark-Siders sent two drunken Dark-Sider chicks down to the emo lines, hoping for them pick a fight, so that a pretext for violence was established. It didn’t work. So groups of Dark-Siders and emos numbering four or more began skirmishing in the center of the mall. My source recalls that a “dodgy looking Iraqi guy” was standing in the center of the mall ‘officiating’ the skirmishes — rumors have it that he was a father of one of the emos. What a family.

The conflict kept going for much of the night. Towards the early hours of the morning Black Power members unexpectedly arrived. The emos, perceiving the Black Power members as enemy reinforcements, began to waver. The Black Power members began advancing towards the emos and took pictures, allegedly for blackmailing purposes. My source has the phone in their hand, debating whether to call 111 – until the Black Power members clip their kids around the ears and tell them to ‘piss off home’. What a family.

The Dark-Siders had achieved a decisive victory. The emos were never to return; only a smattering of second generation emos can be seen drinking Corban’s wine on the outskirts of the Mall.

The things you learn huh?


About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

Comments (13)

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  1. Lowell Bergman says:

    Reveal your source! I suppose this story was just too under the radar for the mainstream media, explaining why this is the first we’ve ever heard of an apparent TWO HUNDRED (plus) person brawl in the CBD that took place ‘ for much of the night’. Despite what is described as a pitched battle on a prominent street, no-one called the police. Not even the residents of apartments in the area. their sporadic night patrols must have missed it too. This story has all the hallmarks of ‘rumours’, rather than facts. I’m a chartiable guy, so I suggest Mr Reyners has grossly exaggerated some hear-say, second hand from the night duty dude an an internet cafe.

    You dudes must really have been gagging for some free copy to publish this story – easily the worst piece I’ve seen in four years of Salient.

  2. Are you serious Conrad? You’re not even going to tie this to the ACTUAL Battle of Manners Mall?

  3. Jackson Wood says:

    Conrad, I will bring the aloe vera up to the office tomorrow for you to soothe that mean burn.

  4. conrad reyners says:

    It wasn’t really a a burn at all. The old battle of Manners mall wasn’t really a battle AT manners mall. It quickly spread to countenay and other areas. Furthermore it was a riot, not an organized battle as per the above.

    I poke my tongue at you.

  5. Bitch, you’re the reason I’m sick. It’s probably meningitis.

  6. Brunswick says:

    This is why the Salient office is closed on Fridays – everyone’s in there rubbing each other with aloe vera.

  7. Jackson Wood says:

    No, its generally because everyone is passed out from staying up late trying to finish putting the mag together… between the copious amounts of weed, alcohol and P we consume it is a tiring business.

  8. dont forget the SEX.

  9. Haimona Gray says:

    Theres a reason that pool table is out of commission and theres broken pieces of chair scattered around the office.

  10. its kinda hard to control Haimona once he sets his mind to something.

    Or someone.

  11. - says:

    I think you’ll find the “emos” also had Molotovs.
    I was there, you see.

  12. heironynous bosch says:

    you have got to be kidding me…

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