Celine Dion Songs The Subject Of 'Siren Battles' And Petition In New Zealand Town

26 October 2023 | 9:29 am | Mary Varvaris

"Enough is enough."

Celine Dion

Celine Dion (Credit: Alix Malka)

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Residents of the New Zealand town of Porirua are getting sick of hearing Celine Dion songs as ongoing “siren battles” occur anytime between 7 pm and 2 am.

The siren battles find car drivers with massive speakers attached to their vehicles, blasting My Heart Will Go On the loudest and the clearest to express themselves. The people blasting Dion’s music gather in an area with their cars, turn up the music and play it through sirens primarily used for emergencies.

“It’s vibrating all over the city wherever they do it because we’re in a basin. It’s really frustrating,” the Mayor of Porirua, Anita Baker, told The Guardian.

The incidents – which have become more frequent from February through to October – have become so annoying for residents that the community has taken matters into its own hands, kickstarting a Change.org petition to stop what Baker called the “siren kings”.

The petition was launched earlier this month. “Enough is enough. Porirua City Council must act and stop the gathering of car meets blasting music and emergency sirens noises at all hours of the night,” the description of the Change.org petition, started by Wes Gaarkeuken, reads.

“Ratepayers are tired of the inaction and dismissive attitude shown by the Council and the Mayor concerning this issue.

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“Disturbances of the peace must be enforced, and ratepayers deserve better from their Council.

“The Council must act and start enforcing section 10 of the Public Places Bylaw 2019 against these car meets that disturb the peace.”

A supporter of the petition, Diana Paris, wrote, “Although I enjoy Celine Dion in the comfort of my lounge and at my volume, I do not enjoy hearing fragments of it stopping and starting at any time between 7pm and 2am.”

While residents find the siren battles annoying, Paul Lesoa explained to the New Zealand website The Spin-Off last year that the practice, which began in Pacific youth communities, is a way for them to express themselves.

“We just love music, we love dancing, and doing this is better than night clubbing or drinking in a bar in the city, where there’s fights,” Lesoa said.

“Celine Dion is popular because it’s such a clear song – so we try to use music that has high treble, is clear and not much bass.”

Celine Dion cancelled all 2023 and 2024 dates on her Courage tour in May due to her recent Stiff Person Syndrome diagnosis. “I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again,” she said. “I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100%.

“It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again.”