As it is the first time Americarna have visited Whangamomona we thought we would share a bit of their history. The drive out to Whanga is listed as one of the "Roads you must drive" by NZV8 Magazine!
Whangamomona is located approximately half way between Mount Taranaki/Egmont and Mount Ruapehu (as the crow flies) on The Forgotten World Highway (43). Roughly half way between Stratford and Taumarunui.
We (the district of Whangamomona) sought our independence when the higher powers of Local Government shifted our local district boundries from the traditional one of the Stratford County, to one that was in line with the watershed of the main rivers, so half of Whangamomona District went from the Taranaki Region to the Wanganui/Manawatu Region. Some locals were lucky and half their farms stayed in Taranaki. This did not sit well with the residents of Whanga as most of us associate ourselves with Taranaki. The stubborn streak came out and we struck our independence, if only for one day every year or two, to show we did not like this decision being made without consulting us, the residents, first.
This major decision, to celebrate our independence, was originally made within the four walls of the local hotel back in 1988 and the idea grew into what we have today. We celebrated our fourteenth independence day in 2007, which is actually our nineteenth year of reputed independence.
Republic Day celebrations can swell the Whangamomona Township population of around 40 people to anywhere between 2000 to 4000 people. The entire Whangamomona District has only 200 (approximate) people on a good day.
Our first president lasted 10 years before taking early retirement and enjoying his time in whanga without the heavy weight of office on his shoulders. Sadly, he has since passed away.
Unfortunatley the next president , “Billy the Kid”, only survived in the position for 18 months before the pressures of power overwhelmed him and he died in active duty – weed eating on the town hill.
Tai the poodle was duly elected in 2003, but had to resign from office after an attempted assassination left him severely traumatised and unable to carry out official duties.
Three candidates ran huge campaigns for the 2005 elections without a single tax dollar spent. On the conclusion of the vote counting on Republic Day, Murt Kennard was duly elected as president. Murt always makes himself available for the duties of office over and above his normal work day.
Republic Day is a success only due to the volunteers and people power given by members of committee and wider Whangamomona community for the betterment our entire district.
All money raised is used within the boundries of the Whangamomona District for the community and to help our youth widen their horizons.