The tiny hamlet of Whangamomona on New Zealand’s North Island is independent in more than just spirit.
Whangamomona’s feisty inhabitants weren’t having any of it when local council boundaries were shifted in 1988. The settlement was due to move from the Taranaki region to Manawutu, but the locals realised that this would mean playing rugby for the detested rivals.
This was clearly not going to happen, so they decided to declare the village an independent republic.
Despite having an outdoor toilet as a border guard, the ‘republic’ boasts its own president and even has its own national beer. That said, two of the previous presidents have been a goat and a poodle.
Every second January Whangamomona holds independence celebrations, and of the many events, it’s apparently the sheep races that generate the most enthusiasm. They’re not independent enough from New Zealand to not get excited about sheep, after all.
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