Could this week's Whangamomona Presidential Elections fall victim to Dirty Politics?
Threats to the safety of presidential candidate Eunice the Sheep are being taken seriously, says a spokesperson.
Ceri Hutchinson, who heads up Eunice's campaign team, says the threats, made directly by current president John Herlihy, are not being taken lightly and security measures are in place.
"Eunice is certainly paying attention to the threats made, although she also thinks the threats show President Herlihy sees her as a serious risk to his re-election chances."
Pat Herlihy, a very unofficial spokesperson for John, was happy to confirm the threats had been made by John, saying Eunice would be well advised to sleep with one eye open in the lead up to Saturday's Whangamomona Presidential Elections at the 2019 Republic Day.
Pat says John thinks Eunice is more suited to a barbecue than being president, and he has plenty of mint sauce in the pantry just in case.
Ceri says Eunice is determined to be present for the elections, and her campaign has appeal for all, not just the ovine population of Whangamomona.
"She wants to see an increase in wool prices, as well as more options in shearing styles for sheep."
In an unusual move for a Whangamomona presidential candidate, Eunice has also made it known she plans to avoid bias should she be elected.
"In particular, one of the presidential duties includes judging the Marco School pet day, and Eunice has made it clear she will show no favouritism to other sheep on the day, preferring to judge every pet on its own merits."
John's election promises include a continued dedication to not paying rates to Horizons Regional Council and getting NZTA to finally fix SH43.
Pat says John is also looking at some form of wall being built between Whangamomona and the Horizons region.
"Obviously that will be paid for by Horizons, out of the rates bills we aren't contributing to!"
Ceri says outside of the election itself, Whangamomona Republic Day will be a great family day out for all.
"We have plenty planned for the day, with a dunk tank likely to attract plenty of attention."
Dunkees include current president John Herlihy, but animal safety concerns means Eunice is exempt from the challenge. A challenge is being issued however to Neil Volzke, Stratford mayor, as part of diplomatic relations between Stratford and Whangamomona.
Bloss Coplestone, who is on the event committee, says people need to remember to bring their sunscreen and plenty of cash for the day.
"A passport to the Republic is just $5, and if you already have your passport, your visa stamp is just $1. Once you have gained entry to the Republic, you will find plenty of great souvenirs to spend your money on, as well as lots of free events to entertain you."
If the day is hot, the free waterslide (200 metres down Whanga Rd) is likely to be particularly popular, she adds.
Ceri says the money raised by the day all goes to the community, both directly in Whangamomona as well as the district itself.
She says the current president will be signing passports on the day, giving tourists and visitors the chance to get a unique souvenir.
Not everyone who comes will head home that night, with many opting to book themselves accommodation in the Republic itself. Ceri says her business, the Whanga Bridge House, is taking bookings for their usual accommodation options as well as camping spots outside.
Whangamomona Republic Day: Saturday, January 19. 10am to whenever.
A bus is running from Stratford on the day, see the Stratford iSITE for details.
Find Whangamomona Republic Day 2019 as an event on Facebook.