Taihape has lost it's two top promotions gurus - manager Elizabeth Mortland and assistant manager Michelle Fannin.

The two women resigned in early January.

Though Taihape Development Trust chairwoman Katene Peretini insists there is "nothing to say" about the sudden resignations of the two women, the managerial position was filled the same week by the woman who did the job nine years ago.

When Eva George arrived back in Waiouru two weeks ago with her husband and three children, she saw a story about the pair's resignation.


Within what seemed like hours she was back in her old job, she said.

"It was quite extraordinary that here I was back after nine years and there was my old job suddenly vacant.''

Ms Mortland, who was well-known and well-loved in Taihape, had worked for the trust for seven years and Ms Fannin, also much-liked in the small town, had been with the trust for five years.

Ms Fannin said she could not comment on why she and Ms Mortland had suddenly resigned except that they had been considering the situation.

"We didn't really want to with Gumboot Day coming up and everything but there was no alternative sadly," she said.

Ms Peretini, who works at Waiouru Army Base, said she could not comment on the rapid double resignation.

She said she also could not say whether an assistant position to the new manager would be made available.

"We're a non-profit charity, which means of course we are looking for money all the time.''

New manager Eva George is delighted to be back in her old role so quickly, even though she has hardly had time to catch her breath.

"There is a lot to do especially with Taihape's big day of the year, Gumboot, on March 3 which is just weeks away.''

Last year's Gumboot Day was described by Ms Fannin as a "humdinger" which had the town buzzing all week, she said.

She said last year, "I'm tired, happy and thrilled it was such an amazing day. I loved seeing so many families here with their kids. Not charging a gate price was good. It was simply a donation, which helps our families."

The Big Dig Pit of sawdust was a huge hit with the under-8 kids, she said.

"They loved finding a token for a prize, and one little girl was ecstatic when she drew the big one - a brand new bike. I was so excited all day that I think I cried at least three times.

"Of course, the highlight was the gumboot-tossing competition."

Ms George said she would be making sure Taihape had another exciting Gumboot Day.

"It is so important in this town."

Locals in the town, who would not be named, said it would not be the same without Elizabeth and Michelle.

"They were so lively. They were great for this town. It's a shame ... a real shame.''