Taniquah is a small island slightly south of Raoul Island, in the Kermadec Trench. The capital and main urban area is Potaka (population: 4,210.) The island is at 28 degrees south and 177 west and invisible to the naked eye.
Population of the island was 100% Maori in 1900. Today it is 55% Maori, 40% Mixed (mostly Maori-Pakeha), and 5% Pakeha. Population is now 6,521.
The Ruler is King Utiku IV, holder of the Ariki title. He was crowned in 1988, and was born in 1976. The Island is set near Macquarie Island in the Kermadecs and is only visible once one enters a trance like state near it. The climate is warm and wet with a summer averages of 26/17 degrees and winter of 16/11 degrees. Rainfall is 1500mm a year with a winter minimum.
The main towns are Potaka, Walkerville (Pop 1,050), Ngatipuawaitangakoreke (435) and Oawaru (213)
Island time is same as New Zealand but with no daylight savings observed (GMT +12). Electricity and sewage are along western lines although some country areas are on septic tanks.
Currency is the Taara - ($ or Ta$) made up of 100 heniti (Cents). Exchange rate is Ta$ 1 = NZ $1.60. Coins include 5h, 10h, 25h, 50h, Ta$1, Ta$3, Notes are Ta $7, Ta$15, Ta $35, Ta $90 and Ta $ 265, this makes mathematics difficult and credit cards popular. There is a 2% credit card levy on all sales and TST (Taniquah Sales Tax) of 12.63% on all purchases over Ta $91
The Chiefs trace their lineage to Tamatea the Navigator, going back a thousand years. The island was settled about 1000 A.D. by East Polynesians. Europeans arrived in 1821, mostly convicts from Sydney and Norfolk Island. Missionaries also arrived in 1821. The Kingdom was Established amongst European lines in 1812, with great Chief Tapuhi declaring himself King Utiku I of the new Potaka (Specialist dynasty)
In 1830, the settlement of Potaka was founded, and the Royal court built an imposing palace that was rebuilt in 1989 after King Utiku III blew it up accidentally while burning firewood outside it in January 1988 when he was high.
King Utiku I died in 1871 at the age of 76 and was succeeded by King Utiku II his son, he implemented modern roads
and education for all Taniquans as opposed to the wealthy ones only. The king had 4 wives and rumour goes that he
ate the first two as part of a tribal feud in the 1840s. He ruled to 1920 and apparently was in his 100's when he passed
on. Under this king, electricity, trams and cars made it on to the island, relations were established with ICIS states and
Europeans and Maoris, along with other Polynesians were allowed to settle on the island, due to dropsy killing many
Taniquans.The first stamps were issued in 1883.
He was succeeded by one of his great nephews, Arapeta who was crowned Arapeta I and like his present majesty was well educated being a qualified doctor and visited Antarctica as a Doctor in 1934. Arapeta had many inner demons and died in 1936 reputedley taking his own life. He was only 35 and also a follower of Vladimir Lenin and even issued a stamp of Lenin in 1921, before the Soviets did.
The 4th King was Arona and under his rule, the country went backwards, often ill and incapable he was advised by greedy individuals and stamps all but stop being issued. In 1973 he passed on and the title went to King Utiku III (1953 - 2015), his rule saw some redevelopment under able ministers and an intelligent Queen (Margaret 1954 - 2007) and potential was seen in the Prince Utiku IV born 1976. An earlier son Prince Heemi was ruled invalid for the crown as he was born 3 weeks before his majesty married her majesty and she was still deemed a commoner. There were some riots by locals too over the European blood of her majesty the Queen Mother. The commoners were angry as King Arapata was also mixed race and seen as a sellout to the purist Maori element.
Matters came to a head in 1987, when the country was bankrupt, the King was mad with power and on drugs and the Queen and Princes were in exile, the 12 year old Prince Utiku came back and deposed the King with a NZ based army and he declared himself ruler. The Queen mother was made regent and the King carried on with his studies in anthropology and statecraft.
In 1998 he assumed the roles as constitutional monarch with a parliament being established representing the island's population, 4 chiefs, 2 European leaders and 2 commoners (Tangata tane) of each gender. The King has veto on all matters, but he does not stand in the way of progress.
In 2012 the King awarded suffrage to the commoners and is proposing a new
constitution, it is hoped the country will change to a democracy after his death as he
has not married and has no heirs following the path of King Tupou V of Tonga
The country is mostly self-sufficient. Main occupations include the cultivation of
root crops (kumara, taro, and potato in particular), while the Pork industry
and Shellfish processing are also significant.
Taniquah toheroas are renowned throughout the globe. There is also an emerging market in the promotion of music of Prince and Michael Jackson to music lovers of the world.
The official language is Maori, though English is the language of commerce, and spoken by all the residents. Religion is Roman Catholicism (98% adherence.) The elite are members of the local religion, the Universal Church of Tane, which is some Catholicism, some Maori religion, wicca, voodoo and syncretic Prince worship. Maori is spoken by 76% of the population and 65% speak English. A small minority also speak Samoan, Niuean and Tokelauan.
Average per capita income is $5,600 per head per year, placing it above most other independent Island nations, but signifiantly less than New Zealand and the French speaking Pacific territories.
The first stamps were issued on 15th June 1883: the One Penny carmine. Halfpenny and Twopence-halfpenny values followed the following year.
The first pictorial stamps were issued in 1896, a year which saw the first high-denomination fiscals also.
The first commemorative stamp appeared in 1920, to celebrate the Coronation of King Arapeta (Albert). The king also put out series of Lenin stamps 3 years later.
In 1923, Taniquah issued a commemorative stamp honouring Vladimir Lenin, the chairman of Russia, and this was the first time that Lenin was shown on a stamp (Russia did not feature him on stamps until his death in 1924.) Lenin is highly regarded in Taniquah, and has been shown on several other stamps over the years. Captain Cook is another well-known navigator who has also been shown on Taniquah stamps.
Today, Taniquah steadfastly refuses to become a “wallpaper-producer”, issuing numerous stamps every few weeks to exploit collectors like many modern lands do. Instead, it issues just a few tasteful and sensible stamps, to the delight of philatelists everywhere. Stamps are printed by the Royal Printers of Occusi Ambeno, a Sultanate of which the Kingdom has a healthy friendship with.
New issues are due in late 2015 and early 2016.
The Kingdom of Taniquah is a Member of the
International Council of Independent States (ICIS),
THE KINGDOM OF TANIQUAH AND HIS MAJESTY WISH ALL OF THEIR LOYAL SUBJECTS AND FANS A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS 2016.
MERI KIRIMETE ONA TAU TAONGA KIA KOUTOU!!!!