24 Jan 2021

Celebrations at Rātana pā underway

6:14 pm on 24 January 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā are getting underway with a smaller group of attendees, who hope the church's internal issues can be resolved before the next major hui.

Ratana Temple, Te Haahi Ratana Fri 24th January 2020.

Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

The government usually attends, signalling the start of the political year, but the internal issues have seen the 2021 event downsized to church followers and members only.

Among those attending is Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe, who is the great-grandson of the founder Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana.

He said it's a shame the issues hadn't been resolved yet, although they hadn't been a major focus this weekend.

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said it was important to respect the kaupapa of Rātana as it resolves its internal disputes.

Ngarewa-Packer said there is a lot of pressure on Rātana to host politicians, so it's important they take time to restore from the inside.

"They've led from the front for a long time and I think it's important that we step back and give them the space to withdraw and resolve."

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