January 22, 2014
Ringatu signalling revival
Members of Te Haahi Ringatu are preparing to go in numbers to the annual 25th of January hui at Ratana Pa, the first time the church has formally been there in 33 years.
Prominent member Te Kahautu Maxwell says that's also how long it has been since the church has had a formal leader.
He says the election of Wirangi Pera as pou tikanga at the church's New Year's Day synod at Wainui on the Ohiwa Harbour was an attempt to reverse the decline in the church.
The 83-year-old Te Aitanga a Mahaki kaumatua was prevailed on to take on the role when the other likely contender failed to show up.
"He's always there and hes also been the force behind the trustees of the Wainui Parish who are in charge of the 600 acres that the government gave Te Kooti as a base for his people when they pardoned him in 1883 and hes been a striving force behind the new trustees to develop the land because the lands been idle for many years so we thought that hes the right man," he says.
Te Kahautu Maxwell says Wirangi Pera also led a large contingent on to last Sunday's Kokohinau Poukai in Te Teko, to reinforce the historic links between Ringatu and the Kingitanga stretching back to Te Kooti's years of exile in the King Country.
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