January 22, 2015
Ratana makes short work of politicians
Ratana Pa near Whanganui is readying itself for tomorrow’s onslaught of MPs and media.
The appearance of politicians from all parties at the annual celebration of the birth of church founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana is seen as a way of testing Maori sentiment at the start of the political year.
Labour’s new Te Tai Hauauru MP Adrian Rurawhe, who has been attending the hui since childhood, says until the advent of MMP in 1986 it was usually only Labour MPs who attended, in acknowledgement of the close links between the two movements dating back to the 1930s.
He says for morehu or church members it’s only a small part of a five-day hui that is mainly concentrated on sports and entertainment for rangatahi.
"We’ve got it down to just two powhiri. It used to be a powhiri for each political party but now it's just two, one for the government parties and one for the opposition, so it has truncated down which for those who are not interested in politics, that’s a good thing because people complain about it taking up too much time on the marae," Mr Rurawhe says.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN RURAWHE CLICK ON THE LINK
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