January 26, 2015
Ratana Maori link beats politics for Flavell
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the annual hikoi of politicians to Ratana Pa shows the movement is now looking further than just the Labour Party to advance its aims.
Mr Flavell says the changes to the proceedings this year, which means the Kingitanga and Ringatu were welcomed earlier and joined the paepae facing the politicians, sent a message of Maori unity on the spiritual side.
He says while the main purpose of the five-day hui is for the movement to celebrate the birth of its founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, the church has always embraced politics.
"In the end it’s a clash between the event and the political mileage some may or may not get and sometimes it’s pretty hard because of the historical context of Ratana and the Labour Party and the rest of us follow around. I made the point that it’s all very well to have that link with the Ratana movement, but from a Maori Party perspective, what about the link of being Maori," Mr Flavell says.
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