January 23, 2020
Ratana celebration a great leveller
The political parties head for Rātana today to take the temperature of the Māori world and pitch their platforms for the year ahead.
Thousands of people turn out every year to mark the birthday of church founder Tahupōtiki Wiremu Ratana.
The Opposition parties including the Māori Party are due to go on first at 11 am.
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer went on to the marae yesterday with her iwi Ngāti Ruanui, and she will be back today as the party’s Te Tai Hauauru candidate.
She says it’s a great leveller.
“It’s really important for us as Māori to find our waahi, to hold our tikanga, to put aside our differences and to come to kaupapa that unite us and I think that’s the significance of Rātana and that’s exactly what Rātana did. He went around the motu and encouraged that we work together to find solutions for poverty and those that are making our people bereft,” she says.
For her, the hui is about listening rather than talking.
The proceedings at Rātana from Awa FM will be simulcast today on the iwi radio network including Radio Waatea 603AM.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com