Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Ratana

Ratana

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ratana'
Start a new discussion about 'Ratana'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Rātana movement is a Māori religion
Maori culture
Māori culture is the culture of the Māori of New Zealand, an Eastern Polynesian people, and forms a distinctive part of New Zealand culture. Within the Māori community, and to a lesser extent throughout New Zealand as a whole, the word Māoritanga is often used as an approximate synonym for Māori...

 and pan-tribal
Iwi
In New Zealand society, iwi form the largest everyday social units in Māori culture. The word iwi means "'peoples' or 'nations'. In "the work of European writers which treat iwi and hapū as parts of a hierarchical structure", it has been used to mean "tribe" , or confederation of tribes,...

 political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

 founded by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana
T. W. Ratana
Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana was the founder of the Rātana religion in the early 20th century in New Zealand. He rose to prominence as a faith healer.-Beginnings:...

 in early 20th century New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. The Rātana Church has its headquarters at the settlement of Rātana
Ratana pa
Rātana pā is a town in the North Island of New Zealand, near Wanganui and Marton in the Manawatu-Wanganui region, which developed around the Ratana church there. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Maori followers of the Ratana faith...

, near Wanganui
Wanganui
Whanganui , also spelled Wanganui, is an urban area and district on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region....

.

Ture Wairua (spiritual mission)


In 1918 Rātana saw a vision, which he regarded as divinely inspired, asking him to preach the gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 to the Māori people, to destroy the power of the tohunga
Tohunga
In the culture of the Māori of New Zealand, a tohunga is an expert practitioner of any skill or art, religious or otherwise. Tohunga may include expert priests, healers, navigators, carvers, builders, teachers and advisors. The equivalent term in Hawaiian culture is kahuna...

, and to cure the spirits and bodies of his people.

Until 1924 he preached to increasingly large numbers of Māori and established a name for himself as the "Māori Miracle Man". Initially, the movement was seen as a Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 revival, but it soon moved away from mainstream churches. On 31 May 1925, Te Haahi Rātana (The Rātana Church) was formally established as a separate church, and its founder was acknowledged as Te Mangai or the mouthpiece of God.

Hostile attitudes have caused the church to be guarded towards its teaching and founder.

Ture Tangata (secular movement)


The Rātana Church is made up of the Ture Wairua (spiritual laws) and the Ture Tangata (physical laws). The spiritual laws were itemised as the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

, and the faithful angels.

In order that these things should become manifest, a price was paid by the sons of Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana: Te Arepa, Te Omeka, Piriwiritua, and Hamuera. Rātana said he would divide his body into four parts: in the west was Te Arepa, in the south was Te Omeka, in the north was Piriwiritua, and in the east was Hamuera. These names represented members of Parliament and the four seats that Maori were allowed to vote for. These seats were all held by the New Zealand Labour Party
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

.

Te Mangai is spirit, and his kaupapa was the spiritual laws, which were supported and endorsed by his chosen people—the Morehu. The Morehu determined that they should support and endorse Rātana. The right was given by Ihoa. Piriwiritua carried the kaupapa, which was to address the sicknesses of the land, the Rātana movement. He needed Maori to be united for the Treaty to become entrenched into law. From the treaty comes the laws of man: two people but one land.

In 1924 a group including Rātana journeyed to Europe to unsuccessfully present a petition to George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 and the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 on land confiscations and the Treaty of Waitangi
Treaty of Waitangi
The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand....

. Later trips were made to the U.S. and Canada. These trips were not without controversy. The New Zealand Government acted to prevent the petition being presented to the monarch, and the visit to Japan on the way back from Europe created allegations of disloyalty and of flying the Japanese flag over the church settlement of Rātana Pā
Ratana pa
Rātana pā is a town in the North Island of New Zealand, near Wanganui and Marton in the Manawatu-Wanganui region, which developed around the Ratana church there. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Maori followers of the Ratana faith...

.

When the Rātana temple Te Temepara Tapu o Ihoa (The Holy Temple of Jehovah) was completed on 25 January 1928, Rātana declared his spiritual work was complete. Calling himself Piri Wiri Tua (the campaigner), he called the four seats in Parliament reserved for Māori the koata (quarters) of his body. This term is from the Maori language
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

 and is applied to each of the four New Zealand Maori seats
Maori seats
In New Zealand politics, Māori electorates, colloquially also called Māori seats, are a special category of electorate that gives reserved positions to representatives of Māori in the New Zealand Parliament...

 and to the Rātana movement Members of Parliament (MP) who held them.

Koata (political movement)


As early as 1923, Rātana had declared an interest in party politics, and his eldest son Haami Tokouru Rātana
Haami Tokouru Ratana
Haami Tokouru Ratana is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Ratana Church. He joined Eruera Tirikatene in Parliament as the second Ratana Independent Member of Parliament , elected for the Western Maori electorate in 1935...

 had stood for the Western Maori electorate as an independent candidate. Now Rātana was determined to capture the Māori electorates to give a voice for his movement.

In January 1928, Rātana called himself Piri Wiri Tua and called on four followers to be the quarters of his body and rule the land. The "first cut" was Paraire Karaka Paikea
Paraire Karaka Paikea
Paraire Karaka Paikea was a New Zealand politician who captured the Rātana Movement's third Māori electorate of Northern Maori from Taurekareka Henare in 1938. He was Minister without portfolio representing the Māori race from 1941 to 1943 and was also Māori Recruiting Director on the War...

 in the north, Haami Tokouru Rātana
Haami Tokouru Ratana
Haami Tokouru Ratana is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Ratana Church. He joined Eruera Tirikatene in Parliament as the second Ratana Independent Member of Parliament , elected for the Western Maori electorate in 1935...

 in the west, Pita Moko in the east, and Eruera Tirikatene
Eruera Tirikatene
Sir Eruera Tihema Te Aika Tirikatene, KCMG was a New Zealand Māori politician of the Ngai Tahu tribe. Known in early life as Edward James Te Aika Tregerthen, he was the first Ratana Member of Parliament and was elected in a by-election for Southern Maori in June 1932 after the death of Tuiti...

 in the south. Pita Moko being replaced later by Tiaki Omana
Tiaki Omana
Tiaki Omana , whose Christian name is John Ormond best known as Jack is a former New Zealand politician who captured the Rātana Movement's fourth Maori seat of Eastern Maori in 1943 from Apirana Ngata who had held it since 1905...

 in the "second cut". The covenant signed by the men promised they would not rest, and their wives separately agreed that they would go barefoot and in rags to represent the Rātana movement. All four went on to capture the Maori seats between 1932 and 1943.

Rātana candidates stood in the 1928
New Zealand general election, 1928
The New Zealand general election of 1928 was held on Tuesday, 13 November in the Māori electorates, and on Wednesday, 14 November in the general electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 23rd session of the New Zealand Parliament...

 and 1931 General Election
New Zealand general election, 1931
The 1931 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 24th term. It resulted in the newly formed coalition between the United Party and the Reform Party remaining in office as the Liberal-Reform Government, although the opposition Labour...

 and in the 1930 by-election in Western Maori following the death of Maui Pomare
Maui Pomare
Sir Maui Wiremu Pita Naera Pomare, KBE, CMG was a New Zealand doctor and politician, being counted among the more prominent Māori political figures...

, but they did not succeed. The first Rātana movement MP was Eruera Tirikatene
Eruera Tirikatene
Sir Eruera Tihema Te Aika Tirikatene, KCMG was a New Zealand Māori politician of the Ngai Tahu tribe. Known in early life as Edward James Te Aika Tregerthen, he was the first Ratana Member of Parliament and was elected in a by-election for Southern Maori in June 1932 after the death of Tuiti...

, elected in a by-election for Southern Maori
Southern Maori
Southern Maori was one of the four original New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorates, from 1868 to 1996.-Population centres:The electorate includes the following population centres:* -Tribal Areas:...

 in June 1932. He was followed by Haami Tokouru Rātana
Haami Tokouru Ratana
Haami Tokouru Ratana is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Ratana Church. He joined Eruera Tirikatene in Parliament as the second Ratana Independent Member of Parliament , elected for the Western Maori electorate in 1935...

 (known as Toko) in Western Maori
Western Maori
Western Maori was one of the four former New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorates, from 1868 to 1996.-Population Centres:The electorate includes the following population centres:* -Tribal Areas:...

 in the 1935 general election
New Zealand general election, 1935
The 1935 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 25th term. It resulted in the Labour Party's first electoral victory, with Michael Joseph Savage becoming the first Labour Prime Minister...

. In the 1938 election
New Zealand general election, 1938
The 1938 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 26th term. It resulted in the governing Labour Party being re-elected, although the newly-founded National Party gained a certain amount of ground.-Background:The Labour Party had won...

, the third Māori electorate of Northern Maori
Northern Maori
Northern Maori was one of the four original New Zealand Parliamentary Māori electorates, from 1868 to 1996.-Population centres:The electorate includes the following population centres: Auckland, Whangarei.-Tribal Areas:...

 was captured by Paraire Karaka Paikea
Paraire Karaka Paikea
Paraire Karaka Paikea was a New Zealand politician who captured the Rātana Movement's third Māori electorate of Northern Maori from Taurekareka Henare in 1938. He was Minister without portfolio representing the Māori race from 1941 to 1943 and was also Māori Recruiting Director on the War...

, and the last (Eastern Maori
Eastern Maori
Eastern Maori was one of the four original New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorates, from 1868 to 1996.-Population centres:The electorate includes the following population centres:* -Tribal areas:...

) was won by Tiaki Omana
Tiaki Omana
Tiaki Omana , whose Christian name is John Ormond best known as Jack is a former New Zealand politician who captured the Rātana Movement's fourth Maori seat of Eastern Maori in 1943 from Apirana Ngata who had held it since 1905...

 in the 1943 election
New Zealand general election, 1943
The 1943 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 27th term. With the onset of World War II, elections were initially postponed, but it was eventually decided to hold a general election in September 1943, around two years after it...

.

The Rātana Independent Members of Parliament were the first to represent a political party in which most party members were Māori. Major aims of the movement were statutory recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi, righting the confiscation grievances of the Māori people, and equality in social welfare for Māori.

Alliance with the Labour Party


Following the 1935 General Election
New Zealand general election, 1935
The 1935 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 25th term. It resulted in the Labour Party's first electoral victory, with Michael Joseph Savage becoming the first Labour Prime Minister...

 of the First Labour Government, the two Rātana MPs agreed to vote with Labour. This alliance was formalised with the Rātana movement joining the Labour Party
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

 in a meeting between Rātana and Prime Minister Michael Savage
Michael Joseph Savage
Michael Joseph Savage was the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand.- Early life :Born in Tatong, Victoria, Australia, Savage first became involved in politics while working in that state. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1907. There he worked in a variety of jobs, as a miner, flax-cutter and...

 on 22 April 1936. The Prime Minister was given four symbolic gifts: a potato, a broken gold watch, a pounamu hei-tiki
Hei-tiki
The hei-tiki is an ornamental pendant of the Māori which is worn around the neck. Hei-tiki are usually made of pounamu which is greenstone, and are considered a taonga . They are commonly referred to as tiki, a term that actually refers to large human figures carved in wood, and, also, the small...

, and a huia
Huia
The Huia was the largest species of New Zealand wattlebird and was endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. Its extinction in the early 20th century had two primary causes. The first was rampant overhunting to procure Huia skins for mounted specimens, which were in worldwide demand by...

 feather. The potato represented loss of Māori land and means of sustenance, the broken watch represented the broken promises of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the pounamu represented the mana
Mana
Mana is an indigenous Pacific islander concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. The word is a cognate in many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian....

 of the Māori people. If Savage could restore these three, he would earn the right to wear the huia feather to signify his chiefly status. The gifts were regarded as so precious they were buried with Savage at his state funeral in 1940.

The four Māori electorates were held by Rātana-affiliated members of Labour for decades: until 1963 for the Eastern Maori electorate, 1980 for Northern Maori, and 1996 for Western and Southern Maori electorates.

Rātana movement Members of Parliament have included Tapihana Paraire Paikea
Tapihana Paraire Paikea
Tapihana Paraire Paikea, also known as Dobson, is a former New Zealand politician and Ratana morehu who won the Northern Maori electorate for Labour in 1943...

, Haami Tokouru Rātana
Haami Tokouru Ratana
Haami Tokouru Ratana is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Ratana Church. He joined Eruera Tirikatene in Parliament as the second Ratana Independent Member of Parliament , elected for the Western Maori electorate in 1935...

, Matiu Rātana
Matiu Ratana
Matiu Rātana , son of Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana, is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Rātana Church...

, Iriaka Rātana
Iriaka Matiu Ratana
Iriaka Matiu Rātana, OBE was a New Zealand politician and Rātana morehu who won the Western Maori electorate for Labour in 1949. She succeeded her husband Matiu Rātana to become the first woman to represent Maori in the New Zealand parliament...

, Koro Wētere
Koro Wetere
Koro Tainui Wētere, CBE is a former New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1969 to 1996, representing the Labour Party. He served as Minister of Māori Affairs in the Fourth Labour Government .-Member of Parliament:...

, Paraone Reweti
Paraone Reweti
Paraone Brown Reweti was a New Zealand politician and Ratana morehu.-Early life:Of Ngati-Ranginui ancestry, Reweti came to Parliament from a position as an executive member of the Mount Maunganui Watersiders' Union.-Political career:...

, Matiu Rata
Matiu Rata
Matiu Rata was a New Zealand Māori politician. He was the Member of Parliament for Northern Maori from 1963 to 1979, the Minister of Lands and Minister of Māori Affairs in the Third Labour Government of New Zealand between 1972 and 1975...

, and Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan
Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan
Tini "Whetu" Marama Tirikatene-Sullivan, ONZ was a New Zealand politician. She was an MP from 1967 to 1996, representing the Labour Party. At the time of her retirement, she was the second longest-serving MP in Parliament, being in her tenth term of office...

. Mita Ririnui
Mita Ririnui
Mita Michael Ririnui is a New Zealand politician and a member of the Labour Party. He has been a member of parliament since 1999.-Early years:...

, who was a List MP as of 2006 and who held the Māori seat of Waiariki from 1999 to 2005, is a Rātana minister.

Importance in New Zealand politics


In both the parliaments of 1946–1948 and of 1957–1960, the formation of a Labour Government depended on the votes of the Rātana Movement members. Not all Labour Party Māori MPs have been members of the Rātana Church, but the alliance with Rātana allowed Labour to hold on to all four Māori electorates from the 1940s until 1996.

Although the dominance of the Labour Rātana over the Māori electorates has been broken, the Rātana movement is still a major force in New Zealand politics. Labour Party ministers and MPs attend the annual celebrations at Rātana Pā
Ratana pa
Rātana pā is a town in the North Island of New Zealand, near Wanganui and Marton in the Manawatu-Wanganui region, which developed around the Ratana church there. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Maori followers of the Ratana faith...

 on the date of Rātana's birth. The 2006 celebration was attended by Labour leader and Prime Minister Helen Clark
Helen Clark
Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ is a New Zealand political figure who was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008...

, leader of the National Party
New Zealand National Party
The New Zealand National Party is the largest party in the New Zealand House of Representatives and in November 2008 formed a minority government with support from three minor parties.-Policies:...

 Don Brash
Don Brash
Donald "Don" Thomas Brash , a New Zealand politician, was Leader of the Opposition, parliamentary leader of the National Party from 28 October 2003 to 27 November 2006 and the leader of the ACT Party for 28th April 2011 - 26 November 2011...

, co-leaders of the Māori Party
Maori Party
The Māori Party, a political party in New Zealand, was formed on 7 July 2004. The Party is guided by eight constitutional "kaupapa", or Party objectives. Tariana Turia formed the Māori Party after resigning from the Labour Party where she had been a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour-led...

 Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia is a New Zealand politician. She gained considerable prominence during the foreshore and seabed controversy, and eventually broke with her party as a result...

 and Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples
Pita Russell Sharples, CBE, , a Māori academic and politician, currently co-leads the Māori Party. He currently is the member for Tamaki Makaurau in New Zealand's Parliament.-Early life:...

, and leader of New Zealand First
New Zealand First
New Zealand First is a political party in New Zealand that was founded in 1993, following party founder Winston Peters' resignation from the National Party in 1992...

 Winston Peters
Winston Peters
Winston Raymond Peters is a New Zealand politician and leader of New Zealand First, a political party he founded in 1993. Peters has had a turbulent political career since entering Parliament in 1978. He served as Minister of Maori Affairs in the Bolger National Party Government before being...

.

Church leaders

  • Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana (1925–1939)
  • Haami Tokouru Rātana
    Haami Tokouru Ratana
    Haami Tokouru Ratana is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Ratana Church. He joined Eruera Tirikatene in Parliament as the second Ratana Independent Member of Parliament , elected for the Western Maori electorate in 1935...

     (1939–1944)
  • Matiu Rātana
    Matiu Ratana
    Matiu Rātana , son of Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana, is a former New Zealand politician and President of the Rātana Church...

     (1944–1950)
  • Puhi o Aotea Ratahi
    Puhi o Aotea Ratahi
    Puhi o Aotea Ratahi was the fourth president of the Rātana Established Church of New Zealand and younger sister of the church's founder T. W. Ratana, the Mangai. She succeeded her nephew Matiu Ratana, the son of the Mangai in 1950 and served as president of the church till her sudden death in...

     (1950–1966)
  • Maata "Te Reo" Hura (1966–1991)
  • Raniera Te Aou Hou Rātana (1991–1998)