Politics at Ratana

Claire Trevett points out that the rule “to not get too political” at Ratana was well and truly broken yesterday.

What do you expect when you get a parade of party leaders plus media looking for their first big political stories of the year?

Bending rules under the heat

Veterans of the January visit to Ratana know the two key rules: take sunscreen and a hat.

The third rule, to not get too political, was well and truly broken this year, despite being hosted on the Sabbath.

Peters seems to have been the most blatant.

NZ First leader Peters was not going to waste his time with any pretence about leaving politics out of it. He made an unashamed pitch for votes. He told them people could be forgiven for thinking politicians were like used car salesmen, – “Plenty of pre-sales talk. No after sales delivery.”

He said there was a solution to that. “Get on the roll and buy yourselves some insurance. You know which party that is … New Zealand First.”

And despite saying earlier in the day that he didn’t want to be “over religious” about interpreting one of prophet Ratana’s predictions as relating to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he took a sudden turn to the religious once he was before the faithful. At one point, he assured them if they voted NZ First they would be doing “God’s work”. He finished by getting the crowd to repeatedly chant after him: “Amen to the Ratana Movement.”

Plenty of pre-sales talk. Don’t expect much after sales delivery from Peters.

Labour MPs arrived with stickers boasting of the 80-year alliance between Labour and Ratana.

Little announced Labour was extending its policy of offering to pay the equivalent of the dole to employers who took on apprentices from the ranks of the unemployed.

Policy announcements now at Ratana.

Much of Key’s speech was dedicated to rebutting Labour leader Andrew Little’s speech and defending the Trans-Pacific Partnership – an exercise that prompted a rare bout of booing at the marae.

From the look of news coverage it wasn’t just Little that Key was rebutting, other speakers attacked him and the TPPA.

James Shaw launched a Green Party petition to stop the compulsory acquisition of Maori land under the Public Works Act.

Just Maori land? Or do the Greens not think equality applies with that?

Interesting to see Shaw fronting on that. Metiria Turei has been prominent at Ratana in the past.

Until last year, Government and Opposition MPs have been welcomed on separately.

But now they are taken on to the marae in one big dysfunctional family. It would be paradise for David Attenborough.

Watching the politicians in front of foe and friend was akin to watching peacocks in the mating dance, fluffing their tail feathers and alternating between wooing their audience and attacking their rivals.

Stuff: John Key defends Government support for TPPA deal in speech at Ratana

Prime Minister John Key has defended his Government’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in a fiery speech to Ratana followers.

Key’s speech came after others at the annual Ratana Church celebrations expressed misgivings about the free trade deal and urged the Government to delay its signing, set down for February 4 in Auckland, until it is discussed more thoroughly with Kiwis.


Little slammed the Government’s record on worker’s rights and social policy, such as its requirement that cancer sufferers be treated as jobseekers.

He announced Labour would extend its dole for apprenticeships scheme, which gives employers willing to train young apprentices the equivalent of the unemployment benefit, beyond 18- and 19-year-olds to cover those aged up to 24.

He reserved special criticism for the TPPA and the Government’s failure to share enough information about the deal with New Zealanders.


NZ First leader Winston Peters criticised the secrecy around the deal before it was signed, and questioned the timing of the signing given the United States was unlikely to ratify it until 2017.

“It’s a scam, it’s a sham and the fact is it may well be a total waste of time…they’re doing it more for show than for substance.”

Peters said he was “particularly concerned” about how the TPPA would allow foreign countries and corporations to comment on New Zealand legislation.

“We’re one of the great democracies…and yet we’re going to sign our sovereignty away to some international group of business interests, and that’s fundamentally wrong.”


Green Party co-leader James Shaw said protests against the TPPA were likely to “ramp up” as the signing date approached, and he believed protesters could yet influence the Government’s support for the deal.

“I can only hope they do [listen] but I have to say their track record would imply they’re not going to.”

Maori Party:

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said there were still a number of questions which needed to be answered about how the TPPA would affect Maori and other New Zealanders.

“We need to figure out this thing…is it the great big demon or are there benefits in there? Yes there will be benefits there economically, but do they translate to all of our people?”

Politicians + media = a hijacked event.

I guess journalists don’t see many headlines or page clicks in religion reports these days.

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  25th January 2016

    I can’t see why they persist to care about Ratana. Ratana has little influence with anyone nowadays and has generally been considered by the orthodox church to be a cult although at the benign end of cults. I do like the Ratana Church tax policy though.

  2. Pantsdownbrown

     /  25th January 2016

    Sometimes ‘tradition’ dictates that people do un-necessary things on a regular basis – this is one of them.

  3. kiwi dave

     /  25th January 2016

    I wonder why Dunne bothered going – no coverage anywhere

  4. Timoti

     /  25th January 2016

    Here’s the joke. If you polled Maori attending Ratana and asked them what the TPPA in general terms was about, 80 percent wouldn’t know. They just follow educated Maori who have forgivings about said agreement.

    Politicians need to get over Ratana…they are in fact just supporting the works of a Tohunga.

    The Labour/ Rantana ties are tenuous at best in the modern era. Time to move on.

    • kittycatkin

       /  25th January 2016

      Do you mean ‘misgivings’ perchance ?

      How do you know about the 80% ?

      • Timoti

         /  25th January 2016

        “Do you mean ‘misgivings’ perchance ?” Take a wild stab, Kittycat.

        How do I know about the 80%? Experience.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  25th January 2016

      Timoti you joker you …
      with your stats on how many Maori understand the tppa and your understanding of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana who preached the gospel to Maori
      and destroy the power of the Tohunga matakite to cure the Wairua Hinengaro and Tinana of his people after colonisation.

      Are you a Tohunga tikanga tangata: expert in the study of humans… a anthropologist?

      In the culture of the Māori of New Zealand, a tohunga is an expert practitioner of any skill or art, either religious or otherwise.
      Tohunga include expert priests, healers, navigators, carvers, builders, teachers and advisors.

      Educated Maori have their tikanga Maori educated out of them,
      so where did you get this 80% wouldn’t know from ?

      All Maori I have spoken to have said their taha maori will be eradicated even more under tppa and speak of how monsanto will rule agriculture in NZ and the consequences for all.

      Do you want herbicide with your potato and pesticide with your tomato on your monsanto burger.

      If tppa is the best thing since sliced white bread what exactly in it do you support?

      How many Ratana Maori have you spoken to and asked what their views on tppa are?

      • Rob

         /  25th January 2016

        Timoti supports it because he sees it as stickin to the left, as do others. Illogical but…..

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th January 2016

        “their taha maori will be eradicated even more under tppa ”

        If it can’t stand contact with the outside world then it doesn’t deserve to survive.

        Culture like religion and science evolves via evolutionary pressures and competition.

  5. “their taha maori will be eradicated even more under tppa and speak of how monsanto will rule agriculture in NZ and the consequences for all.”

    Huh? I am somewhat confused by you. Can you explain how TPPA will mean that “taha maori will be eradicated even more”? Are you aware that there is a specific clause in the TPPA to give effect to the Treaty, Pickled Possum? And how will Monsanto “rule agriculture in NZ”?

    “Do you want herbicide with your potato and pesticide with your tomato on your monsanto burger.”

    For your information Pickled Possum, the SPS Chapter was written by NZ, so NZ food safety standards not only remain, they are accepted by TPPA signatories. I am puzzled as to why you think that is a bad thing.

    “If tppa is the best thing since sliced white bread what exactly in it do you support?”

    How about that the opening of trade through the TPPA will grow the NZ economy, and therefore increase incomes and create jobs? Which strikes me as being a rather good thing.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  25th January 2016

      Don’t be confused Goldie every ones interpretation of what we ‘know’ of the tppa will not be the same. I am just giving mine as you are giving yours.:-)

      As for “opening trade through the tppa will grow the nz economy”
      that’s what they said about trade with china NZ 2nd largest trading partner, the place we send the best of our dairy, forestry, seafood, and wool, and the second largest destination for meat products and hides.

      When the average NZ’er cannot even afford to buy a pound of butter retailing for approx $6 and if you can’t buy that you have to buy margarine that once was a plastic product that didn’t cut it so they added a few more chemicals and renamed it margarine the alternative to butter.

      And in return we get cheap knock off’s of everything from clothes furniture etc the list is endless all cheaply made rubbish, we even get our once proudly made nz made washing machine and dryers our Swandri all our kitchen ware house hold goods made in china at a cheaper rate than NZ but it’s all badly made, it’s made to last for approx a year if your lucky and then you have to buy a replacement.
      What happened to Crown Lynn what happened to all our factories that hired all the unemployed of today.
      Next time you are at the shop check to see how much of our products are made in China.
      So when we sign the tppa we will import cheap goods from our partners and our NZ made goods will only be brought by the ….

      As for our taha Maori it will be diluted in the tppa by the very same treaty that was written by land grabbers and interpreted by money merchants.

      Food safety standards in NZ are not looking after the consumer but look after the producer how does chicken feathers make pastry better for us E920 = ground up chicken feathers, colours that are carcinogenic in lollies and food etc….

      Monsanto will be able to stop us collecting heritage seeds and selling them to offer a chemical free product

      Monsanto GE herbicides and pesticides into seeds so there is supposed to be no weeds or disease growing in the crop saving on spraying weeds.
      That’s not working out to well for them lately.

      Monsanto have already successfully sued farmers in the usa for keeping seed from crops brought from monsanto for the next years crop..
      We will have to buy all our agri needs from Yates that is NZ monsanto franchise as they push the little heritage seed selling people out.

      You might love cheap rubbish goods and chemical food but I don’t and that is why I am against a treaty that ties us down to what I see as only good for the money makers and bullshit spinners.
      Jeez I am late back for work now by 11 mins and I have had no lunch !!
      you are special goldie

      • kittycatkin

         /  25th January 2016

        I can’t remember when I bought my fridge, but it was a lot longer than a year ago. The
        other appliances were mostly bought more than a year ago, and the dryer that was bought last year was only bought because it was bigger and faster than the other one-which was still working perfectly well. If appliances only lasted a year, nobody would want them. My electric jug is several years old (less than 10, as I have been in this house 10 years) and still goes perfectly well. Who wants to replace every appliance in the house every year ? I don’t-and I don’t.

        I have very few, if any, complaints about Chinese made goods. I assume that the fan that is on now is Chinese made, as are the other fans in the house, all of which go perfectly well and are a lot more than a year old.

        If carcinogenic additives are in food, who’d be fool enough to buy them knowing this ? If foods were poisoned, why aren’t we all dead ?

        You want to read about what went into things in the nineteenth century when there were far fewer controls. I thought that the additives to cheap alcohol were exaggerated by the anti-alcohol Band of Hope and the like, but they weren’t.

        These arguments have been going on since the first machines were made that enabled goods to be made more cheaply and become more widely available.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th January 2016

        If you don’t like it don’t buy it. Free trade gives everyone the options and you get what you are willing to pay for. There are plenty of craft people in NZ if you don’t want to buy foreign crockery. I recommend Royce McGlashan. But I suspect you just want to moan.

        • Pickled Possum

           /  25th January 2016

          You suspect to much in my opinion and as for moaning you have not heard that yet from me. And it’s not like When Harry met Sally more like
          When Rocky meets Creed
          I am just having my free speech or is that just for yous fellas.
          You misconstrued my comment.
          If you don’t like what I say don’t reply but I suspect You just want to moan about a Maori woman and her perspective of how it rolls in her Te Ao Maori.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  25th January 2016

            I don’t know or care if you are Maori or a woman, I merely responded to what you wrote as I would to anyone else. However, since you evidently believe your opinion needs no supporting facts I will now ignore it accordingly.

  6. Timoti

     /  25th January 2016

    Always the master of a quick internet search, then a considered opinion. But you do have a good memory. I will talk from experience, given my grandfather was a Tohunga Karakia and my great grandfather a Tohunga Makutu. Yes, there were different types of Tohunga. While all had generic powers, they specialised.

    Rantana was suppose to destroy the power of the Tohunga and bring the gospels to Maori.
    He did. But how did he do his healings of both Maori and Pakeha…he did cured some Pakeha?
    Why he used the power of intent ( scientifically proven now) and the manipulation of Universal vital force know to all cultural traditions. Nothing Christian about that. He then seemed to have gone the way of many Maori and fused Christianity with his cultural beliefs. For example my great grand father was a ordained Anglican Minister, but.
    he had no problem killing people with makutu should he have deemed it desirable.

    “Educated Maori have their tikanga Maori educated out of them,
    so where did you get this 80% wouldn’t know from ? ”

    Not worthy of a reply.

    “All Maori I have spoken to have said their taha maori will be eradicated even more under tppa and speak of how monsanto will rule agriculture in NZ and the consequences for all. ”

    These Maoris you know are strange. Taha Maori has been increasing over the last 30 years. You cannot fart now without advising Maori. These Maori must have a mighty understanding of the TTPA, given most kiwis are struggling with its import.

    “Do you want herbicide with your potato and pesticide with your tomato on your monsanto burger. ”

    No, I prefer organic potatoes and tomatoes.

    “If tppa is the best thing since sliced white bread what exactly in it do you support?”

    I don’t remember saying I supported, or not, the TTPA

    “How many Ratana Maori have you spoken to and asked what their views on tppa are?”


    • Oliver

       /  25th January 2016

      Timoty are you trolling? or being serious? because nothing you said is true. And also do you even know what the TTPA is????

      • Rob

         /  25th January 2016

        He’s stickin to the left man! That’s all that matters doncha know.

      • Timoti

         /  25th January 2016

        You are pig ignorant. What would you know.? Apart from vacuous comments like this….nothing

        “Timoty are you trolling? or being serious? because nothing you said is true. And also do you even know what the TTPA is????”

        LoL Must be the hot weather.

    • Rob

       /  25th January 2016

      “Always the master of a quick internet search…..” LOL

    • Pickled Possum

       /  25th January 2016

      My uncle is a Ringatu Tohunga Tangihanga
      Funeral Priest of the Ringatu faith
      I can imagine how scary a Tohunga Makutu would be
      all that casting spells, sorcery and witchcraft :-0

      Everything I write is from my personal experience, albeit controversial at times, all borne out of having an extremely diverse and well travelled life with very interesting and loving Maori people surrounding me, who are not strange imo

      Taha Maori is a Maori perspective not law – lore.

      I am not an academic scholar like some here but my opinions are mine, sometimes laced with language from mr google for clarity otherwise you would not understand me like my first comment to MikeC who said “I don’t understand much of what you said”.

      Politics and Ratana have always been synonymous.

      Kawakawa is healing for ulcers that bitterness brings
      Kia mau ki to Maoritanga
      Pai Mārire

      • Timoti

         /  25th January 2016

        I’m afraid you misunderstand how a Tohunga Makutu operates . Your description thus”

        “I can imagine how scary a Tohunga Makutu would be
        all that casting spells, sorcery and witchcraft”

        That’s a very Euro-centric fairytale/ circus type description. That is not how a Maori would describe it. That is not how they operate….witchcraft?

        Now you talk about a Ringatu Tohunga Tangihanga. I have never heard of that. But I am no expert on Ringatu. Thankfully my auntie is Ringatu, She, ironically is at a funeral. So in the mean time can you provide a link so I may educate myself.

        • Pickled Possum

           /  26th January 2016

          I have No misunderstandings of tohunga makutu.

          I have had contact with one and it is this contact that I base my description of the tohunga makutu on, not the travelling circus.
          If my description offends you and your memories of your great grand father, forgive me.

          A funeral priest tohunga tangihanga is the expert on burying the dead and on the day of burial will preside over the service
          .I think your education on this matter is up to you not me.

          I would like this conversation with you on this matter to end now my mother is getting anxious she says no good can come of the deconstruction of each others words on this subject.

          Karakia Whakamutunga
          Kia tau ki a tātou katoa
          Te atawhai o tō tātou Ariki, a Ihu Karaiti
          Me te aroha o te Atua
          Me te whiwhingatahitanga
          Ki te wairua tapu
          Ake, ake, ake

  7. kittycatkin

     /  25th January 2016

    How can you know what they think, then ?


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