Politicians to converge on Rātana Pā

By Te Ao Māori News
Rātana Church Temple - Photo / file

Politicians will converge on Rātana Pā to meet with the church's leaders as part of the annual celebrations of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana's birth, 142 years ago.  

This will be the first time John Key, as prime minister, will not be attending the event, whereas Labour's Andrew Little will pay his first visit as the Opposition leader.

As the marae is expecting hundreds of guests today, Rātana elders have imposed a time limit on speeches for politicians on the marae ātea.

Adrian Rurawhe, Te Tai Hauāuru MP and descendant of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana, told media that the church wants to put the focus back on what the celebration is really about.

Church elders have decided on holding two official welcomes for groups of politicians instead of having a separate pōwhiri for each political party.