Ratana rangatahi look to the future

By Tema Hemi

Each year politicians make a pilgrimage to Ratana to share their dreams and aspirations for the people who follow the teachings of their leader, Wiremu Tahu Potiki.

The government has set aside $3mil towards the development of the Ratana community but it will take time to see the funds take effect.    

Locals have longed to see their community grow.  Initial plans for housing developments in Ratana Pā started with John Key's National government over 10 years ago.

In November last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her plans for the pā. 

Kelvin Davis was expected to announce the latest updates for the new housing development today but it didn't happen.  However, locals are optimistic.

Some Ratana rangatahi have mixed thoughts about further developments to Ratana Pā,

Te Rina Wall (Ngāti Tuwharetoa) says, "They will distribute the funding to the people, why?  A hundred years have passed, it's time to focus on the next hundred years and how we expand the community of Ratana Pā."

Aukaha Kakau (Tauranga Moana) says, "If there is government funding available perhaps soon it will be made available.  [Ardern] must be truthful to her commitment to the people of Ratana Pā.  Her plans need to come to fruition and if it doesn't we probably won't vote for her next time."

Christine Waitai-Rapana says, "I've heard these discussions before about developing our home here in Ratana Pā.  What the rangatahi need and hope for is a building just for youth to run their own events."