Māori programme. 1968-11-20.
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Wiremu Parker and Selwyn Murupaenga present a documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rātana Church.
The prophecy of Te Kooti Rikirangi is discussed, foretelling the arrival of a new leader for the Māori people. The arrival of Wiremu Tahupōtiki Rātana was seen as the fulfilling of this prophecy.
The Rātana movement started in the Whanganui and Taranaki districts in 1918. The significance of these locations is explained - Taranaki was a centre of Māori-Pākēha friction over land confiscations.
Parker discusses the role of prophets in Māori society, particularly during times of trouble. He says Ratana continued in this tradition.
A devout Wesleyan, he prayed over his son who was in hospital and experienced the presence of the hand of God as he did so. His son was healed and Ratana began a faith-healing mission.
Parker talks about the way Ratana made Christianity more accessible to Māori followers. His healing of a soldier who had been injured in World War I is described, in a read account by the unidentified soldier.
He assumed the title of Māngai - or Mouthpiece of God, and attracted many thousands of followers. He refused to heal Pākēha in person but would do so by letter. A woman recalls how she was cured by Ratana, after many doctors said her case was hopeless. Miss Lammas [?] of Nelson says she was able to walk after Ratana wrote to her, and her defective eyesight was also corrected.
The structure of the Ratana faith is explained by Wiremu Parker. His church was criticised by the press - an example of a critical newspaper article is read. However many Māori defended it - a letter in reply to the criticism is read.
The late Sir Eruera Tirikātene was one of the founding members of the church. His daughter Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan M.P. recalls her whānau's history in the faith. The faith's close relationship with the Labour Party is discussed.
A young woman university graduate [from Tauranga?] who is a member of the Ratana faith explains the use of symbolism, which is something she says young people find hard to understand. She says prophecy is also something the younger people do not understand and a Ratana youth movement is needed to salvage the faith.
Reference number 44092
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Māori radio programs
Ethnic radio programs
Parker, Wiremu Leonard, 1914-1986, Presenter
Murupaenga, Herewini, 1937- (b.1937), Producer
Tirikatene-Sullivan, Whetu, 1932-2011, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Date 20 Nov 1968