Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana
(25 January 1873 – 18 September 1939)
T.W. Ratana had a spiritual revalation at the age of 44 and went on to found the Ratana religion. He became known for his healing powers and toured the country urging Māori to unify under God. He became known as “Te Māngai” (mouthpiece). With his followers “Nga Morehu” he set up the community at Ratana, near Whanganui.
The Ratana movement became active in national politics with Ratana being credited with re-emphasising the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi as New Zealand’s founding document.
By 1943 Ratana MPs held all four Māori seats in parliament but T.W. Ratana did not get to see the fourth taken as he died in 1939.
On the 25 of January each year Ratana followers and supporters from around New Zealand and across the world gather at Ratana Pa to celebrate the birthday of the Māngai. Among the dignitaries that attend are political party leaders and heads of state.
Morehu Publishing: Te Whetu Marama o te Kotahitanga Volume 1-10
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