1918: The Ratana Church
November 7, 2018
Ardern pledges commitment to Ratana
Understandable news about Labour 6.0 sidling up with Ratana.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the relationship between the Labour Party and Ratana is a living commitment rather than a moment in history.
Quoting some of the prophesies of founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, she says the agreement in 1936 between Ratana and Labour leader Michael Joseph Savage was a continuing call for action.- Waatea News, Jan 2018
Shoring up, or grooming and creating (since there is no such thing as an effective ‘Maori’ party currently,) some future coalition partners.
Smart thing to do so soon after coming to power so that that ‘Forest, Bird, and Greens’ and NZ First don’t get too complacent and self-important in the now.
A Church of Politics
The Ratana Church started running in New Zealand General Elections in 1928. Since 1931 they have been a political faction of the Labour Party, ploughing under and replacing other Maori politicians with their own radical Christian brand just as Labour 1.0 were doing for Pakeha with their “applied Christianity.”
Ratana was a superstitious country boy who became the latest in a line of focal figures for separatist Maoris
The old stock of Maori political leaders were educated and intelligent Dignity Culture men (Buck, Pomare, Ngata,..) Wiremu Ratana was a superstitious country boy who became the latest in a line of focal figures for separatist Maoris who perceived the problems of the world personally. In their case though the personal is not individualistic but collectivist: Tribal and racial identity politics. Ratana’s appeal and efforts have always been for the “brown mandate”.
This primitive mindset has flared active every 20 years or so on the dot but when Ratana had its day it was huge. It had graduated to being a religion where previously the manifestations were cults: Te Kooti and the Hauhaus (c.1860, ) The Parihaka Cult (c.1880.) Likewise, these Honour Culture groups were still just hand-to-hand fighters, as with Hone Toia and the Dog Tax War (c.1900) but Ratana’s lot graduated the use of force to the state level as elected representatives.
A key difference between these previous groups was that Ratana shifted the cultural landscape out of the hand-to-hand warrior Honour Culture and into the Victimhood Culture. Until 1916, when it was crushed by the state, Rua Kenana’s anarchist community in the Urewaras were still K-selected Honour Culture: Doing for themselves. Ratana, down at the Taranaki end, picked up this baton in 1918 but it was as aggrieved victims hard done by and in need of special privileges. They even dug up The Treaty and were the first to (or first to successfully..) make it a tool of this cause.
Born of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic
Of all things that ensured Prophet Ratana’s magical time had come it was the Government’s 1918 influenza epidemic. High anxiety times press low-civilisation mentality people to flock to a leader to give them meaning and purpose. The people of Germany were under even worse pressure during this same time period and with similar results. Post-war influenza-New Zealand put Maoris into a perfect storm for a young Billy T James look-alike to step up to the mic.
big church service at 2pm on November 8, which marks 100 years since T W Ratana saw the vision that started the Ratana movement.- NZ Herald, October 2018
Influenza gave the ailing Ratana his vision and delivered his followers and now is the centenary. The continuation of the Ratana church and their celebrations this week are the greatest living monument to the epidemic but there are others. History is alive and well and rippling within New Zealand; Never doubt it!