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Current Affairs Spotlight On Ratana Celebrations

17 January 2005

Current Affairs Spotlight On Ratana Celebrations

Maori Television’s flagship current affairs show, TE HETERI, will screen a special episode dedicated to the annual Ratana celebrations on Wednesday January 25 at 8.00 PM.

The half-hour bilingual programme – presented by leading Maori broadcaster Wena Harawira – informs both Maori and non-Maori about Maori issues nationally, locally and tribally, as well as including indigenous perspectives from abroad.

Stories are filed from a pool of the country’s senior Maori journalists including Erana Reedy and Paul Diamond.

Ratana Marae – 20km south of Wanganui – is the venue for the 133rd birthday anniversary of the Ratana movement’s founder, prophet Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana (1873-1939), next Wednesday January 25.

TW Ratana rose to fame as a faith healer and spiritual leader in the years after World War I. Both a religion and a pan-tribal political force, the Ratana Church was formed in 1925 by his followers and formally split from the established churches.

In the 1930s, Ratana aligned with the New Zealand Labour Party. Ratana/Labour candidates dominated the Maori seats in Parliament until the 1990s yet remains a dominant political force for Maori.

The Ratana special on TE HETERI will background its significance as the largest Maori church and the third largest religious movement in New Zealand with more than 40,000 members.

Tune in to TE HETERI every Wednesday at 8.00 PM on Maori Television.

ENDS

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