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Keeping Ratana's Message Alive For Maori

Keeping Ratana's Message Alive For Maori

Ratana’s simple message of unity, social justice and equality for Māori is being lost in the revival of tribalism and pork barrel politics says New Zealand First.

Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters and members of New Zealand First made their annual trip to Whanganui today to commemorate the birthday of the Māori spiritual and political leader Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana.

Mr Peters said that Ratana founded a religious movement and headed a pan-tribal unity movement campaigning for social justice and equality.

“Ratana stood above tribal politics. He understood that Māori tribes needed to set aside their historical differences and act as a unified force to sort out land injustices and to bring progress to their people.

“The coalition deal between National and the Māori Party has revived tribalism and the ugly face of separatism.

“Our heritage should be honoured and remembered but it should not be used to drive a wedge between our peoples and it must exist alongside our democratic institutions – not replace them.

“Ratana would have frowned on the way some Iwi leader groups are starting to act like international traders while ordinary Māori are being forgotten.”

Mr. Peters said Ratana knew about the dignity and value of work for Māori. He was a farmer, champion ploughman and wheatstacker.

“Thousands of Māori in Heartland New Zealand would love to be employed but they have been thrown on the industrial scrapheap by shortsighted policies that favour the rich, the powerful and the international business interests that plunder this country,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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