150 years of Ringatu Faith

Te Haahi Ringatu celebrates anniversary at Rangiwaho Marae.

Te Haahi Ringatu celebrates anniversary at Rangiwaho Marae.

Te Haahi Ringatu, founded by the prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, celebrated its 150th anniversary at Rangiwaho Marae, Tawatapu, yesterday. The occasion also marked 150 years since Te Kooti and his followers returned to the district after being exiled in Wharekuri (Chatham Islands). A stone in memory of that event was re-dedicated, and unveiled at Rangiwaho by the “mokopuna of the haahi”, Hikairo, the grandson of the Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia. He is held by Ringatu minister Te Kahautu Maxwell and assisted by Ringatu member Karen Pewhairangi. Pictures by Shaan Te Kani
WELCOMING VISITORS ON TO THE MARAE: Tairawhiti whanau banded together in a mass powhiri to welcome the many visitors who gathered at Rangiwaho Marae for the 150th anniversay of the Ringatu faith. Accepting the peka, or the peace offering, is representative of Waikato-Tainui and the Kiingitanga, Rahui Papa.
Rikirangi Moeau (pictured) is one of the descendants of church founder Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki.
IWI AND CHURCH LEADERS: The Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia, was among the dignitaries greeting Turanga whanau after yesterday’s powhiri at Rangiwaho Marae.
Ringatu leader — or Pou Tikanga o Te Haahi — Wirangi Pera, performs a karakia during the unveiling of a stone in memory of the return of the prophet Te Kooti and his followers to the district.

Te Haahi Ringatu, the Ringatu faith, marked its 150th anniversary at Rangiwaho Marae, Tawatapu yesterday.

Nestled at the foot of the Wharerata forest, in the area known as Bartletts, Rangiwaho Marae played host to hundreds — including church followers, Tairawhiti whanau, leaders of other Maori churches, politicians and iwi representatives from throughout the country, such as the Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia.

The Maori religious movement was founded by the prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki in 1868.

The anniversary also marked 150 years since Te Kooti and 298 men, women and children escaped from Wharekauri (Chatham Islands) and landed at Whareongaonga, 20km south of Gisborne — close to Rangiwaho — on July 9 that year.

Known as The Whakarau (exiles or unhomed), they were imprisoned by the Crown without trial and exiled to Wharekauri after the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika Pa in 1865.

In early July 1868, the prisoners seized the schooner Rifleman and made their way home.

On July 10, Te Kooti asked his followers to no longer bow the knee in prayer, but to instead show the upraising of the right hand.

This marks the beginning of the faith.

The Whakarau were mourned yesterday as part of the special occasion, but were also acknowledged for laying the foundations of the faith.

Many Ringatu pariha (parishes) attended from throughout the country, with large groups from the Tuhoe, Whakatohea and Te Whanau a Apanui tribal areas.

Ringatu minister Whitiaua Ropitini is part of the younger generation of church members looking to the future of the faith, so it will continue for another 150 years and further.

“The fact that we are here today celebrating 150 years is a great milestone,” he said.

“It shows the resilience of the haahi (the faith), despite being against all odds, especially during the early years.

“After 150 years, we are still here. Today we pay homage to those who founded our haahi and we look forward to another 150 years.”

Whanau from around the region showed their support by taking part in the mass powhiri welcome.

It was just one aspect that highlighted the coming together of Turanga iwi and hapu, said Tapunga Nepe of Turanga Tangata Rite.

“The result of today was a real collaborative effort of all of the iwi of Turanga,” he said.

“The beauty of whakapapa allows us to have multiple connections and it enables us to be strong, wherever we stand.”​

Te Haahi Ringatu, the Ringatu faith, marked its 150th anniversary at Rangiwaho Marae, Tawatapu yesterday.

Nestled at the foot of the Wharerata forest, in the area known as Bartletts, Rangiwaho Marae played host to hundreds — including church followers, Tairawhiti whanau, leaders of other Maori churches, politicians and iwi representatives from throughout the country, such as the Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia.

The Maori religious movement was founded by the prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki in 1868.

The anniversary also marked 150 years since Te Kooti and 298 men, women and children escaped from Wharekauri (Chatham Islands) and landed at Whareongaonga, 20km south of Gisborne — close to Rangiwaho — on July 9 that year.

Known as The Whakarau (exiles or unhomed), they were imprisoned by the Crown without trial and exiled to Wharekauri after the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika Pa in 1865.

In early July 1868, the prisoners seized the schooner Rifleman and made their way home.

On July 10, Te Kooti asked his followers to no longer bow the knee in prayer, but to instead show the upraising of the right hand.

This marks the beginning of the faith.

The Whakarau were mourned yesterday as part of the special occasion, but were also acknowledged for laying the foundations of the faith.

Many Ringatu pariha (parishes) attended from throughout the country, with large groups from the Tuhoe, Whakatohea and Te Whanau a Apanui tribal areas.

Ringatu minister Whitiaua Ropitini is part of the younger generation of church members looking to the future of the faith, so it will continue for another 150 years and further.

“The fact that we are here today celebrating 150 years is a great milestone,” he said.

“It shows the resilience of the haahi (the faith), despite being against all odds, especially during the early years.

“After 150 years, we are still here. Today we pay homage to those who founded our haahi and we look forward to another 150 years.”

Whanau from around the region showed their support by taking part in the mass powhiri welcome.

It was just one aspect that highlighted the coming together of Turanga iwi and hapu, said Tapunga Nepe of Turanga Tangata Rite.

“The result of today was a real collaborative effort of all of the iwi of Turanga,” he said.

“The beauty of whakapapa allows us to have multiple connections and it enables us to be strong, wherever we stand.”​

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