RATANA - TAHUPOTIKI - WIREMU - TE- UREWERA - NZ - 1924-- 1930
edmondsallan - Hello - The party of 38 left Ratana pa on 9 April 1924 and returned there on 24 December. It included Ratana's wife and children, Pita Moko as the main organiser and spokesman, Ratana himself to care for the spiritual side of the journey, and Tupu Taingakawa and Pepene Eketone to look after the material aspects. They hoped to present their petition on the Treaty of Waitangi and land confiscations to King George V. A large group of young people also travelled, whose function was to perform at concerts to raise money for the movement. The travellers were prevented from presenting their petition to or even encountering the King. Ratana remained in Paris while Moko led a group to Geneva in an unsuccessful attempt to present the petition to the League of Nations.
On the positive side Ratana had taken the first step in his aim of bringing his message to every continent. He had to make a supplementary trip in 1925 to the United States and Canada as a change of plans had prevented a visit there on the first journey. The party had also succeeded in getting the petition into the hands of the New Zealand government, contributing to its decision to set up a royal commission of inquiry into confiscated land. Ratana would later reject the commission's findings as a political move against the
Ratana returned from his first trip to find a number of storms raging. There had been talk before he left of forming a Ratana church, and this continued while he was away. An attempt by Otene Paora of Ngati Whatua to register his own Church of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Faithful Angels was forestalled when the Reverend A. J. Seamer, general superintendent of the Methodist Maori mission, hastened to Ratana pa to warn the morehu to remain faithful to the Mangai. Instructions were issued not to sign covenants endorsed with the Mangai's seal while he was away, and lists of authorised apostles were published in Te Whetu Marama. The Ratana church was formally established on 31 May 1925, and a list of ministers gazetted on 21 July 1925. This move provoked the Anglican church into declaring it schismatic, and announcing that anyone who signed its new covenant was automatically excommunicated.
The breach with orthodox religions widened over the years, provoking intense theological debates at Ratana pa. Initially, Ratana had discouraged attempts to deify him, but within two years the Ratana formula for the godhead included the Mangai, as well as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Ratana began to refer to other churches as introduced to New Zealand by gentiles, and therefore not fit for his people. In the early 1920s the Mangai had often prayed publicly in the name of Jesus; in the 1930s this practice was dropped and the Mangai himself was sometimes regarded as the kaiwhakaora (saviour). Both Arepa and Omeka, always regarded as imbued with spiritual forces, died early in the 1930s, and not long afterwards the Mangai began to encourage his followers to regard them as Ratana saints or mediators. Till we meet again - Regards -edmondsallan