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Ringatū marks 150 years of prayer
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It’s 150 years today since Te Kooti Rikirangi and 298 men, women and children landed back in Tūranganui ā Kiwa after escaping from Wharekauri - Chatham Islands.

That’s considered the birth of Te Haahi Ringatū, and hundreds of adherents and supports have been at Rangiwaho Marae in Muriwai just south of Gisborne to mark the anniversary.

Ringatū Pou Tīkanga Wīrangi Pera says Te Kooti had developed the tenets of the faith during his three-year exile in the Chatham Islands, synthesising the Bible with elements of tīkanga Māori.

He says the message that God would deliver his followers from oppression as he had once saved the Israelites in the Old Testament sustained people through some turbulent times.

In the lead up to the anniversary the church worked with local schools and childhood centres to increase understanding of its history.

There have also been exhibitions, public events and the launch of a new book, Ū ana ki Whareongaonga by Professor Taiarahia Black, which tells the story of the people that came back from Wharekauri.


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