Rātana Pā cancels 2022 celebrations

Source: 1News

Rātana Pā celebrations have been cancelled next year due to ongoing Covid-19 traffic light restrictions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, daughter Neve and other MPs at Rātana in 2020

The annual gathering in Whanganui celebrates the birthday of the Church's late founder, Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana. It also traditionally signals the start of the political year every January.

On Monday afternoon the Rātana Komiti Marae released a statement confirming the cancellation of the Rātana 25th Celebrations in a bid to prioritise health and safety.

“Due to the current situation in the country, the evolving traffic light system framework, Rātana Pā community currently residing in the Red Light area and the many changes to the Covid rules, guidelines and regulations, the Rātana Komiti Marae have made the tough decision to CANCEL (sic) all activities under Komiti Marae jurisdiction for next years Annual Rātana 25th Celebrations.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of everyone is important to Komiti Marae hence the reason we put the people at the forefront of our decision making."

The event usually draws a large crowd, including church whānau, party leaders, Māori politicians, and the media.

In 2021 celebrations were also scaled back. The Prime Minister, MPs and media without a connection to Rātana Pā weren't invited.

At the time there were reports of internal division over Rātana's long association with the Labour Party.

Rātana Komiti Marae said it looked forward to hosting visitors again in 2023.