Tūwharetoa Chief Sir Tumu Te Heuheu and his delegation which was shortly followed by King Tuheitia's son Whatumoana Paki and a delegation from the Kingitanga were welcomed to Rātana today.
While the birthday celebrations of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana is set to be the main focus this year . It's expected the government will be challenged at Rātana tommorrow on the TPPA issue which is set to be signed on February 4.
Every year visitors to Rātana Pā are always led onto the marae by the movements bands.
But whomever is leading discussions on the TPPA will have to answer some serious questions.
Rahui Papa says, “I don't know whether to support or oppose the TPP, because I have no idea what's in it! I can't tell if it's good or bad. All we know is what we're told by representatives of ministers. But what they're saying I don't agree with.”
The Prime Minister hasn't arrived yet but some feel it is still appropriate to have these discussions in this kind of forum.
Marama Fox of the Māori Party says, “The other way to get our message across is to go to the steps of parliament, and battle the wind and the cold, outside on the steps. But it's better to have the conversation here, face to face, with the politicians, talking about Māori issues.”
Rātana have said that they want peace on their marae. According to Te Taihauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe they are preparing to challenge the government.
Rurawhe says,” For us here in Rātana we have been having our own discussions about what kind of kōrero that we are gonna put to all of the political parties tomorrow. What in this TPPA is good for our people so we are going to focus in on what's good about it and what's not good about it and let the government know where we stand on this."
Despite the talk of politics. There was still a place to reaffirm the relationship between Rātana and the Kingitanga.
Rāhui Papa says, “The good thing about a relationship is that you fight, you have your differences, but the good thing about this relationship is that, neither side has yet committed adultery, But who knows what the relationship with the government will entail tomorrow."
Papa says, “The government will come on tomorrow. In the past they have come on as friend, and other times as foe. Tomorrow? Who knows?”
The government will arrive tomorrow.