Hundreds of people descended on Rangiwaho Marae just outside of Gisborne today to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the Ringatu faith, the Māori religious movement founded by the prophet Te Kooti.
"The reason we are holding our commemorations here is because this is the marae closest to Whareongaonga and where Te Kooti Arikirangi Teturuki arrived 150 years ago," says Whitiaua Ropitini.
He wasn't alone in his escape with 298 of his followers going along with him and that following is still going today.
"We remember our ancestors and our koroua who was, despite all of the hardships, the persecutions and the trials was still about establish this religion which we all know now as the Ringatū faith," he says.
"This is a Māori religion and we metophorically carry his spirit within us all and will continue to do so," says Wirangi Pera, pou tikanga.
The focus now is on the future and what can be achieved with the forward focus on the faith and how that will look and whether that involves new technology and the likes.
People have come from all over the country to acknowledge, support and commemorate this significant milestone.