Ngāti Rangi prophet Hori Enoka Mareikura and Tahu Potiki Wiremu Ratana were both influenced by the great Māori prophetess Mere Rikiriki. To this day the descendants of Mareikura continue to uphold their link to the people of Ratana Pa.
Mareikura established the Māramatanga Movement in the early 1900's under the guidance of Rikiriki.
The Tira Hoe Waka is the annual pilgrimage on the Whanganui River and in its 33rd year, descendants of Te Mareikura are taking a lead role, with the last leg leading to Ratana Pā.
The pā is gearing for visitors from political parties, though one face will be missing this year- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Ngāti Rangi descendant and current leader of the Māori Party, Che Wilson says, "There are two main connections between Te Mareikura and Ratana, firstly they are brothers, Ratana is the older and Te Mareikura the younger and they are related through their geneaology to the Ngāti Apa and Ngā Rauru tribes.
"Then there is the prophet line. In the time of the prophetess Mere Rikiriki there were three chosen to be groomed by her and its was Ratana and Te Mareikura who both became prophets."
Wilson had this to say about the PM not attending the celebrations this year because of other commitments, "I am worried because since the elections last year I have not seen any benefits for the Ratana people as a whole."
Whanganui and Taranaki descendant Rauru Broughton says, "This is another connection to him, his connections to the Whanganui River and of course the Te Tira Hoe Waka has just completed its journey for this year. Here, also, are his connections to Taranaki."
Kingi Tuheitia and the Kīngitanga, Te Pou Tikanga o Te Hāhi Ringatū - Wirangi Pera and Queen Pā Upokotini Ariki o Rarotonga will be welcomed on to Ratana Pa at 3pm tomorrow.