Labour MP for Te Tau Hauāuru Adrian Rurawhe says the people of the Pā should think carefully about the motives of the politicians who visit the church's annual festival.
His comments come after Labour leader Andrew Little referred to the politicians visit as, "a bit of a beauty parade."
According to Rurawhe, “Politicians come in and they go out, and they're really there, to be frank, for the media and if the media weren't there, it’s a consideration Rātana would have to think about.”
“We go there, National goes there, NZ First, Greens, whoever else, we all go there and it was just about the little section with the politicians,” explained Rurawhe.
Andrew Little is hoping his party can grow stronger ties to the followers of Rātana.
Little says, “That’s the kind of relationship and dialogue I want to have with Rātana and we don’t get it when we front up and do our beauty parade stuff.”
Little isn't backing down from his comments, his straight-talking approach has gained support from members like Rurawhe.