Te Hāhi Rātana are securing their future through their youth. Rangatahi are stepping up to fill leadership roles with the support of their elders and of the hāhi (church).
Rātana are gearing up for their 25th celebrations and governance roles opening up for youth.
Te Hāhi Rātana Secretary-General, Piriwiritua Rurawhe says, "The executive board and our chief executive, Harerangi Meihana, are handing more responsibility over to the next generation to benefit our church and the faith.”
Hawea Meihana and other young Mōrehu are fulfilling the prophecy of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana that “youth will carry the faith to the clouds and from the clouds to the world.”
Meihana says, "Us as rangatahi can be part of a meaningful kaupapa. Talking on prophecy level, we're celebrating a hundred years this year and just to be part of that celebration is an honour for us as rangatahi. Ideally, we are the future of the hāhi and it's another way to engage with our rangatahi moving forward."
Kaumātua Te Aroha McLeod has lived in Rātana Pā for eighty years this year and is backing the rangatahi movement.
She says, "It'll be wonderful because when I look at it a lot of youth, they're in trouble right around the motu but if you keep them occupied...well. That's what I say, start that youth movement up again."
A national rangatahi hui has been called on January 23 at Rātana where a national executive team will be elected.