Ratana Church. The largest independent movement and the third largest religious group among the Maoris of New Zealand, with headquarters at Ratana Pa (‘village’) near Marton. It was founded by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana (1873–1939), a Methodist farmer who in 1918 received a visionary call to destroy Maori religion and return to Jehovah. In the 1918 world epidemic of influenza, he discovered his healing powers, and by 1919 crowds sought healing at Ratana Pa which developed into a model village. Ratana members have held up to all four Maori seats in New Zealand's parliament and have exercised considerable political power. A secession, less political and with a strict ethic, formed in North Island in 1941 as the Absolute Established Maori Church of Aotearoa, and has remained very small.
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