National | Kīngitanga

Celebrations commence for anniversary of Tahu Pōtiki Wiremu Rātana

Celebrations to mark the anniversary of Tahu Pōtiki Wiremu Rātana got underway today at Rātana Pā.

The first group was welcomed on for the birthday celebrations of Tahu Pōtiki Wiremu Rātana today, and that was Whanganui. They were the only group today, so the marae wasn't particularly overworked.

However tomorrow will be something different when people from all over the country start arriving for the weekend celebrations.

The Kīngitanga will arrive tomorrow, though Te Kāea understands that the King himself won't be attending, instead his sister will represent the movement.  The politicians are scheduled to arrive Sunday.

This will be the second year where all political parties will be welcomed on at once.  So whether you're blue, red, green or whatever your loyalties are, it will be a united welcome.

It's likely the Prime Minister John Key, will be challenged around the topic of TPP.  Te Kāea understands that police have been called in to tighten security on Sunday when the Prime Minister arrives because a protest is expected.

As for Labour, this is the first time its leader Andrew Little has been welcomed onto Rātana since his comments when he compared the day for the politicians at Rātana to a beauty pageant.

"This is a new year.  We should leave that issue in the past.  We need to move forward in a positive space between us and the party itself," says Waka Paama.

Additionally, Rātana have made it very clear where their  political allegiances lie.

Paama says, "The hāhi has always been staunch Labour Party supporters, that's what our leader set in place, and that's what we support also.

Although we don't always agree with some of their policies, which political party always has the best policies."

To the other parties, Te Kāea understands that this may be seen as an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the Labour Party and the Green Party, so we'll see on Sunday if they go on hand-in-hand.

The Māori Party, they say they'd like to focus on the celebration itself.  At this stage, there isn't any policy announcement or major challenge expected from their camp.