Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the Ringatū faith, a Māori religious movement founded by prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki in 1868. 

Pou Tikanga Wirangi Pera says it was an occasion to acknowledge and remember those who laid the foundation for the faith 150 years ago.

"He whakamaumahara i te iwi i kawea atu rā ki Wharekauri. Kāre rā rātou i waenganui i a mātou, nō reira, kei te mihi atu rā ki a rātou te hunga i whakatō te kākano o te hāhi Ringatū 150 tau i muri."

Whitiaua Ropitini of Tūhoe says even though its followers have long been keeping the faith, they know their ranks are diminishing.

"Tērā taua titiro ki tō tāua hāhi ki ngā Ringatū e whakatinana i ngā tikanga me ngā mahi a tō tātou hāhi, he tokoiti. Nō reira, ko taua iti e kawe nei i ēnā mahi. Kua 150 tau te hāhi i tēnei tau, kua titiro ki te 150 kei mua i te aroaro."

He also asks if some things should change.

"Āe rānei ko te whakauru mai i ngā hangarau Pākehā? Āe rānei ko te whakanikoniko, ko te whakahihiko ake, ko te whakapākehā ake pea i te āhua o te hāhi?"

Te Whakatōhea leader Te Kahautu Maxwell was in attendance and believes the faith will be around for 150 years more.

"Ka ora te hāhi i roto i ngā rau tau e tū mai nei? Āe, ka ora te hāhi. Engari ka pēhea tana āhua? Aua, kāre au i te tino mōhio. engari ka ora tonu te hāhi." 

The survival of the faith is an issue that will continue to be looked at.

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