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1918 Ratana movement

In 1918, as the following of its leader T.W. Ratana grew, the Ratana religious movement opened an office near Wanganui. The Ratana movement picked up aspects of the defiant spirit of the Parihaka community but softened its separatist stance and had a strong focus on largely Christian religion and healing. Its leaders also had economic and modernising goals. In the 1920s Ratana formed a political arm, and from the mid-1930s it entered into an alliance with the Labour party, in an arrangement whereby Labour nominated Ratana leaders as its candidates in the Māori electorates. By 1943, Ratana/Labour candidates had won all four Māori seats, thus gaining a much stronger voice in governing circles. The new members also brought into the Labour caucus the long-standing Ratana demand that the Treaty be 'ratified'.

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