Ratana: The Prophet belongs to all those who are hungry for reconciliation between tribes and nations and to ‘the generation’ who Ratana believed would pick up his spiritual and political mantle and lead the way through the open gate or doorway to true enlightenment and prosperity.” — Keith Newman

Throughout history, certain individuals with a rare passion for justice and a gift of insight have been able to rally and motivate people through periods of great social change, sometimes defying all odds and being greatly misunderstood in the process.

Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana (Ngāti Apa, Ngā Rauru) was such a man, called to prominence at a pivotal time, with a message for the Māori people and for the wider world.

After a profound vision he gained an extraordinary gift of healing and began touring the country lifting ancient curses on people and places. After decades of land confiscation by the Government and the Crown, he set out to address the ‘land sickness’ of the Māori, gathering accurate records from every tribe and signatures from two thirds of Maoridom, which he took to England in 1924.

As founder of the Ratana Church and the Ratana movement, he led his followers in the quest to unite all Māori under one God, and to restore the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of the nation, giving Māori equal rights to British citizens.

Ratana: The Prophet, based on some 20 years of research, distils for a general audience the extraordinary depth of T. W. Ratana’s political, spiritual and social legacy.

On 25 January (T. W. Ratana’s birthday), his followers along with politicians from all parties attend the celebrations at Ratana Pā (near Wanganui) to celebrate Ratana’s legacy.

THE AUTHOR Keith Newman is an Auckland-based writer with over 30 years’ experience writing for mainstream and trade media. He began his research into the life of T. W. Ratana in 1986; two decades later his fi rst book, Ratana Revisited*, was published. Keith has won several awards for his journalism, including the Qantas Media Award for Best Magazine Feature Writer (2004) and Best Produced Music Feature in the New Zealand Radio Awards (2007) for The Blerta Years documentary on Radio New Zealand National. *Keith Newman’s previous book, the highly illustrated and densely resourced Ratana Revised (2006) (approx. 210k words) is on the wider Ratana movement and its social, political and religious history. Ratana: The Prophet is a more focussed, simplified biography of T. W. Ratana, the man, for a general audience.

Published by Raupo Penguin Group (NZ) | 5 January 2009 |
Special price direct from the author. Go to Shopfront

To arrange an interview with the authour or permission to publish an extract please contact
Penguin Group (NZ):  
Phone; 09-442-7463


The original Ratana articles:
Article: New Beginnings Inspire Ratana Youth (1986)
  A Sleeping Giant  (2000)
Ratana legacy supercedes Labour (2006)
from the Just Change issue on Religion and Spirituality
Related poems: New Year's Day & Remnant Seed
Angela Ballara’s extensive article on the Ratana movement:
The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography vol.3 (1996) also NZ Historyl

Explore the Ratana Church Official web which is now back on-line:
Purchase a print of 'iconic' Ratana portrait by artist Paula Novak
Signed copies of Ratana the Prophet available. Go to Shopfront.

The Ratana Revisited two-part documentary was broadcast on National Radio August 6th and 13th featuring interviews with tumuaki Harerangi Meihana, original Ratana biographer Jim McLeod Henderson, former Labour MP Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan and apotoro reihita Kereama Pene