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Hura, Maata Te Reo

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Hura was one of seven children of Te Urumanaao Ngapaki and Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana at Orokeinui, Waipu block. Until she was 14 she was the tamaiti whangai of elderly relatives named Wiremu Tupito Maruera and Ngauare. Soon after she returned to her parents her father had the first of a series of visions which led to the foundation of the Maori syncretic religion, the Ratana Church. Hura became a key member of her father's evangelistic missions, performing in the Ratana Concert Party.

While on a concert trip to Japan she married another troupe member, Huia Whenuaroa, in 1925. They had no children, but Hura married twice again and had eight children in all. In 1967, following the death of her aunt in 1966, Hura succeeded as president of the Ratana church. Soon thereafter she and Queen Te Atairangikaahu signed an agreement spiritually uniting the Ratana church and the Maori kingship movement. In spite of initial opposition from some factions of the church, eventually Hura was recognized by the whole movement. On her death she was succeeded as head of the church by her younger brother, Raniera Ratana.

References

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Also available at: http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/dnzb/

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