Ratana wants four Labour list seatsIn the 1940's the Ratana Church had four seats in parliament. All we aligned to Labour, all were Maori seats, all its representatives joined the Labor caucus. Most of them didn't do much, a bit like some of the unionists that have got list seats in recent years. Some, like Matiu Rata, joined Labour and became more effective.
Now that the Maori Party has most of the Maori seats, the church knows it cannot win most of the Maori seats: to do so would mean it would have more Maori seats than the Maori Party. It knows it can't get any Maori seats off Labour. So the church has publicly asked Labour for four safe list seats to be aligned to Labour in parliament. The Maori Party has never had a list seat. If the Catholic or Presbyterian Church made such a request, they'd be laughed at.
It was a strange request, particularly as Ratana Church Minister Joe Everett earlier told John Key "In the short time that you have been in power you've done so much more than what others have done for the ... Maori people."
Ratana should take its support elsewhere. Most if it already is.Its current leader supports Labour but many of those in the church, particularly the younger ones, support the Maori Party.
Phil Goff's Ratana speech is here Ratana is no longer relevant as a political force.