A DigitalNZ Story by Janice

A set of images, articles and a research paper on Ringatū, the religion founded by Te Kooti.

Ringatū, New Zealand Wars, Te Kooti,

 the beginning of Ringatū 

A different faith challenging Pai Mārire emerged in the mid-1860s. It became known as Ringatū (the upraised hand) and was founded by Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Tūruki on Chatham Island (Wharekauri), during his captivity there between 1866 and 1868. Ringatū is still an established faith, with seven regional branches, each with different names. The formally registered church is the Hāhi Ringatū.

Source: Judith Binney, 'Māori prophetic movements – ngā poropiti - Te Kooti – Ringatū', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/maori-prophetic-movements-nga-poropiti/page-3 (accessed 28 November 2019)

Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki

Founder of Ringatū Church in 1867.

Te Kooti

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

By sculptor Arnold Manaaki Wilson

Upraised hand rests on the prophet's head as a sign of consecration.


Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Rongopai at Waituhi

Used to welcome Te Kooti and for Ringatū services.


Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ringatu prayer book

Alexander Turnbull Library

Capt E Tuke on Te Kooti's vision to start a new religion.

THE TWO TE KOOTIS. (Colonist, 01 October 1869)

National Library of New Zealand

Te Kooti's vision from God to form a new religion.

Ngā poropiti – Māori prophetic movements: Te Kooti – Ringatū

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ringatū and Rātana

Important Ringatū days an the new Rātana Church

Ngā hāhi – Māori and Christian denominations: Ringatū and Rātana

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Ringatū flag

Ringatū leader and prophet Te Kooti used a number of flags of his own design. The icons on this flag, of both Christian and traditional Māori significance, had special meanings. Historian Judith Binney argued that 'WI' marked the holy day (every 10th day in the Pai Mārire calendar) and that the letters also stood for the holy spirit, Wairua Tapu. In her opinion the crescent moon was a tohu (portent) of a new world, while the cross stood for the fighting Archangel Michael.

Source: Kerryn Pollock, 'Flags - Māori flags', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/33977/te-kootis-flag (accessed 4 December 2019)

Ringatu flag captured from Te Kooti

Alexander Turnbull Library

Te Kooti's flag

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ringatū meetings and celebrations

Ringatu meeting, Ruatoki North

Alexander Turnbull Library

 Ringatū in Aotearoa New Zealand today

30 Ringatu followers and tohunga explore ways to bring followers back to church.

Ringatu explore problems within church

Radio New Zealand

How does Ringatū, Paimārire, Te Hāhi Katorika and Te Hāhi Mihinare celebrate Easter.

Easter and the story of Māori faiths

Radio New Zealand

Original documents of the Ringatū religion on display for the first time in Wellington.

Māori prophet Te Kooti's manuscripts displayed for first time

Radio New Zealand

Research paper 

The thesis sets out to understand and to interpret the faith aspects of the Ringatu Church, which is comprised of the followers of Te Kooti, and to examine the Ringatu claim to be seen as a part of the Christian Church.