24 Apr 2017

Ratana Church needs $500k for repairs

7:46 am on 24 April 2017

The historic Ratana Church needs to raise $500,000 to make urgent repairs to its building.

Te Temepara Tapu o Ihoa - The Holy Temple of Jehovah (Ratana Church)

The biggest problem is waterproofing the church, said the church's secretary. Photo: Te Temepara Tapu o Ihoa - The Holy Temple of Jehovah (Ratana Church)

In January, celebrations to mark the birth of the movement's founder, Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana, are used by politicians to share their key messages with Māoridom.

A [https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/ratanatemeparaproject

Give A Little page has been launched] and other fundraising activities are planned.

Built in the 1920s, the church has weathered various repairs.

Church secretary Piri Wiritua Rurawhe said the biggest problem now was waterproofing.

"Some of the tiles that are sitting on top of the temple have come away and there's been some major leaks through there. And some of the structure within the roof needs to be replaced."

Structural engineers and surveyors had assessed the building and while it could still be used, the repairs needed to be done, he said.

He said the church would like to raise the money before next year's celebrations of the Ratana movement's centenary, but it could take longer.

"It's a long-term plan that we've got in place to do this. As I've said we've had engineers and builders come in and give us advice.

"It is an urgent job, but there is time for us to do some planning and get the funds in so that when we do start on the work, everything's covered."

In addition to the Give A Little page, 18 parishes around New Zealand and Australia were also fundraising.

Mr Rurawhe said they were also looking at holding benefit concerts in Auckland and Wellington to raise money.