A $2.7m bribe should bring warmth to Ratana – but will Nats get their votes in return?

January 24, 2011

If you bat for us we'll give your people a couple of schools and a hospital, we'll have a word with Peter Jackson about having The Hobbit filmed here - and how about some of the Rugby World Cup matches being played at Ratana?

A handout of public money was announced without much fuss on 20 December, a gift from the Government to a seemingly small and insignificant community near Wanganui.

This gift – or should we call it a bribe? – was actually paid for by taxpayers who had no say in the matter (as Alf’s mates sternly pointed out to him when they demanded why Eketahuna had not been the beneficiary).

It was a Christmas present for Ratana “to receive essential repairs and upgrades”.


Actually, it looks more like an exercise in pork-barrel politicking and Alf was reminded of it as party leaders prepare for their annual trek to Ratana – the media call it a pilgrimage – to address Ratana followers at the religious movement’s annual celebrations near Wanganui today.

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