Rātana church senior member Andre Meihana has stepped aside from his usual role - just as the church and Rātana movement prepare to celebrate 100 years since founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana was visited by the holy trinity.
It's a huge event, with as many as 25,000 people coming to the area in planes, buses and cars. About 5000 are likely to stay at the settlement near Whanganui, while others fill motels, hotels and campgrounds in the surrounding area.
The celebrations take place from November 6-11, and organising them has been a huge task.
It had been a time of ups and downs and difficult emotions, Meihana said.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
He attributes the problem to people getting confused, and forgetting what they are really celebrating.
He's spent the last 20 years preparing for this time, and said he was working through the issues and would not give up.