It will be a different Rātana 25th event at the end of the month with news out this week that there will be no politicians or media pack attending the event this year.
The church announced this week that it had revoked its invitation to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other politicians amidst internal conflicts within the church.
Every year, thousands of mōrehu descend upon the small settlement of Rātana Pā, just outside of Whanganui, for several days of celebration, kotahitanga and prayer to mark the birthday on January 25 of church founder Tahupōtiki Wiremu Ratana.
The celebrations also typically mark the first event on the political calendar, with politicians across the spectrum attending to acknowledge the prophet and to make their case for the Māori vote.
But over the past year, there have been changes within the church, and its leadership has decided to spend this year addressing concerns and paving the way forward, away from the public eye.
It is a shame that the internal bodies within the church have been unable to come to agreement earlier to avoid the open kerfuffle, however I commend the church for putting its people first and being brave enough to acknowledge that it has internal work to do.
It is important to note that the 25th is not for us nor for politicians, it is for mōrehu.
With thousands usually in attendance, it is the perfect time to work together to resolve issues and iron out any kinks.
Aside from some confusion around conflicting dates and what is happening, my guess is it's probably going to be a much more enjoyable event for mōrehu without the politicians and media there anyway.
As a journalist from Whanganui, I have reported on the Rātana celebrations many times over recent years.
I remember attending the discos as a child too and scoffing down their popular pea, pie and pud dish. Nowadays I take my own children to enjoy the atmosphere.
But I have always been uncomfortable with the way that politicians end up taking centre stage at Rātana.
The media portrayal of the event is often white-washed and their presence at times feels intrusive.
Many journalists have just returned from holidays and are champing at the bit to get back into things.
From first-hand experience, most newsrooms see the event as newsworthy only for the fact that Ardern and other MPs are there.
The headlines are almost always centred on Pākehā politicians instead of T.W Rātana or his followers.
But there is so much history and richness in Rātana that is newsworthy.
T.W Rātana, also known as the Miracle Man, was an incredible person who healed countless people in his time.
There is literally a whare or house at the pā that is filled with old spectacles and wheelchairs and crutches, left behind by people who had been healed and no longer needed to use them.
The stories of his holy visions are fascinating. On the porch of the homestead that still stands at the village, Rātana was said to be smoking a pipe when huge clouds rolled in, sparking with blue light.
Rātana is said to have heard the word of the Holy Spirit telling him to preach the gospel to the Māori people and heal their illneses and infirmities.
Furthermore, Rātana sought to heal the injustices of Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi sealing an alliance with the Labour Party through then Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage in 1936 which greatly influenced the Māori seats and continues to hold politicians to account for Māori communities today.
After more than 100 years, there are still tens of thousands of Māori mōrehu around the country and the faith is alive and strong.
When they get together at Rātana Pā at the beginning of every year, it is the most beautiful gathering.
Thousands of people camping, catching-up, playing sports, going to church, performing in talent quests - so many fun activities for the kids.
I have always tried to highlight this atmosphere too because it is a fantastic display of Māoritanga; of how we relate to and care about each other, celebrate and hold fast to our traditions; and we do not hear enough stories about this in mainstream media.
It is not that I don't think politicians should come back to Rātana, they should.
Their attendance is important in that it also puts them under pressure to have something to say or show for Māori when they turn up each January.
In my mind, it is no coincidence that the Ihumaatao land-dispute deal was recently sealed.
But I do hope that in future, more of the story is told.
The mana and enduring legacy of Rātana is massive in its own right and this time is about him, and his people. Not the politicians. Not the media.
After 2020, we could all do with a reset and a chance to replenish our wairua.
I look forward to returning next year and wish the church all the best for next week.