Ruapehu seeing resurgence in Maori Warden volunteers
Taumarunui residents can all feel a bit safer with seven Maori Wardens being presented their Warrant Cards by Mayor Don Cameron at a special ceremony at Council on Monday (14 Nov).
The Maori Wardens who are all volunteers are not Police but have legal responsibilities established in law under the Māori Community Development Act 1962.
Mayor Cameron said that Ruapehu was lucky to have a growing contingent of Maori Wardens who are doing a fantastic job throughout the District.
“They have a special role in helping make our communities safer providing security, traffic and crowd control, first aid, and other services such as supporting whanau.”
“The special relationship and respect Maori Wardens have with the communities they serve allows them to calm situations down and achieve things other agencies may find more difficult,” said Mayor Cameron.
Maori Warden Administrator-Trainer Georgina Cribb said that there has been a resurgence of interest amongst young Maori in serving their community as a Maori Warden.
“The new Maori Wardens who took their oath yesterday have all been through over 200 hours of training under the Maori Wardens Project Training and Development Programme,” she said.
“The training and development programme is led by Te Puni Kökiri and the Police with courses also being delivered by other providers such as St John Ambulance, the New Zealand Fire Service and others.”
“Young people are being attracted to serving with the Maori Wardens as they see the good we can do first hand along with gaining new skills, personal confidence and respect within the community.”
“Maori Wardens serve for a period of three years at which time they can be re-nominated for another three-year period.”
“One of the Maori Wardens receiving their Warrant Card yesterday Hemi Austin has served for 21 years.”
“Taumarunui Maori Wardens cover the Maniapoto-Tainui region but work closely with southern Ruapehu Maori Wardens.”
“We also attend the annual Koroneihana in Huntly.”
Ms. Cribb said that they always welcomed enquiries from Maori of any age looking to better themselves and serve their community.
“Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Maori Warden in Taumarunui should call me on 027 527 6088.”