Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta have announced $3.75 million in assistance for Māori Wardens to prepare for the future.
More than 450 Māori Wardens from across 16 districts have gathered at Tūrangawaewae Marae to attend this year’s Māori Wardens Conference to embark on a way forward.
“Māori Wardens play a huge role within our communities and we want to invest in the wardens and ensure they have the right skills and tools to be of service to their communities,” says Mr Peters. “This is another step in the right direction for the wardens.”
“The funding will be used to invest directly in to the development of a new Māori Wardens self-management capability, along with increased training, recruitment and promotion which is a huge step forward for the organisation,” says Nanaia Mahuta.
The money in the Wellbeing Budget will also start an awards programme to recognise their work.
The roles, functions and powers of the Māori Wardens are provided for in the Māori Community Development Act 1962 which is administered by the Māori Development Minister.
The initial role of the Māori Wardens has broadened and there are now over 900 Māori Warden volunteers across the nation.
“They have built enduring and trusted relationships with our whānau, non-Māori groups and amongst our different communities, making them more accessible to every day New Zealanders in a way that many other organisations struggle to do.
“Māori Wardens have a long legacy, they are known all across Aotearoa New Zealand, so this funding really recognises their significant contribution,” says Nanaia Mahuta.
“Māori wardens were, are, and always will be a huge asset to New Zealand’s social cohesion and the prevention of social dislocation before it happens. It’s high time we honoured some of our volunteer organisations with a little support,” Mr Peters says.
For more information go to www.tpk.govt.nz/en/whakamahia/maori-wardens