A $3.75 million funding assistance has been announced for the Māori Wardens, aimed at preparing them for the future. New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters joined Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta at this year’s Māori Wardens Conference to make the announcement.
“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 money in the Wellbeing Budget will also start an awards programme to recognise the work of the Māori Wardens, whose roles, functions and powers 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.
“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.
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.