June 03, 2021
Maori wardens design structure for independence
Māori wardens have held their annual conference in Palmerston North, with the long standing push for autonomy high on the agenda.
The wardens have statutory powers under the Māori Community Development Act 1962 and come under the authority of the New Zealand Māori Council, but in recent years they have been subject to close oversight by the Ministry for Māori Development Te Puni Kōkiri.
Thomas Henry from the South Auckland Māori Wardens says they’re working on a plan to divide the country into six or seven regions, with his group holding a roadshow through Tāmaki Makaurau and Taitokerau to explain what’s needed in terms of new governance structures.
He says the wardens are ready to look after themselves.
"I think it's time for TPK to now let us move forward. TPK has given us until the end of July to have something out in place and to take back to them," Mr Henry says.
The wardens are also looking at their training needs, including the possibility of NZQA certification for a qualification covering things like security, traffic management and emergency response.
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