Maori wardens honoured for quake help

2:09 pm on 15 April 2011

More than 100 Maori wardens from around New Zealand have been thanked for their contribution to the earthquake response in Canterbury.

The wardens were presented with taonga at a ceremony at Rehua Marae in Christchurch on Friday morning.

Dressed in their official uniforms, they were welcomed onto the marae with a powhiri and each was thanked for their contribution by representatives of local iwi Ngai Tahu in a ceremony full of song and prayer.

More than 70 wardens travelled to Christchurch from the North Island and 30 from the South Island immediately after the quake, to assist with food distribution, welfare and other support.

Eric Rameka, who travelled from the North Island, says the real reward was the thanks he received from those he helped.

Mr Rameka says his work mostly involved distributing food and water, and door-knocking to offer support.