26 Sep 2013

Maori Council seizes warden warranting control

5:46 am on 26 September 2013

Delays in the issuing of warrants to Maori Wardens have prompted the Maori Council to take over the job from Te Puni Kokiri.

By law, it's the role of the council to oversee the accreditation for the volunteers.

But the task was picked up by Te Puni Kokiri - the Ministry of Maori Development - when some of the Maori Council's regional representation fell into decline.

A deputy chair of the council Des Ratima says the waiting time is now a maximum of two weeks.

He says in the past, in some cases, it has taken years for the ministry to process the warrants.

Mr Ratima says there are some horrendous stories, including one case of someone waiting 10 years or longer.

Most recently, he says, those wanting to become a warden have had to wait from one to five years.

Mr Ratima says he does not blame Te Puni Kokiri for all of the long delays in assigning the warrants, and recognises that some of the Maori Council's administration might have been at fault.