9 Oct 2013

Strong interest in Maori wardens in Melbourne - chairman

7:45 pm on 9 October 2013

The Victoria Maori Wardens in Australia say while there is a decline of wardens in New Zealand the number of people wanting to join in Melbourne is booming.

The not for profit organisation will be officially launching as a new entity on 2 November with 79 sworn in wardens already on the beat.

Chairman of the state branch James Hohepa Smith says there is no shortage of volunteers knocking at their door who want to make a difference.

He says the interest is so good they don't even have to run a recruitment campaign.

Mr Smith says prospective wardens genuinely want to watch out for Maori youth on the streets and give them guidance on how to behave in a big country like Australia.

He says unlike Maori Wardens in New Zealand where the process to become a warden takes longer, being a non-profit organisation in Australia means police vetting and getting appropriate certificates takes less than two weeks.