15 Oct 2013

Northland wardens tackling falling numbers

8:30 am on 15 October 2013

The Maori Council's deputy chair of Maori wardens, Des Ratima, says there is strong leadership of the wardens in Northland, which has the highest number in the country.

James Hohepa-Smith, head of the Victoria Maori Wardens in Australia, told Te Manu Korihi that while he was home in Kaitaia recently, members of the public and the police were crying out for more wardens in their community.

But Mr Ratima says Maori ouncil representatives in Te Tai Tokerau have been lobbying for a long time to get more wardens trained up faster.

He supports that and understands why the police in areas such as Kaitaia and Kaikohe - where there are large Maori communities - value having the wardens in the community.

He says wardens are recognised nationwide as having a unique touch in the way they engage with tangata whenua.