21 Jan 2014

Maori warden numbers increase

7:08 am on 21 January 2014

A joint Government and police programme is being credited with significantly helping to increase the number of Maori wardens, despite suggestions neither state agency should not be involved.

Data recorded by Te Puni Kokiri - the Ministry of Maori Development - shows there were 817 wardens warranted last November, 327 more than in July 2007.

Information released to Te Manu Korihi under the Official Information Act shows the Maori Wardens Project has greatly helped boost volunteer numbers. As well, it means there is money to buy equipment and resources to support wardens in day-to-day duties.

Contestable funding is also available to help deliver community based projects, especially those centred on at-risk youth, and any efforts to reduce drug and alcohol use.

Te Puni Kokiri said the increase was also attributed to the volunteers' profile in the community and recruitment drives by Maori wardens.

Last year, the Government sought feedback from the public about the Act which oversees wardens, and some people suggested that Te Puni Kokiri and the police should have no involvement with the Maori volunteers.