28 Sep 2012

Unease between Maori wardens and police - report

7:07 am on 28 September 2012

A report on the funding of Maori wardens has revealed some tension between police iwi liaison officers and the wardens.

The assessment has found evidence of differences between police culture and the volunteers' kaupapa, but links between the two organisations are generally positive.

Both parties say a constant change of people and restructuring within the police leads to the loss of historic and local knowledge and the breakdown of key relationships.

The report also says Te Puni Kokiri, the Maori Council and the Maori Wardens Association need to work together to ensure the wardens get the best support and co-ordination.

The 60-page study was compiled for Te Puni Kokiri, the government department which started providing funding in 2007 to increase warden numbers and build their capability.

Overall, the report notes Maori Wardens provide excellent value for money - working locally, but also being on duty for major events such as the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The evaluation highlights that investment from central government has helped boost warden numbers - rising from 490 in 2007 to 823 in 2010.

But the report says there is a need to attract even more volunteers to ensure the sustainability of Maori Wardens.