Māori Wardens

“Aroha ki te tangata / For the love of the people”

There are approximately 700-800 Māori Wardens who play an intrinsic role in improving the wellbeing of whānau and our communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Te Puni Kōkiri and NZ Police provides practical support to Māori Wardens achieve their aspirations.

Last updated: Friday, 4 August 2023 | Rāmere, 04 Hereturikōkā, 2023

About Māori Wardens

Māori Wardens are an intrinsic part of our communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. They have been supporting whānau for over 150 years at a grassroots level and have well-established relationships that enable them to work closely with whānau, Māori organisations, community groups and government agencies.

Māori Wardens are not police, but they have legal responsibilities under the Māori Community Development Act 1962. Today there are approximately 700-800 Māori Wardens who volunteer their time to supporting others in our communities.

The strength of Māori Warden’s is their intimate knowledge of, and close connection to their local communities. The guiding principles of a Māori Warden is respect, awhi, aroha, and whānaungatanga. The values are:

  • Rangimarie (Peace)
  • Manaaki (Kindness)
  • Kōrero (Talking)
  • Whakaiti (Humility)
  • Tautoko (Support)
  • Pono (Honesty)


A Guide to the new interim Māori Warden Warranting process – for new applicants and re-warranting

Read more in PDF, 2.46MB

The Māori Warden Warranting Application Form – for new applicants and re-warranting

Read more in PDF, 292KB

To deliver community-based services, improve organisational capacity and capability, and support national events

Read more in PDF, 2.80MB

A Handbook for new Māori Wardens to introduce you to and prepare you for your new role

Read more in PDF, 3.19MB

Available training programmes for Māori Wardens to recognise and support the importance of upskilling our people

Read more in PDF, 980KB



Read more publications about Māori Wardens

Māori Wardens Regional Coordinators

The purpose of the regional co-ordinator is to build relationships with local agencies and community groups in order to promote the services provided by Māori Wardens.

Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Tai Tokerau, Waikato-Tainui, Te Tairāwhiti, Te Waipounamu and Chatham Islands

Hoana Leef (Ngā Puhi) is the regional co-ordinator for Te Taitokerau – Tāmaki Makaurau regions. Her region extends from the tip of the North Island – Te Hiku o te Ika and expands to below the Bombay Hills and Port Waikato in the north, along the western coastline south to Mōkau, eastward embracing the King Country, through to the Kaimai Ranges, the Hauraki plains and returning northwards to the Coromandel Peninsula. 

Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Hoana believes in supporting wardens with various kaupapa and providing direction and guidance when needed. This role has given her the opportunity to service the needs of Māori Wardens who work alongside their respective communities including whānau, hapū, and iwi.

Telephone: 027 598 9871 or 09 571 2966 Email: parho@tpk.govt.nz.

Wellington, Kāpiti, Horowhenua, Manawatū, Heretaunga and Wairarapa

Diana Kawana (Ngā Wairiki) is the regional co-ordinator for the Wellington regional centre covering Manawatū, Horowhenua, Kāpiti and Wellington. She is based in Palmerston North.

As regional co-ordinator, Diana believes that this role has given her an opportunity to provide valuable resources that actively services the needs of Māori Wardens who work alongside whānau, hapū and iwi in their the wider communities.

Diana is currently seconded externally to the Te Piringa Manatōpū Māori Wardens.

Telephone: 027 415 9837 Email: kawad@tpk.govt.nz.

Whanganui, Taranaki, Rangitikei and Ruapehu

Wayne Seeley (Ngāpuhi) is the regional co-ordinator for the Whanganui regional centre covering the Whanganui, Taranaki, Rangitikei and Ruapehu districts in additional to this he covers the Waiariki, Whakatāne and Tauranga districts. Wayne has been a Māori Warden for 22 years and has worked closely with the District Māori Council.

He is pleased to be able to work with Māori Wardens in his region as he wants to see the work that Māori Wardens do in their communities more valued. He believes that giving the wardens the right tools is pinnacle to achieving this.

Wayne is currently seconded externally to the Volcanic Interior Plateau Māori Wardens.

Telephone: 027 415 9651 Email: seelw@tpk.govt.nz .

Māori Warden Videos

Modernising Māori Wardens

In July 2019, more than 450 Māori Wardens from across 16 districts gathered at the National Māori Wardens Conference at Tūrangawaewae Marae to embark on a way forward.

The roles, functions and powers of the Māori Wardens are provided for in the Māori Community Development Act 1962 which is administered by the Māori Development Minister. 

Over the years the initial role of the Māori Wardens has broadened and there are now approximately 700-800 Māori Warden volunteers across the nation supporting the homeless, encouraging rangatahi, providing community reassurance, facilitating hui between whānau and schools, providing event management and security, and facilitating youth at risk programmes.

Related News and Stories

Read our latest news and stories for this kaupapa.

Takitimu Māori Wardens out and about protecting whānau

  • Date: 17 November 2021

Māori Wardens in Hawke's Bay are used to being out on the beat, looking after the safety of their communities – making them ideal ambassadors for a Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Read more

New Māori Wardens Qualification to be offered next year

  • Date: 23 July 2021

The mahi Ngā Wātene Māori do to support whānau in the community is on track to be recognised by a new tohu in mid-2022. The nationally approved qualifications  could also open doors for new career opportunities.

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Wardens History project underway

  • Date: 23 July 2021

Springbok tour protests, the occupation of Bastion Point and the Queen’s visits to Waitangi. Throughout the decades, Māori Wardens have been first-hand witnesses to major events in the history of Aotearoa. However now it is the turn of Ngā Watene Māori to have their own history recorded.

Read more

Conference updates Wardens on Modernisation progress

  • Date: 23 July 2021

Over 400 Wātene Māori from around the motu gathered in Te Papaioea (Palmerston North) at the end of May for the 2021 National Māori Wardens Conference.

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Māori Wardens Annual Report 2019/2020

Inaugural annual report of key events and activities by Māori Wardens within last financial year.

More details

Māori Wardens continue whānau support in Tāmaki COVID-19 response

  • Date: 02 September 2020

Māori Wardens across the motu are actively being sought after and recognised for services to their communities. No more so, than in Tāmaki during the resurgence of COVID-19.

Read more