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.  They are one of the longest running volunteer institutions in Aotearoa built on aroha, manaaki, awhi and whanaungatanga.

Last updated: Monday, 2 October 2023 | Rāhina, 02 Whiringa ā-nuku, 2023

About Māori Wardens

Māori Wardens 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)

More information

Contact Hoana Leef by email if you have any questions.


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



Read more publications about Māori Wardens

Māori Warden Videos


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.

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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.

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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