Māori Wardens

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

There are approximately 900 Māori Wardens who play an intrinsic role in improving the wellbeing of whānau and our communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Te Puni Kōkiri in partnership with NZ Police provides practical support to Māori Wardens including delivering training programmes and providing resources (e.g. vehicles, uniforms and equipment).

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 900 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

Each rohe (seven) across the country has a Regional Co-ordinator. 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 and Waikato-Tainui

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 and Manawatū

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.

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.

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

Te Tairāwhiti, Heretaunga and Wairarapa

Robert Whaitiri (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungunu) is the regional co-ordinator for the Gisborne and Hastings regional centres covering Te Tairāwhiti, Heretaunga (Hawkes Bay) and the Wairarapa.

Through his role Robert wants to help unite the various associations to move forward together. He believes that the current structure sees too many associations competing for the same jobs and for the same pool of pūtea.

There is strength in numbers and if we can all move forward together and become self-sustaining and business orientated including contracting for services, Māori Wardens would be in a much better position to deliver a top quality service.

Telephone: 027 296 9654 Email: whair@tpk.govt.nz.

Te Waipounamu and Te Tau Ihu

Aaron Munro (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Ngāti Porou) is the regional co-ordinator for the Christchurch and Nelson regions. His rohe covers the entire Te Tau Ihu and Te Waipounamu Districts.

Aaron comes with a background in policy, community relationships, and communications. He looks forward to working closely with the Māori Warden Groups in the South Island.

Telephone: 027 263 6951 | Email: munra@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 over 900 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.

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta is passionate about ensuring the role Māori Wardens play in New Zealand communities’ remains strong, valuable and relevant. It is timely to consider what the future for the Māori Wardens could look like.

A Working Group, representing each Māori Wardens district, has been elected to oversee the development of some key objectives.

Events and Updates

Latest events and updates for this section are listed below.

  • 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

  • Critical incident training for Māori wardens from across the motu

    • Date: 10 August 2020

    21 Māori wardens from across Aotearoa gathered on the first weekend of August at the Fire and Emergency NZ National Training Centre in Rotorua for the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS4) training. CIMS is a framework for managing incidents of any scale across multiple agencies and organisations.

    Read more

  • How Ōtautahi Māori Wardens awhi communities in and out of COVID

    • Date: 04 August 2020

    One of the biggest struggles for Māori Wardens working through lockdown in Christchurch East, was being unable to give whānau what they desperately wanted - the simple power of a hug.

    Read more

  • COVID-19 accelerates training and processes for Māori wardens

    • Date: 08 July 2020

    Wharekāhika is a small coastal township between Potaka and Te Araroa along State Highway 35 on the East Coast. Like many other rural communities around Aotearoa during lockdown, the Wharekāhika community were determined to protect their whānau, especially the vulnerable like kaumātua and pēpi, from the coronavirus by setting up checkpoints to stop the spread of the virus into their township.

    Read more

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