Māori Wardens were formally established in the 1940s to manage the behaviour of Māori under the influence of alcohol. Over the years the role of Māori Wardens has evolved to meet the changing needs of whānau and communities.

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.

Māori Warden Groups have shared their aspirations to be more independent and in control of their own affairs so three options are being discussed:

 

KAHIKA – Option A:

Updating governance and administration as well as the Māori Community Development Act to better reflect the actual roles and functions of Māori Wardens

Pros:

  • can enable operational autonomy for the Māori Wardens
  • provides an opportunity to update the functions and powers of Māori Wardens

Cons:

  • doesn’t progress the formation of an entity to take sole charge of the leadership of Māori Wardens
  • may not be seen (by some) as offering enough ‘modernisation’

POHUTUKAWA – Option B:

New Māori Wardens Act to better reflect Māori Wardens actual roles and functions and provide for greater operational control by Māori Wardens

Pros:

  • provides an opportunity to establish new functions to reflect contemporary needs
  • requires the formation of an entity to take sole charge of the leadership of Māori Wardens
  • requires an adequately resourced governance structure to deliver timely, cost-efficient and consistent support for Māori Wardens

Cons:

  • takes longer (than options A and C) to realise
  • requires significant transition planning to establish the entity and its governance, management, operations and accountability capabilities
  • is not likely to be supported by the NZMC – its preference is that the Māori Wardens remain under the MCDA

TIKOUKA – Option C:

Māori Wardens establish their own governance and operational structure, and look after their own affairs, outside of legislation

Pros:

  • achieve the formation of a wholly independent organisation with sole charge of the leadership of Māori Wardens
  • has the potential to create an adequately resourced governance structure to deliver timely, cost-efficient, consistent support for Māori Wardens
  • could allow (if desired) the generation of revenue from specific services

Cons:

  • results in the loss of statutory authority for Māori Wardens and Ministerial warranting of Māori Wardens
  • requires significant transition planning to establish the entity and its governance, management, operations and accountability capabilities
  • is not likely to be supported by the NZMC – its preference is that the Māori Wardens remain under the MCDA

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