The Māori Affairs Select Committee (MASC) has been conducting an inquiry into the Māori Community Development Act 1962 (MCDA, the Act) and this continues to generate interest. I have attended three oral hearings with strong representation from the both the New Zealand Māori Council, District Councils, Māori Warden groups and individuals and other interested parties and individuals.
In summary, the Māori Council focus has been on the retention of the Act and that the Māori Council needs ‘strengthening and support’ to allow this to happen. Māori Wardens on the other hand have asked for greater control and independence to make their own decisions. The decision by the MASC will take some time but it is encouraging to observe that people are having their say.
Over eight weeks the Project Team, along with the New Zealand Māori Council’s Jim Nichols and Gloria Hughes for the New Zealand Māori Wardens Association, met with warden groups around the motu. During these visits the overall view from Māori Wardens across the country has been to “retain the Act but give Māori Wardens their own autonomy”. Overwhelmingly Māori Wardens do not wish to be under the control of the NZ Māori Council.
This newsletter is the first for the new budget year. Keep an eye on the training available and when it hits a town close to you! There will also be accredited training opportunities for you on the way. Contact your Regional Coordinator for more information.
Te Rau Clarke Māori Wardens Project Manager
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