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Ed Sheeran

Māori wardens find role in marae courts

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The increase in rangatahi courts and other marae-based judicial activities is creating new opportunities for Māori wardens.

That's the view of Thomas Henry, the operations manager for Tāmaki ki te Tonga Māori Wardens, on the eve of a wardens' national hui at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawāhia.

He says the changes in what wardens do means some structural changes to their organisation are needed.

"We've seen an increase of our Māori wardens use on marae courts. Whānau have these commitments, and making sure they turn up in these court cases, so a lot of our wardens are specialised now working alongside our Māori on rangatahi courts and also older area in the courts, those who have been given the opportunity to go to the marae and sort out problems that they're having," Mr Henry says.

The national hui will try to address some of the continuing tensions between the wardens, some of whom want more autonomy, Te Puni Kōkiri which controls the purse strings and district Māori councils, which have the statutory role of warranting and overseeing wardens.

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