Re­cruit­ment starts for Maori war­dens

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Tu­ran­gawae­wae Maori war­dens are set to make a come­back af­ter a two-decade re­cess.

Re­cently re­turned res­i­dents Teate and Jan Waaka de­cided it was time start the group again in Ngaru­awahia.

The group went into re­cess when the last of the mem­bers died, Teate said.

At the mo­ment they need to re­cruit war­dens be­fore the next steps can be car­ried out.

Teate was in the group back in 1987 be­fore the hia­tus and said it was a ‘‘good tight-knit group’’.

Four months ago when they moved back the cou­ple started to get the ball rolling

‘‘We de­cided to get our act to­gether and ap­proach the guys at Tu­ran­gawae­wae,’’ Teate said.

‘‘When they have a hui, it’s al­ways nice to have a Maori war­den.’’

The pair have ap­proached sev­eral com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to help es­tab­lish the group and see where the need was.

They have also been on var­i­ous train­ing cour­ses to up­skill in or­der to learn how the op­er­a­tion should work.

While the re­cent anti-P war in­volv­ing the Tribal Huks had been talk of the town, Teate said it wasn’t the rea­son why they wanted the war­dens to make a come back.

They saw war­dens as a way to sup­port the Maori com­mu­nity and ‘‘awhi’’ the kin­gi­tanga.

Teate said he has ap­proached some mem­bers of the gang and said he would be open to the

‘‘We de­cided to get our act to­gether and ap­proach the guys at Tu­ran­gawae­wae’’

op­por­tu­nity of work­ing with them.

‘‘I’ve got a lot of re­spect for those guys but we’ve got to work to­gether.’’

Nev­er­the­less he said the Huks’ pres­ence at the marae was al­ways pos­i­tive.

‘‘They do a good job [at Tu­ran­gawae­wae] - they don’t need to be told what to do, they know.’’ Waikato-Tainui Maori war­dens co-or­di­na­tor Pareautu Pana­paSolomon said the Tu­ran­gawae­wae war­dens’ re­vival was ‘‘huge’’.

Maori war­dens were started at Tu­ran­gawae­wae as the brain­child of princess Te Puea Herangi, she said.

‘‘It was her idea to start up the move­ment which look af­ter the peo­ple both within the marae and the com­mu­nity.’’ She said the Huntly and Kirikiriroa war­dens had been pro­vid­ing ser­vices for Ngaru­awahia dur­ing the re­cess.

Teate Waaka, front, Waikato Tainui Maori war­den co­or­di­na­tor Pareaute Panapa-Solomon, back left and ad­min­is­tra­tor Jan Waaka are ex­cited to get the ball rolling.

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