Recruitment starts for Maori wardens
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.