Maori Wardens put aroha into action on the coast

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The Maori wardens have extended a line of support to tangata whenua and all communities who are suffering the brunt of the Rena oil disaster.

“Our aroha and thoughts go out to the coastal whanau, hapu and iwi of Tauranga Moana and the wider Bay of Plenty whose waters, and food resources, have been ruined by this disaster,” said Gloria Hughes, the president of the New Zealand Maori Wardens Association.

“We’ve offered the iwi our help in the form of letting them use our communication systems, including our portable two-way radio transceivers, to help co-ordinate their volunteer work on the ground.

“We have also offered them our vans to help transport their volunteer clean-up teams.

A lot of our wardens, especially those who live in the area and who have whakapapa to these waters, have volunteered their expertise even if it means them taking annual leave from their bread and butter jobs.

Mrs Hughes said iwi in Whakatane, Opotiki, Maketu and Tauranga embraced the support the association offered.

These iwi are very on-to-it and are extremely keen to take up our support but we have been advised theres a process we must undertake first with the various agencies at the Incident Control Centre in Tauranga so we have been working on that.

“Our wardens have experience in dealing with crisis management at the coalface. We were part of the response effort that occurred immediately after the February earthquake in Otautahi and we want our people of these waters to know we are here to help them as well.”

For further media inquiries please contact Gloria Hughes on mobile 0274 760 390.

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