Mr Des Ratima, newly elected Deputy-Chair Wardens of the New Zealand Maori Council has today called upon the Government, Te Puni Kokiri and Police to stop acting illegally in relation to the Maori Wardens.
“For the last few years TPK has controlled and supervised the Maori Wardens contrary to the very clear provisions of the Maori Community Development Act. This situation has been aided and abetted by the Police and the Government. In addition, tax-payer money which is supposed to have gone to Maori Wardens to support them in their statutory duties has been utilized by TPK to meeting the salaries, expenses and accommodation of TPK staff instead”.
Mr Ratima pointed out that under the Act NZMC has exclusive power and authority to control and supervise the Maori Wardens through the District Maori Councils which operate under the direction of NZMC.
“NZMC has both the statutory authority and the statutory duty to administer the Maori Wardens,” said Mr Ratima. “In order to do so, NZMC has established a Committee to manage the warranting and re-warranting of all wardens, all matters regarding administration of the wardens, to seek dedicated funding for the wardens, to provide communications services and all matters to assist Maori Wardens with their statutory responsibilities”.
The new committee will start meeting to plan its activities within the next two weeks.