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Maori Wardens: Local Response to Community Problem

Maori Wardens – Local Response to Community Problems.

A training package designed to allow local communities to adopt a successful project to reduce alcohol-related harm by utilising community resources was to be launched in Wellington today.

The project involves a number of agencies including police, local government and Mäori Wardens. It was trialled by the Mängere East Mäori Wardens and Counties Manukau Police who worked together to reduce alcohol-related harm and crime in and around licensed premises by monitoring licensed establishments’ compliance with the Sale of Liquor Act (SOLA) and safe drinking environments.

The wardens essentially act as the eyes and ears for the enforcement agencies as they patrol the city’s licensed premises checking for intoxication, the presence of minors, as well as a range of other safety issues such as Host Responsibility practices and whether door staff are checking identification.

The emphasis is on observation and reporting rather than direct action. They report their observations to police and the council staff so that appropriate resources can be directed. They report any improprieties to the Duty Manager and any breaches of the Act to the District Licensing Agency and the police.

The Alcohol Advisory Council has developed resources and a training package to enable this project to be transferred to other areas. It is now operating successfully in Lower Hutt and other centres.

ALAC Chief Executive Officer says the project utilises community responses to a community problem.

“Preventing intoxication, or drunkenness has been central to the role of Mäori Wardens since their inception. Building on the experiences of Rotorua and Manukau the project, with the support of the Hutt City Council and the Police and other members of the steering group, has been successfully transported to the Lower Hutt area.”

ALAC is pleased to be involved in such a successful programme, he says.

ENDS

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