Maori Party Supports Maori Warden Proposals
'Maori Party Supports Proposal for Maori Wardens to be included in New Police Quotas'
Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party
"Maori wardens are one of the most successful examples of citizen policing in New Zealand" stated Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.
Mrs Turia was responding to the suggestion from ACT MP Heather Roy that Maori wardens could be considered as a key workforce to make up the thousand new officers promised in Labour's confidence and supply arrangement with New Zealand First.
"For over sixty years the Maori wardens have demonstrated an honourable presence amongst the people, in maintaining law and order" stated Mrs Turia. "Their influence at large events has been formidable - as they skillfully manage crowds and uphold discipline".
"I have been immensely impressed at their action on the streets, as they diffuse situations with their emphasis on respect and keeping the peace. In many instances they have in fact cut down the criminal offending rate in areas where they patrol".
"They could become 'special constables' because the work they do encapsulates Section 192 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1952" stated Mrs Turia.
"The Maori Party commends new Police Minister Annette King, for inviting suggestions about how to increase the police force, and recognises too, the initiative of MP Heather Roy, in her immediate release".
"We welcome the opportunity for the vital work of the Maori wardens to be recognised by this new Government. We would hope that the appropriate resources be made to them to defray the costs which they have borne, voluntarily, on behalf of the citizens of this country".