Wellington District Māori Wardens
Metlink supports Māori Warden's mission to keep Wellington safe
Joint media release by Metlink and Wellington District Māori Wardens:
Metlink supports Māori Warden’s kaupapa by providing free public transport for on-duty Wardens, enabling them to move around the region with ease as they undertake crime prevention. On-duty Māori wardens wearing a uniform are welcome to travel for free on all Metlink bus and rail services while carrying out their duties.
Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher says Metlink recognises Māori Wardens as an important thread in the fabric of Wellington, promoting a safer region for everyone. “Māori Wardens have a long history of protecting and supporting communities in our region on a voluntary basis, and Metlink is proud to be a part of their story.
“On-duty Māori Wardens are allowed to travel for free on our network because they play a role in assisting the public with safety matters, providing a direct benefit to our customers as well as our front line staff. The Warden’s kaupapa is completely voluntary, so we want to remove any financial barriers associated with transport while they are carrying out their work,” says Mr Gallacher
Māori Wardens are an intrinsic part of our communities. They have been supporting whānau for over 150 years at a grassroots level and have well-established relationships that enable them to work closely with whānau, Māori organisations, community groups and government agencies. Māori Wardens are not police, but they have legal responsibilities under the Māori Community Development Act 1962. Today, there are approximately 100 Māori Wardens in our region who volunteer their time to supporting communities. The strength of Māori Wardens is their intimate knowledge of, and close connection to, their local communities. The guiding principles of a Māori Warden is respect, awhi, aroha, and whānaungatanga.
Wellington District Commander for Māori Wardens, Gabriel Tupou, says that the Wardens are proud to provide this service for the whole community. “As members of local communities we serve, we are uniquely placed to understand whānau and the issues they face. As a Treaty Partner in the safety space, we do serve Māori communities but we also provide this voluntary service to the wider community.
“We work alongside Police and other local and central Government agencies to help deter unruly behaviour in town centres and on public transport. To do this work, it’s important that we maintain a high visibility presence, so we are often moving around the region while on-duty, and public transport is a great way to do that.
“We are grateful to Metlink for their long standing support of our kaupapa, which is about ‘aroha ki te tangata’ or serving the people with compassion,” says Mr Tupou.
Note: Photos of on-duty Māori Wardens Lee Tanirau, Suzanne Minhinnick, Sylvester Prouse and Gabriel Tupou