Waitakere City Council has recognised the contribution Maori wardens play in community safety with the official launch of year-long contract with them to patrol the city’s town centres.
Today’s launch, where deputy mayor Penny Hulse presented a certificate of appreciation to trust executive chairman Jack Taumaunu in recognition of its contribution to the community, coincides with a Maori Warden training at the council. It was run by the council’s Safe Waitakere unit and Waitakere Police.
The presentation was attended by newly-appointed Waitemata Police District Commander Superintendent Bill Searle and Acting Area Commander for Waitakere, Inspector Scott Webb.
The council allocated $100,000 in its 2008/09 Annual Plan for the contract with the Waitemata Maori Wardens Trust.
The contract agreement builds on an already strong relationship between the council and the trust. Maori wardens were previously involved in Project Respect, a six-month project jointly funded by the council and the Ministry of Justice which saw wardens patrolling the street, primarily to interact with a particular focus on Maori and Pacific Island youth.
“The Maori wardens are an invaluable community resource that provide a calming and positive effect on our streets,” says Waitakere Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.
“The work they do complements other initiatives being carried out to promote public safety in the city and the council is delighted to be continuing its strong relationship and to recognise the great work they do.”
At the training session, wardens will hear about local crime prevention strategies and how they can best play a part in increasing public safety in key town centre locations.
Safe Waitakere Crime Prevention Project Leader Michael Alofa says wardens take their ambassadorial role very seriously and are aware of the need to report any environment issues to council, such as broken lights, which may impact on public safety.
“We are fortunate to be working with such a community-minded group dedicated to keeping our town centres safe.”
The contract will see six wardens on patrol five hours a day, five days a week.