New community base for our Maori wardens

A VITAL COMMUNITY ROLE: The work Tairawhiti Maori wardens do in the community was acknowledged at the handover ceremony of the former Kaiti Community Policing Centre at Kaiti Mall as a base for the wardens. Police, Gisborne District Council, kaumatua and other support organisations attended the handover. Picture by Liam Clayton

Kaiti Community Policing Centre has been officially handed over to the Tairawhiti Maori wardens as their new base.

Past and present police representatives, Tairawhiti, Wairoa and Hastings wardens, deputy mayor Rehette Stoltz and other supporters attended the handover ceremony at the centre in the Kaiti Mall.

The centre was built and opened in 1990 and was used by police up to mid-2016 when staff were moved to the main city police station.

“It has taken time to get approval for the handover but here we are now, and this is an amazing move for police and the wardens,” said area police commander Inspector Sam Aberahama.

“This whare is now for you,” he told the gathering.

“Police have been so impressed by the mahi (work) wardens do in our community. The diversity of the roles you take on is to be absolutely commended.”

Inspector Aberahama said it was important police and wardens continued to connect operationally and strategically.

“This handover is an opportunity to move our strong relationship forward.

“There are some things wardens can do that police can never do and we acknowledge that. Together it is about building trust in our community.”

The new wardens centre was offically blessed by police kaumatua Temple Isaacs.

“This is a wonderful gesture by police. This building will work well for the wardens,” he said.

On behalf of Gisborne District Council, deputy mayor Stoltz thanked the wardens for their work. She pointed to the success they had with the issue of bridge jumping in the city rivers.

“We can do the talking at the council but the real work, like you do, happens on the floor.”

A special guest at the handover was the now retired Morris Cheer — the first Senior Sergeant-in-charge at the Kaiti policing centre.

“I am personally delighted the Maori wardens will be based here from now on. You make a very positive contribution to the Tairawhiti community,” he said.

Kuia Olive Isaacs pointed to the positive impact the police centre had had on the mall.

“Behaviour in the mall improved. This has been a wonderful place for the community. The wairua (spirit) in this place is paramount and it will continue to be an important place for the Kaiti community.

Robert Whaitiri from Te Puni Kokiri, which funds the wardens network around New Zealand, said the Tairawhiti hub would strengthen the wardens’ community work.

Owen Lloyd, who chairs the Tairawhiti Maori Council, which has overall responsibility for the wardens, said among other things, the centre was also a place to get information about Maori wardens.

“It’s all about people and we need more of our young people to come forward and wear the uniform; their parents, too.

“We are recruiting now and hope more people will join us to help make our city a good and safe place to live.”

Kaiti Community Policing Centre has been officially handed over to the Tairawhiti Maori wardens as their new base.

Past and present police representatives, Tairawhiti, Wairoa and Hastings wardens, deputy mayor Rehette Stoltz and other supporters attended the handover ceremony at the centre in the Kaiti Mall.

The centre was built and opened in 1990 and was used by police up to mid-2016 when staff were moved to the main city police station.

“It has taken time to get approval for the handover but here we are now, and this is an amazing move for police and the wardens,” said area police commander Inspector Sam Aberahama.

“This whare is now for you,” he told the gathering.

“Police have been so impressed by the mahi (work) wardens do in our community. The diversity of the roles you take on is to be absolutely commended.”

Inspector Aberahama said it was important police and wardens continued to connect operationally and strategically.

“This handover is an opportunity to move our strong relationship forward.

“There are some things wardens can do that police can never do and we acknowledge that. Together it is about building trust in our community.”

The new wardens centre was offically blessed by police kaumatua Temple Isaacs.

“This is a wonderful gesture by police. This building will work well for the wardens,” he said.

On behalf of Gisborne District Council, deputy mayor Stoltz thanked the wardens for their work. She pointed to the success they had with the issue of bridge jumping in the city rivers.

“We can do the talking at the council but the real work, like you do, happens on the floor.”

A special guest at the handover was the now retired Morris Cheer — the first Senior Sergeant-in-charge at the Kaiti policing centre.

“I am personally delighted the Maori wardens will be based here from now on. You make a very positive contribution to the Tairawhiti community,” he said.

Kuia Olive Isaacs pointed to the positive impact the police centre had had on the mall.

“Behaviour in the mall improved. This has been a wonderful place for the community. The wairua (spirit) in this place is paramount and it will continue to be an important place for the Kaiti community.

Robert Whaitiri from Te Puni Kokiri, which funds the wardens network around New Zealand, said the Tairawhiti hub would strengthen the wardens’ community work.

Owen Lloyd, who chairs the Tairawhiti Maori Council, which has overall responsibility for the wardens, said among other things, the centre was also a place to get information about Maori wardens.

“It’s all about people and we need more of our young people to come forward and wear the uniform; their parents, too.

“We are recruiting now and hope more people will join us to help make our city a good and safe place to live.”

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