Our indigenous people have wonderful olfactory senses, when it comes to sniffing out a funding opportunity. Or a public handout.
They put this sense to good use wherever they might be, including Australia, where they are by no means the indigenous people.
Sniffing a trough which NZ taxpayers will fill with a rich swill is one thing.
Finding someone to turn the tap to ensure it is filled is another.
But our indigenous people have another great skill. They know how to sniff out the right Pakeha politicians who will be sufficiently craven to oblige them with the money they seek.
Alf makes these observations on learning that Maori in Victoria have done what they do in NZ, which is set up a Maori Wardens outfit.
It will officially be launched on 2 November.
Furthermore, as they do in this country, they will be calling on the Government to cough up the funding to keep the Maori Wardens in the law-and-order business.
They will be appealing to New Zealand’s High Commissioner in Canberra for financial support.
Radio NZ tells the story here.
The group was established last year in July as a not-for-profit organisation after kaumatua were concerned about the number of Maori youths involved in petty crimes.
Since then 82 Maori Wardens have been sworn in.
State branch chairman James Hohepa Smith says he wants to talk to the High Commissioner about what can be done to financially support the volunteers.
He says it is important the High Commissioner knows about the benefits of having the wardens patrol the streets with the Victoria police on Friday and Saturday nights, watching out for wayward rangatahi.
Alf thought volunteering had something to do with unpaid work.
Moreover if the work done by these volunteers makes a serious contribution to the maintenance of law and order in Australia – well, why doesn’t the government there, either state or federal, do the coughing up.
It’s worth noting that a large contingent of Queensland Maori Wardens will be turning up for the launch in Victoria.
Wonder if they are getting money from the NZ Government, and if so, from which appropriation and for what budgeted purpose that contributes to the wellbeing of this country.