Māori wardens have been around since 1860 and have a proud tradition. Throughout Aotearoa there are currently over 1000 wardens working in their communities.
It was not until 1945 that Māori wardens were officially gazetted under the Māori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945. This Act set up a system of self-government involved Tribal Executive Committees and Tribal Committees. Tribal Executives were responsible for nominating Māori wardens, exercising control over their activities and reimbursing expenses.