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Having the chance to ''give back'' to the community has inspired Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora social workers Soraya McGartland and Nick Callaghan to step up and volunteer to become Maori wardens.
The pair represent a new face for Maori wardens in Dunedin. Up to 15 people are to be recruited for a new branch of the service at a hui to launch Te Putahitanga O Te Waipounamu at Otakou Marae on July 26.
Mrs McGartland told The Star that, as a youngster, she would have benefited from having a Maori warden in her life. As a resident of South Dunedin, she saw many rangatahi (young people) who ''maybe need a hand up''.
''It is close to my heart,'' she said.
Mrs McGartland expected the work would be diverse, and hoped she would have the right skills to help support whanau to move forward with their lives.
Mr Callaghan said Maori wardens were a well-known brand across New Zealand, both in cities and rural areas.
''The grass-roots, on-the-ground work is very important,'' he said.