Korus Tawha holds the fort at Ihumātao

By Regan Paranihi

Ihumātao descendant Korus Tawha has been recognised on and off social media for his services to the people demonstrating on his sacred land.

He is now known as one of the youngest Māori Wardens to date and has been lighting up the faces of many at Ihumātao.

"It's about looking after whānau and looking after my Māori wardens. You meet all sorts of people," says Tawha.

However, he says he is not the only rangatahi on the job.

"Thomas is another, Thomas and me.  I was there when Thomas started."

Māori Warden Maggie Edwards says Tawha has shown a lot of potential since donning the prestigious uniform.

"He has learned a lot and what we found in him, he'll make a good leader."

Tawha says that while being a Māori Warden is a hard job, it definitely has fun aspects too.

"I play around with the radio. I talk to my mates."

Edwards says, "He's the one that keeps us on our toes, the way he talks to us and what we've seen of him looking after our older people."

Since working with the wardens, Tawha has also been approached by other rangatahi who want to follow his lead.

"I had a rangatahi that wanted to come in.  I told him it's a hard job.  When they see me they want to do it."

Tawha plans to continue his work as a Māori Warden wherever he is required.