A new Whanganui-based security training programme based on the principles of being a Māori warden is attracting students from throughout the North Island.
About 100 people attended a graduation ceremony on Saturday at which students received a Certificate of Authority (COA).
The event also served as official launch of O Te Motu Security, which provides training alongside Left Field Consulting.
O Te Motu Security director Carol Te Huna said the programme was created around concerns if funding of Māori wardens was to stop.
"The dream started about 10 years ago and we were trying to work all these different angles of how we could still operate with no funding," Te Huna said.
"What we do is we take the skills the wardens have already got but we enhance them."
The training programme stays true to the principles of being a Māori warden but provides further qualifications for graduates to take on a wider range of security jobs.
The five-month course involves training in liquor control, first aid, bag searches and incident management.
Some students travelled to Whanganui from as far as Dargaville, Waihi, Tauranga, and Gisborne to learn.
"They were excited because they never had this opportunity in their own areas so what we looked at was that this isn't just about Whanganui, it's about the movement across the whole land," O Te Motu Security director Wayne Seeley said.
"We're not just looking at wardens; we're looking at whoever fits the kaupapa of Māori wardens."
Te Huna said the programme had helped some people get back on track and also helped younger students get their NCEA qualification.
"The crew that's just finished have been wonderful and if we're able to help just one person, it's great.
"I've got youth that have heard about it and come up and just said their life was really going nowhere, and now having completed the course, about 25 are going through to do leadership training."
O Te Motu Security has trained 77 people and is looking to take on another 100 students next year.