Rangatahi Suicide Prevention

Māori suicide rates are high in Aotearoa. Te Puni Kōkiri is working with other government agencies, expert groups and community organisations to reduce Māori suicide.

Māori Suicide Statistics

Suicide is a major issue that is of real concern to New Zealand whānau and their communities.

Every year approximately over 500 people, many of them Māori, take their own lives by suicide, affecting the lives of many others. These deaths are preventable.

The Chief Coroner releases national provisional suicide statistics each year to help suicide prevention efforts and initiatives undertaken by other agencies. More information can be found here; https://coronialservices.justice.govt.nz/suicide/.

Stories and Videos

Māori suicide rates are high in Aotearoa. Te Puni Kōkiri is working with other government agencies, expert groups and community organisations to reduce Māori suicide. Read more about the way they are sharing prevention messages.

Au.E! video

Building resilience, self-identity and leadership amongst rangatahi Māori.

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Rangatahi talk about suicide

Rangatahi Māori including takatāpui share their stories.

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Hawkes Bay rangatahi gather for rangatahi suicide prevention

Nearly 150 rangatahi from schools around the Hawkes Bay region attended the third Au.E! rangatahi suicide prevention conference at Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier in June.

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Talking suicide prevention with our rangatahi

Rangatahi from across the Wellington region gathered to talk about the topic of suicide and to show each other that support was out there.

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Te Kaha o te Rangatahi

Encouraging rangatahi to reach out and talk through the 12 week #talktome hip hop dance programme.

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#OutintheOpen

A video message to our rangatahi to talk about how you are feeling to someone you trust

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#MaoriOra

MāoriOra is the first video in a series of suicide prevention online resources. It encourages strength and resilience and celebrates originality.

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#TechTikanga

#TechTikanga is the second video in a series of suicide prevention online resources. It has a strong message about taking care when messaging each other, making posts and sharing images

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#SuicidePrevention

The third video in the series is #SuicidePrevention. It encourages everyone to look, listen and ask the question – Are you OK?

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Funding for Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Initiatives

The Government has committed $10 million to Rangatahi Suicide Prevention since 2015. Thirty-eight organisations working directly with rangatahi Māori suicide prevention have been supported so far. Three broad focus areas are:

  • growing rangatahi leadership – ensuring a by rangatahi for rangatahi approach that is tikanga Maori and whanau centre
  • building local capacity and capability
  • building evidence-based research and evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Te Puni Kōkiri supporting Rangatahi Māori Suicide Prevention?

Every year approximately over 500 people, many of them Māori, take their own lives by suicide, affecting the lives of many others. These deaths are preventable.The Ministry of Health does not have a specific strategy for dealing with rangatahi Māori suicide rates. Dedicated support from Te Puni Kōkiri fills the gap towards providing resources for rangatahi Māori suicide prevention.

How can suicide prevention organisations get support?

Contact your local Te Puni Kōkiri office.

How many organisations have received support to deliver rangatahi Māori suicide prevention initiatives?

Te Puni Kōkiri has supported 38 organisations to deliver rangatahi Māori suicide prevention initiatives.

How much has the Government committed to rangatahi Māori suicide prevention?

$10 million has been committed to rangatahi Māori suicide prevention since 2015. $2.1 million was committed from Budget 2015 for a two year period and in Budget 2017 a further $8 million has been committed for a four year period – 2017 to 2020.

What are the themes of the online resources and how were they chosen?

Four online resources (videos) have been developed by a group of rangatahi Māori, using their personal experiences. The group of rangatahi Māori chose four main themes.

  • #MāoriOra
  • #TechTikanga
  • #SuicidePrevention
  • #OutintheOpen

#MāoriOra encourages strength and resilience and celebrates originality.

#TechTikanga addresses appropriate behaviour when using technology (social media, mobile phones, etc).

#SuicidePrevention encourages everyone to look, listen and ask – Are you OK?

# OutintheOpen encourages everyone to talk about how they are feeling to someone you trust.

Other Information about Suicide Prevention

To prevent suicide in New Zealand, it is vital that everyone – individuals, families, whānau, communities, employers, the media and government agencies – work together to promote protective factors and reduce risk factors known to influence suicide. No single initiative or organisation can prevent suicide on its own.

Ministry of Health

We recommend you review the information below from the Ministry of Health to gain a stronger and wider understanding on:

Coronial Services of New Zealand

This website will give you an overview of what you can expect to happen when a death is referred to a coroner. The police must report every suspected suicide to the coroner.

Where to get help

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116

  • Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234 or e-mail talk@youthline.co.nz

  • Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or www.depression.org.nz

  • Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4pm to 6pm weekdays)

  • Child Helpline – 0800 366 694 (aimed at children from 5 - 18 years of age; 9am - 7pm daily)

  • What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) or www.whatsup.co.nz (7pm – 10pm)

  • Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254

  • Alcohol Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or free text 8691

  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 (for callers from all other regions)

  • Casper – 0508 227737 (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education and Research)

  • OUTLine NZ - 0800 688 5463 (This provides confidential telephone support for sexuality or gender identity issues)

  • The Lowdown – www.thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 or email team@thelowdown.co.nz (e-mails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

  • You could also talk to your General Practioner (GP), local health professional or someone you trust.

Events and Updates

Latest events and updates for this section are listed below.

  • 2018 World Indigenous Business Forum

    • Date: 09 October 2018 to 12 October 2018

    A major international platform to showcase Māori business, engage Indigenous people in global economic discussions and leverage indigenous trade.

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    • Registration required
    • Organiser: Te Ohu Whai Ao
  • Rangatahi talk about suicide

    • Date: 08 August 2018

    The number of New Zealanders taking their own lives is continuing to rise, with men and Māori featuring well above the national average.

    The investment Te Puni Kōkiri makes in rangatahi suicide prevention focuses on building resilience, self-identify and leadership among rangatahi.

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  • Te Tairāwhiti drivers become legal beagle

    • Date: 25 July 2018

    More than 50 whānau and rangatahi completed their restricted or full licenses with help through the Tairāwhiti REAP Graduated Driver Licencing programme. It was the fourth intake of students since the programme started in 2017.

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  • Ella Cameron-Smith has been a part of the Pūhoro STEM Academy since its pilot programme launched in 2016.

    Pūhoro STEM Academy - Equipping the leaders of tomorrow

    • Date: 06 July 2018

    “The type of environment we have at school doesn’t cater to my needs or disabilities, but when I’m here at Pūhoro it doesn’t matter because they have a culture of belonging. We’re engaged because we belong and that leads to success,” said Ella Cameron-Smith, who has been a part of the Pūhoro STEM Academy since its inception in 2016.

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  • Te Puni Kōkiri staff and Pūhoro STEM Academy tauira at the Ka Hoa te Rangatahi – STEM Futures Symposium

    Future bright for Rangatahi Māori in STEM fields

    • Date: 04 July 2018

    Thanks to programmes like Pūhoro STEM Academy, rangatahi are rising above and beyond expectations and challenging negative stereotypes about Māori in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 

    “Not only are Pūhoro students disrupting the narrative regarding Māori student NCEA science achievement, but they are also trailblazers in their own whānau,” says director, Naomi Manu.

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