The theme for this year’s Te Whare Tu, Te Whare Ora kapa haka event was Manaaki Tangata – a call to action to strengthen a strong cultural identity in the prevention of suicide.
Te Whare Tu, Te Whare Ora was held on Friday to celebrate marae, iwi or tribal groups, Maori organisations, agencies and wider communities. Community relationships, whanau and iwi connections are expressed in the medium of Maori performing arts.
Leoma Tawaroa, Kia Piki te Ora – Suicide Prevention Co-ordinator of Nga Ketesays suicide is a complex and serious issue for all populations and the Southland region is no exception.
“The ‘silent issue’ of suicide is now beyond the point of discussion. This is a call to action for organisations, agencies, workplaces and communities to stand together, become informed and partner up to find meaningful and appropriate solutions for whanau and communities.”
Leoma Tawaroa says every year approximately 500 people in New Zealand take their own lives, with many more attempting suicide or experiencing levels of distress that places them at high risk of suicide.
“Across all sectors and all levels from council to the local marae it is important to work together to advocate and influence meaningful and positive change for individuals, whanau and communities,” she says.