More than 600 Kiwis took their own lives in the 2016-17 year, up from 579 the previous year, with Māori over-represented in the suicide statistics.
The provisional coroner's results reveal there were 52 suicides in the Southern DHB region in the 12 months to mid 2017 - up from 43 the previous year.
In a bid to curb the worrying trend, eight groups in Southland will, for the second year running, sign an accord on Sunday to connect together and address the issue of suicide in the region.
Invercargill's Nga Hau e Wha Marae chairman Daniel Tawaroa said whānau in the south were wanting to do something to help prevent suicide."
- The Southland Times, 15 September 2017
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