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Waka Hourua launched to support the prevention of suicide

Waka Hourua launched to support the prevention of suicide in Māori and Pacific communities

10 February 2014

Minister for Whānau Ora Hon. Tariana Tūria, Dr Francis Agnew, and Tuwhakairiora Williams launched Waka Hourua at the University of Otago’s symposium on Māori and Indigenous Suicide Prevention held in Wellington on 10 February 2014.

Waka Hourua, a national suicide prevention programme for Māori and Pacific communities is a partnership between national Māori health organisation Te Rau Matatini and national Pacific non-government organisation, Le Va.

The programme is governed by a newly formed national leadership group, which includes Pacific mental health leader Dr Francis Agnew (Cook Islands), Lakes DHB Māori Manager, Phyllis Tangitu (Te Arawa, Kahungunu and Mataatua), Tuwhakairiora Williams (Whakatohea, Ngaitai, Ngāti Porou) and community leader Usufonoimanu Peseta Betty Sio (Samoa). The group is chaired by Māori health leader Professor Sir Mason Durie (Rangitane, Ngāti Kauwhata).

Waka Hourua will provide a clear focus for suicide prevention in Māori whānau, hapū, iwi, Pacific families and communities. It invites Māori and Pacific communities to enhance resilience and build capacity to prevent suicide and to respond safely and effectively when and if suicide occurs. The programme also seeks to build leadership and knowledge through education, training and resources that are relevant and effective among Māori and Pacific whānau, families and communities.

A one-off community fund of $2 million has been established to support Māori and Pacific families, whānau, hapū, iwi and community groups to design and implement suicide prevention initiatives for their own communities. The fund is now available through online application on the website.

A Strategic Research Agenda is also being established to build an evidence base of effective practices in suicide prevention and postvention for Māori and Pacific communities. The Agenda will inform a one-off research fund available from April 2014.

For more information about the programme go to www.wakahourua.co.nz

ends

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