Hope, love and support to stop suicide was the focus of a march lead by Ngāpuhi elders through the streets of Kaikohe this weekend following a spate of sudden deaths in the district in recent weeks.
It's a spiritual march of hope for a community totally shattered, after a spate of eight deaths in recent weeks.
“This was not a request from our elders but from our ancestor. We are concerned about our mokopuna” says Ngāpuhi descendant Nau Epiha.
The future of the iwi is at stake and youth are the real focus of this initiative.
“People don’t have people to talk to I guess. They need somebody to love them and actually listen to them not talk” says one of the youth participant Brucelia Tau.
Māori males are disproportionately represented in the suicide statistics released by the Chief Coroner in the past week, with a total of 93 out of the 564 deaths in New Zealand in the year to date.
“No matter what the burden is or how bad it may seem it can be addressed through love and hope” says march participant Raniera Tau.
Building better relationships within families maybe the key to finding a resolution.