Topics: Health, Politics

Overcoming suicide – Te Tai Tonga electorate debate

By Kawekōrero, Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters
  • Wellington
  • South Island

Te Tai Tonga candidates’ address the “real pressures” they feel are causing New Zealanders to take their lives.

The latest suicide statistics released by the Chief Coroner this week shows 606 people took their lives in the last year. This is the highest number of suicide deaths since the provisional statistics started being recorded in 2007.

Candidates for the Te Tai Tonga electorate - Labour Party’s Rino Tirikatene (incumbent), Green Party’s Metiria Tūrei and Māori Party’s Mei Reedy-Taare - discussed the issue in a debate on Kawe Kōrero Reporters.

Tirikatene says, “We need to drive more resources into mental health, it’s been massively underfunded under nine years of a National Government.”

Turei says, “We have to address poverty as one of the drivers for why people are so despairing that they feel the only choice is to take their lives. “

Reedy-Taare says, “The Māori Party are absolutely invested into finding the solution to this and working with whanau to find the right way forward.”

Of the 606 suicide deaths, 130 of them were Māori.