25 Jul 2013

Turia responds to Whanau Ora suggestion

7:59 pm on 25 July 2013

The Minister of Whanau Ora has responded to an idea for Whanau Ora to drive suicide prevention to tackle the high suicide rate among Maori.

The latest Ministry of Health figures show 522 died by suicide in 2010.

And 104 of those people were Maori.

The Whanau Ora suggestion has been made by Michael Naera, a suicide prevention advisor in Rotorua.

The suicide prevention project leader at Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao believes it could mean the information could be more widely accessible to whanau.

Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia believes there could be some difficulties for practitioners to include suicide prevention to their workload.

But she says the idea would have to be discussed with them directly.

Michael Naera plans on raising the idea with local Whanau Ora providers.

Last week, the Government announced changes to the way Whanau Ora contracts are allocated, taking control away from the Ministry for Maori Development, Te Puni Kokiri, and giving it to three non-government organisations.