Waka Hourua

Waka Hourua is the National Suicide Prevention Programme for Māori and Pasifika Communities. First established in 2014, the aim is to address issues of suicide within Māori and Pacific communities in Aotearoa (NZ). Te Rau Matatini & Le Va have platforms called Te Au & Flo for life, to raise awareness and addresses issues of suicide and self-harm in Māori and Pasifika Communities.

The main objectives are:

  1. Building the capacity and capability of Māori whānau, hapū, iwi, rangatahi and Pasifika communities, to prevent suicide and to respond safely and effectively when and if suicide occurs.
  2. Ensuring that culturally relevant Māori training, Pasifika training and education are available to Māori and Pasifika communities and the health workforce that focus on building resilience and leadership.
  3. Building the evidence base through Te Rā o te Waka Hourua, of what works for Māori whānau, hapū, iwi, and Pasifika communities to prevent suicide, through research carried out by, with and for these groups.
  4. Building the leadership for suicide prevention.

Waka Hourua is guided by the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action plan 2013-2016 and is currently awaiting the refreshed plan by the Ministry of Health (2018).

The symbolism, of a double hulled waka, brings together Māori and Pasifika to provide a vehicle to counteract the stormy waters of self-harm and suicide amongst Māori and Pasifika communities. The waka represents a commitment to building the capabilities and capacity of Māori whanau, hapū, iwi and Pasifika families and communities to prevent self-inflicted deaths. Te Au is a part of Te Rau Matatini (National Māori Health Workforce) and Flo for life is a part of Le Va

National Leadership Group for Maori and Pasifika Suicide Prevention

A National Leadership Group for Māori and Pasifika Suicide prevention provides strategic advice and guidance for suicide prevention. Members are recognised for their expertise, and contributions to wellbeing. Representation also includes Te Rau Matatini, Le Va, and the Ministry of Health. The group meets quarterly. The members of the Waka Hourua leadership group currently are:

  • Chairperson: Sir Mason Durie (Rangitane, Ngāti Kauwhata)
  • Riki Nia Nia (Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungunu)
  • Kiri Rikihana (Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai, Ngati Toa Rangatira)
  • Michael Naera (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Kahungunu)
  • Usufonoimanu Peseta Betty Sio (Samoa)
  • Faumui Penelope Ginnen (Samoan Safune and Le’auva’a and Pakeha)
  • Ministry of Health: Dr John Crawshaw; Alison Thom; and Matafanua Hilda Fa’asalele
Need Help?

If you are not coping or if you have concerns about someone’s mental health or at risk of suicide here are some places you can contact:

  • Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained health professional.
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat For young people, their parents, whānau and friends.
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) For people concerned about suicide for themselves, friends or whanau.
  • If someone is in immediate physical danger to themselves or others, call 111