Waka Hourua

An Indigenous Voice
National Leadership Group

Community Connectivity

Seeking rohe regional solutions

The Waka Hourua Community Fund was a one-off contestable fund of $2 million established to support community-based suicide intervention initiatives or projects in 2014. Māori and Pasifika community groups, whānau, hapū, iwi, and Pasifika families were invited to apply.

Funded projects had to:

  • focus on the needs of the community and include protective factors for suicide prevention and postvention
  • encourage communities to work together in collaborative relationships to develop and implement solutions to local issues
  • show innovation, and
  • contribute to greater resilience, connection, protection and inclusiveness for all its members.

The project outcomes for Māori and Pasifka communities would then contribute to:

  • Families, whānau and communities being strongly connected to one another
  • Families, whānau and communities having their own approaches and plans in place, actively building resilience and reducing the risks of suicide
  • People informed about and assisted to access the services available to them
  • Community leaders empowering people, fostering resilience and bringing people and resources together
  • Families, whānau and communities having stronger relationships and confidence to be able to talk about their difficulties, and
  • People bereaved by suicide receiving the support they need within their families and whānau.

The World's Indigenous Suicide Crisis - Connecting Our Voices

Waka Hourua is unique to Aotearoa New Zealand but also as an indigenous solution to suicide prevention, it is also unique globally. This is reinforced by the fact that overseas groups are seeking advice, information and support about strategies to reduce suicide and self harm among indigenous peoples.

The high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, and suicidal ideation among some indigenous and First Nation communities indicated these problems have not only community-wide issues but global similarities. During this quarter, First Nation’s from the United States of America, Canada and Australia made direct contact with Waka Hourua in an expression of seeking international support and solidarity to fight against high rates of self-harm and suicide.

The response from Waka Hourua included:

  • Information sharing about Waka Hourua programmes,
  • Connecting them with Waka Hourua networks and New Zealand evidence base,
  • Staying connected, encouraging indigenous nations worldwide to gather and to validate our cultural norms
  • Inviting them to Think Tank strategies and solutions, and
  • Connecting at common conferences.

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