Strong, secure and nurturing whānau
‘Our voyage has enabled us to listen to many voices’
The Waka Hourua voyage heard voices from many directions. At a variety of meetings across Aotearoa testimonies from parents, friends and families provided forceful reminders of the ongoing impacts of suicide. Within those voices could be detected self blame, blame attached to ‘the system,’ concern that warning signs had been ignored or simply not heard, and a suspicion that even dedicated helping services had been unable to listen with a ‘third ear’.
There were also voices that advocated an enhancement of cultural, sporting, educational and whānau opportunities so that more people could enjoy higher levels of wellness and would therefore be less likely to contemplate suicide. These initiatives included: Eddie Harawira Whānau Trust, Ahipene Tākuta Werahiko Whānau Trust, Takerei Ruha Whānau Trust, Maketu Mental Health and Social Services, Te Hauora o Ngāti Hauā Trust and Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe. Te Hau Ora o Whānau Services and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa. Voices within families were especially loud as they should be. They were reminders of the pain that accompanies suicide and the unresolved grief that can endure, especially when it cannot be openly expressed. These initiatives included: Tū Tama Wāhine o Taranaki, Waiariki Purea Trust and Ngā Iwi o Mōkai Patea Trust.