Support acts for mental health
A group of Motueka High School students were behind the all-ages music festival held at Founders Park to promote good mental health among youth.
Student Kiriwai Spooner, 13, said the Te Tau Ihu Music Festival held on Saturday was about wellbeing and self expression.
Keilah Delany, 14, said it was a chance for people of all ages to get out of the house and have some fun.
The pair had been working with five other Motueka High School students for the last two terms to help bring the festival to fruition.
Decked out in black t-shirts with ‘‘music fest crew’’ emblazoned on the back, the students led the festival from start to finish with support from Maori health provider Te Piki Oranga.
Te Piki Oranga social worker Sheridan Duncan said the festival was the result of a competition for rangatahi (youth) to led an initiative that promoted well-being among their peers.
Seven Motueka High students had been working together for the last four months to pull the event together.
‘‘It’s all about self-expression, youth being able to express themselves on the stage to show the community what skills and strengths they have,’’ Duncan said.
Entry was by gold coin donation, there were bouncy castles and activities for the younger children and a range of different food stalls offering ‘‘anything from hot dogs to hangi’’.
Over the course of the day, there were 16 acts that included music, dance and cultural performances.
Duncan said the aim was to guide youth to have a greater understanding of their perspectives on well-being.
The latest statistics from the Ministry of Health show the rate of suicide was highest among people aged 25-44 years and significantly higher among Maori than nonMaori. For Maori males it was 1.4 times higher and 1.5 times higher for females.
A youth suicide prevention programme has been funded by Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development. Te Piki Oranga were contracted to improve the wellbeing of youth in Nelson Tasman. It held a competition for awareness raising events that was won by Motueka High School.
Tagan Stringer and Charlie MacLennan during their performance at Te Tau Ihu Festival.
Michal Biggony checks the sound while Charlie MacLennan takes the stage at Founders Park.
Kameta Wahmroa performs a ballad.