Have Ma¯ ori been heard in inquiry?
there is less than a 20 per cent reduction, what then? We shouldn’t have to wait so long for this target. Where is the science behind the choices of 20 per cent and 2030.
We have a strategy for pestfree NZ by 2050 for crying out loud. That suggests to me that we care more about being pestfree than being suicide-free. Is it really easier to have such clarity about a pest-free NZ?
You might be thinking, hang on, we can never be suicidefree. But I take real issue with that idea. This is not something I have made up – esteemed people, like Dr Ed Coffey, have been advocating for zero suicide for years. He says zero suicide is possible if you believe it can be done. Belief and actioning of robust support systems which use the considerable evidence for reducing suicide can make this a reality.
We need to get real by applying the evidence we already have. We know if you are poor, you are more likely to kill yourself. Your postcode is more important that your genetic code in terms of your experience of health and your health outcomes.
And we need to strive for perfect care for those experiencing mental illness and their wha¯ nau.
It’s absolutely critical Ma¯ ori have determination over our own solutions. We needed our voice in the report – and I needed to hear Maru’s voice. Combining Ma¯ ori and Pasifika is not evidence-based and it smacks of expediency.
We want access to Ma¯ ori solutions coming from Ma¯ ori wha¯ nau and we have plenty of robust Ma¯ ori scholarship to support that. I cannot imagine our tu¯ puna tolerating the idea of any moumou tangata, of any precious lives being wasted, if they could comment on the report.
My brother’s death – like that of all the other brothers, sisters, cousins, mums, and dads who committed suicide – are evidence and statistics. Maybe it is easier to turn away from this horrific avalanche if they continue to remain just numbers. We must hold onto the humanity often hidden in the data.
So for all those we have lost, let’s finally draw a line in the sand and have a brave goal. Let’s chase suicide out of Aotearoa.
There’s no diplomatic way to put this – it’s the wrong target. This says there’s an acceptable level of preventable death.