Suicide Prevention

Our Work with Suicide Prevention - Life Matters!


Te Rau Matatini has been a key player in the development of suicide prevention resources, training and programmes for Māori communities. One in five people who die by suicide are Māori, rates of youth suicides are two-and-a-half times higher for Māori youth compared with non-Māori youth, and there is growing concern that suicide is increasing among Pasifika communities. We empower Māori communities with the tools and resources they need to help whānau in need and to prevent suicide.


The timeline below provides an overview of some of our projects. To read more click on the name of the programme:

In 2006 the Ministry of Health contracted the Mental Health Foundation, in conjunction with the Taumata Hauora Trust, to develop a suicide prevention toolkit for Māori. In July 2007 Te Rau Matatini was contracted to gather the findings from the consultation hui and produce a summary report. Te Rau Matatini was then called on to develop, test and complete a suicide prevention resource with a community action focus which would build capacity in Māori communities to prevent suicide and suicide attempts across all ages.

In 2009, the Hon Tariana Turia launched Te Whakauruora – a Māori suicide prevention resource developed by Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand (SPINZ) and Te Rau Matatini.  The resource was developed to improve knowledge about safe, effective and evidence-based suicide prevention activities in Māori communities.

In 2011, the Ministry provided funding for the implementation of Te Whakauruora which included the development and delivery of a training programme for Kia Piki te Ora (Māori Suicide Prevention) providers to inform and strengthen their capability to deliver effective community based suicide prevention interventions.  

In 2012, Te Rau Matatini designed Murua Te Pae, the Kawerau Suicide Prevention Programme in partnership with the Kawerau community. Murua te Pae refers to “clearing the path forward” and signifies a journey of health and recovery, similar to that of our many awa river that flow through the whenua giving it life and new growth.

In 2013, Te Rau Matatini started the development and delivery of Whānau Tu Whānau Ora – Suicide prevention and intervention training in Te Taitokerau.  The programme aims to design and deliver training programmes that will help build whānau and community leadership to respond to the needs of those affected by suicide. This programme was funded by Te Puni Kōkiri.

In 2014, the Minister for Whānau Ora Hon. Tariana Tūria, Dr Francis Agnew, and Tuwhakairiora Williams launched Waka Hourua at the University of Otago’s symposium on Māori and Indigenous Suicide Prevention in Wellington.

In 2016, Te Rau Matatini through there research arm Te Kīwai Rangahau, released the Cybersafety for an Indigenous Population, McClintock, K., McClintock, R., & Brown, T. (2016), key mahi for Waka Hourua. The main focus of this report was to explore the current research relevant to providing better information for Māori whānau about social media and the encouragement to be involved with their tamariki in their internet use. This study contributed to the discussion on the prevention of cyberbullying and the prevention in “dare to die” or “risk adverse type games” through employing cybersafety strategies. 

To find out more about any of these initiatives, to enrol in workforce training or get our support resources please e-mail us


Where to get help:

Whānau, should you need help a list of helplines and support groups that you can contact has been provided below:

• Lifeline – 0800 543 354

• Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865

• Healthline – 0800 611 116

• Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234 or email

• Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or

• Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4 pm to 6 pm weekdays)

• What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) or (7pm – 10pm)

• Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254

• Alcohol Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or free text 8691

• Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 (for callers from all other regions)

• Casper – 0508 227737 (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education and Research)

• The Lowdown – or free text 5626 or email (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

• You could also talk to your General Practioner (GP), local health professional or someone you trust.