Budget 2017: Big boost to tackle youth suicide prevention
Projects to equip young Maori with the weapons to fight the scourge of suicide will get a chance to build on their successful work after the Maori Party successfully lobbied for $8 million in Budget 2017, says party co-leader Marama Fox.
"Our rangatahi are overly represented in the suicide statistics – they are two and a half times more likely to take their lives than non-Maori. While national strategies have failed to hit the mark, Oranga Rangatahi has produced real, tangible results in a short period of time.
"This will allow them to build on their work and get even more rangatahi and communities talking about the issues that are often buried deep within," says Ms Fox.
The allocation over four years will look to build on the work done under the Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund which was secured by the Māori Party in 2015 and has so far ensured 38 wide-ranging projects were funded. They were community and youth-led initiatives to tackle an issue that has robbed families of loved ones.
"This issue is not going away any time soon," says party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. "The more we can do to build, strong resilient whānau and communities where our rangatahi feel free to be themselves, the better all our futures will be."