November 05, 2012
Aboriginal suicide trends mirrored with Māori
Mana leader Hone Harawira says studying what is happening to Aboriginal people in Australia can offer insights into social problems here.
The Tai Tokerau MP was part of the Maori Affairs Select Committee that spent last week across the Tasman as part of its inquiry into the well being of Maori children.
He says with youth suicide being a major source of concern in Aotearoa, he was interested in research by an Aboriginal academic on factors or markers which pointed to high rates of suicide in specific Aboriginal communities.
"I have no doubt that it probably mirrors what is happening with Maori people over here. Loss of language, loss of culture, loss of vision when you think there's nothing there for you, when you think nobody cares. We have to create environments where positivity is the dominant feature, where the negative statistics are not what determine our lifestyle," Mr Harawira says.
He says many Māori thrive in Australia because they find themselves free of negative expectations and racism.
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