A leading psychiatrist says he wonders whether more attention would be paid to suicide by young men if the rate was higher for non-Māori than it is for Māori.
New Zealand's youth suicide rate is one of the highest among OECD countries, and the Māori youth suicide rate is 2.8 times the non-Māori rate.
Mark Lawrence, who chairs the New Zealand branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, said, speaking personally, he wondered whether that influenced how much attention the problem was given.
"If the suicide rates for non-Māori were twice the rates they were for Māori, would there be greater intervention if the majority of the population were dying at a greater frequency?"
Mr Lawrence said the high loss of life among young Māori men took away those who would have been the doctors, teachers and leaders of the future.
Suicide rates in New Zealand have remained more or less unchanged since declines in the late 1990s.
Provisional figures from the Chief Coroner indicate 564 people took their own lives in the year 2014/15 - the highest number in the eight years since the figures were released.
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