5 Jul 2010

Maori confidence programme closed

7:31 am on 5 July 2010

The Mental Health Foundation has been forced to close a programme it believes was helping cut Maori suicide rates.

Chief executive Judy Clements says the foundation was unable to find a funder after Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Youth Development withdrew.

She told Waatea News that Manawa Ora o Nga Taiohi used cultural activities like marae visits, taiaha and kapa haka training to build confidence and cultural identity among rangatahi.

Ms Clements said Canterbury and the West Coast have some of the highest suicide statistics in New Zealand, particularly for young Maori.