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New Report on Cybersafety for Indigenous Youth to Prevent Suicide

September 22, 2016 at 4:25 PM

New report on cybersafety for indigenous youth to prevent suicide


The national Māori and Pasifika suicide prevention programme, Waka Hourua Leadership Group, has released a new report on cyberbullying and prevention for indigenous youth in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The report, Cybersafety for an Indigenous Youth Population, looks at current research and New Zealand initiatives to prevent cyberbullying and to support Māori whānau, tamariki and rangatahi.

Mapihi Raharuhi, the Waka Hourua Programme Manager, said “What we do know from the World Health Organisation's data is that Māori youth have had the highest suicide rate in the OECD. So it's really important for us to be thinking about how do we respond to that. We also know from TPK's last set of data, that our young people are more likely to be on mobile phones.” Mapihi Raharuhi believes online bullying is a key factor contributing to the high rates of suicide among rangatahi Māori.

The report includes information about:

  • research on social media and cyberbullying in the Aotearoa New Zealand context and specific to Māori tamariki and rangatahi
  • the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015
  • the links between suicide and cyberbullying
  • initiatives to prevent cyberbuylling and support youth including projects specific to Māori and Pasifika youth.

The chair of the group, Emeritus Professor Tā Mason Durie, said the report will help groups, agencies, parents and whānau find ways to advocate for improved cyber safety. Professor Durie said “There is a need to address the mental health implications of bullying and cyber-bullying in regard to the person on the receiving end and the perpetrator."

See the press release for more information.

Te Puni Kōkiri was allocated just under $2 million in 2015 to support organisations in running rangatahi suicide prevention initiatives.

Related media

$2m for Māori youth suicide prevention, Press release: NZ Government, 09.09.2016

Funding for rangatahi suicide prevention initiatives, Waatea News, 19.09.2016 

Related research

 Risk and protective factors for suicide attempt among indigenous Māori youth in New Zealand: The role of family connection

Risk and protective factors for suicidal behaviors among Pacific youth in New Zealand

Category: Research