Rau Ora – Youth Suicide Prevention Programme

Taitamariki and whanau have a picture with sporting role model Maioro Barton
​Ngātiwai Education – Te Au Here O Tukaiaia have begun their next Youth Suicide Prevention Programme called Rau Ora, which has been funded by Te Puni Kokiri.  The project is a direct response to the suicide endemic within Te Tai Tokerau. 

Project co-ordinator Petina Stone says, “This project gives an opportunity for our taitamariki to reconnect with their marae and get back to the core values of Te iwi o Ngātiwai. Yes suicide prevention is the underlying kaupapa of the project, but this kaupapa is about helping our taitamariki realise their potential through sport”.

The programme is based around a Pa Harakeke (Flax) model.  Using the Harakeke example, this programme emphasizes the importance of every leaf (person) and how each plays an important role in the growth of the Pa Harakeke as a whole whanau, hapu or iwi.  In essence, taitamariki will understand the impact their actions have on the rest of the Pa.

The name of the project is Rau Ora, which has two significant meanings – To save a life, and Healthy leaves (leaves referring to the leaves of the Pa Harakeke).

Rau Ora is a wānanga based programme, with four Wānanga being held on marae in Whangaruru and one diagnostic assessment in Auckland over the next five months.  During the series of wānanga, the project team has invited a number of international sporting role models to participate, with the likes of Maioro Barton(Wheel Blacks), Katherine Latu (Silver Ferns), Kylie Leuluai (NZ Rugby League), Manaia Cherrington (NZ Rugby League), Valerie Adams (Olympic Shot Putter), Deanne Carpenter and Megan Maka(NZ Boxing).

New Zealand representative in Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball, Maioro Barton speaks to the Rau Ora Rōpu
Ngātiwai taitamariki sporting achievers have also been invited to korero as role models who themselves, have excelled in their sport of choice, with Kewene Edmonds (NZ Waka Ama) and Kendell Heremaia(NZ Basketball).

Petina says, “It is wonderful to have these Ngātiwai taitamariki speak to other taitamariki and to participate as role models for our youth involved in this programme.  We are also delighted and thankful to have the whole community involved, especially to have the support of haukāinga and kaumātua from Whangaruru who play important roles in this kaupapa”. 

Upon completion of this project, all taitamariki will have completed an introduction certificate for New Zealand touch referees.  They will have the knowledge and ability to referee touch games at any level.  They will also develop a range of leadership skills and transferrable skills that will help them become valued members of their communities, and ultimately they will become the future leaders of Ngātiwai.

Petina says, “Ngātiwai Education would like to thank facilitators Lance and Fiona Watene who organised and supported our taitamariki to experience refereeing first hand. This was an awesome experience for our taitamariki where they were able to apply their refereeing skills they had learnt.”

 “With this qualification these taitamariki will be able to assist Mokau Marae with their Marae rebuild touch tournament fundraiser they are a looking at hosting in the New Year. These skills and qualifications will thus be of value to both us and them into the future. 

“But most importantly when the Mokau marae rebuild project is completed, our Ngātiwai taitamariki will know their place, and they will know they are an important and valued member of their hapū and iwi.

“These wānanga will give our taitamariki the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership abilities including time management, taking responsibility, being accountable, role modelling and dealing with change.”

Rau Ora Wānanga:

  1. Wānanga Tuatahi – 14th & 15th October 2016, Reti Otetao Marae.
  2. Perform diagnostic assessment – 4th & 5th November 2016, Papakura Marae.
  3. Wānanga Tuarua – 11th & 12th November 2016, Reti Otetao Marae.
  4. Wānanga Tuatoru – 16th & 17th December 2016, Reti Otetao Marae.
  5. Perform summative assessment – Monday 2nd January 2017, Whangaruru Sports complex Oakura.
  6. Wānanga Tuawha – “Celebrating Success”, all whanau invited – February 2016 (venue and date to be confirmed).
Project Co-ordinators Petina Stone (left) and Moana-Aroha Henry at the first Wananga of the Rau Ora Programme
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