web analytics

Nats’ shameful surrender on suicide

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, July 18th, 2017 - 16 comments
Categories: health, national, quality of life, useless - Tags: , , , ,

The Nats know all about the importance of monitoring and goals when it comes to effecting change. For example, when it comes to beneficiary bashing:

Mr English said the valuation [of benefit costs] was an important “performance tool” and would change the behaviour of the Government by forcing it to confront the long-term issue rather than accepting it was an unavoidable cost. … “When you take a long-term model, there’s no place to hide.”

No place to hide indeed. Which is why the Nats have steadfastly refused to measure poverty, have reduced environmental reporting, and now, this:

Suicide reduction goal dropped over fear of Govt accountability

Do we even need to go on?

A goal of reducing New Zealand’s total suicide rate by 20 per cent over 10 years was rejected over fears the Government would be held accountable if the rate didn’t drop.

The target would have seen New Zealand aiming for 12 fewer people to die from suicide per year, each year until 2027. An expert panel created to advise the Ministry of Health concluded that target should be the main purpose of the ministry’s new suicide prevention strategy.

But Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman’s office pushed instead for vague phrasing, like “reduce rates of suicide”, that wouldn’t become an “accountability measure” for the Government.

That went against the unanimous advice of the expert panel that said using the clear, measurable target was the best way to get the whole country on board and help cut the suicide rate. …

Because a government that claims to be “delivering for New Zealanders” would hate to be held accountable for the shameful evidence that they are not.

16 comments on “Nats’ shameful surrender on suicide ”

  1. Because a government that claims to be “delivering for New Zealanders” would hate to be held accountable for the shameful evidence that they are not.


    To reduce suicide requires addressing the causes and that means research and that has a possibility to show up that this government’s policies are, at least partially, to blame.

    Can’t have that, now, can we?

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      I think we know enough about the causes but as the linked to story says :
      “”Given that around 30 per cent of suicides occur within MH [Mental Health] service users there seems some available levers to address this.”

      My take on the primary factor on male suicide rate from say 19-44 (which would be 3x that of females) is the way young men are bought up- To handle their turmoil within themselves, is just wrong.

      • Yes. While sometimes time alone is healthy, not all problems can be solved with staunch self-reflection. We need to teach young men that it’s okay to talk through our problems if they don’t go away, or to ask for help, and that they should roll with it and be supportive if their friends do so.

        That said, that’s nowhere near the end of the problem. We need dedicated looks into suicide and self-harm in the queer community, where it’s still very common for bisexual people, transpeople, and genderqueer people to be in situations leading to self-harm or suicide. (I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible intersex people also have similar mental health disparities) Gay men and lesbians are doing a lot better since we granted relationship rights, but mental health is still a big issue in the community even for them, where they’re not doing as well as straight people are.

        Also, young women have plenty of issues with suicide. (in their cases, a lot of it is down to “the shit women have to put up with” rather than simply being a teenager, of course, so broader culture change may be necessary there) I’m sure you weren’t intending to imply this was all down to pathological masculinity.

        • dukeofurl

          Womens suicide rates are 1/3 of men. For improved outcomes the place to concentrate first is men 19-44.
          probably unemployed men as a sub group of that

          I was just suggesting why are male suicide rates are even higher in NZ than in similar western countries. [Double that of Australia]
          Yes, its the mismatch of masculine roles to coping with adversity and loss.

  2. dukeofurl 2

    Suicide is legally seen as ‘proof of a self inflicted death’. Many cases , no suicide note and its not ruled as suicide. Even though in broad terms that is what happened.

    The average number of self inflicted deaths is on average around 46 per month, with peaks and troughs
    The highest number in last 10 years was 65, Nov 2010 and lowest was 24 in Feb 2014

  3. Psych nurse 3

    There are certain facts about suicide that are not aired.
    The best predictor of a suicide is a previous attempt.
    Those who express their suicidal ideation do not usually suicide although as a cohort they have the most professional input.
    Youth suicide is largley impulsive in a young person with an imature brain unable to form consequenses, they lack resilience to life, something formed by small failures and adverse life events, all it takes is a relationship break up.
    Taking drug overdoses, self harming, using ligatures is not a cry for help but is a symptom of personality disorder commonly seen in young females, yes they do suicide but not intentionaly, given assistance and time they will go on to lead productive lives, what they don’t need is hospitalisation where new behaviours are quickly learnt and exacerbated.
    People recovering from major mental illness frequently suicide when they gain insight into what their life has become and what their futures will be, the loved ones of twenty year olds with a mental illness who suicide are devestated, less so after years of living with mental illness.
    Psychiatric hospitals are not places of incarceration, we can not lock people up to keep them safe, the doors are open as they should be.

  4. tc 4

    Robertson is such a pissweak beltway trougher. Get some fire into it man suicide isnt a bad cold ffs.

    The words arent hard to find hes just not visceral enough to use them. Land some blows mate !

  5. greg 5

    if the nats stay in power the rates will increase

  6. Fred H 6

    Where are all the RWNJs defending National’s ‘do nothing approach’ on this thread?? Oh that’s right, they don’t give a sh*t about suicide as the depressed and other mental health sufferers don’t really buy into the brighter future narrative, I guess the Nats believe this ugly statistic will go away with some aspirational speaking by Nikki Kaye and vacuous Herald articles about people pulling their socks up….

  7. Cinny 7

    Why even get advice from an expert panel if you are not going to take the advice.

    Young people are killing themselves, this year I’m voting to change the government, cause they are doing jack shit about it.

    Lost a number of friends in my teens from suicide, often you’ll see a big change in behaviour when they are close, all of a sudden becoming more settled. This is due to them thinking they’ve found a solution(aka suicide) to whatever may be troubling them.

    All were young men, and as suicide notes were shared, it appeared that they all had problems opening up and talking about their feelings to others. So sad for all, so sad.

    Parents and elders need educating on how to teach and support their children to talk about their feelings (especially supporting young men). Harden up and all that shite does nada to help and is a weak excuse for not wanting to make a real effort in helping understand their feelings/problems etc.

    A parenting channel on the TV would help educate NZ on said topic.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    It is shameful. And it builds on the shame of the Clark government who went so far as to prevent an expert from speaking on the issue to Otago University.

    Amartya Sen chose suicide as an objective measure of societal dissatisfaction for his human development index. Now that we lead the world in suicide we need governments that are capable of working to reduce it.

    Neo-liberalism is the cause, it is failing our people. Income and housing security would go a long way to reducing the slaughter.

    Doesn’t seem to be a priority.

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      “shame of the Clark government who went so far as to prevent an expert from speaking on the issue
      Have you got a reference for that ?

  9. gsays 9

    Marty posted a link to the herald’s series on youth suicide.
    One of them dealt with a spate of deaths in northland.
    Enough is enough and resources, money and experts went north and merged the rate.
    The money etc went away and the rate went up.

    Where there is a will there is a way, this regime and minister lack the will.

  10. Keith 10

    As I read this morning of the Ministry of Transport’s blocking OIA requests on technical literal grounds, all I see is 9 years of blocking bad news, intentionally.

    Clearly somebody’s and one particular ex media millionaire in National springs to mind, decided they are above the law and could not care less about silly things like the spirit of the law. But why? To keep National in power, that’s why. And its worked a treat. Wear down an already flagging media, that is those few who still practice journalism and not PR, and carry on unchecked!

    To this day they purposely continue with their unofficial but very coordinated policy of blocking and stopping the flow of information that any basic democracy needs to function.

    Coleman’s only objective is to preserve the business/racket that is the National Party. Who cares about suicide! But what a truly pathetic Health Minister this sorry little man is!

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    Newly-elected Labour MP Liz Twist talks about the death of her husband and says “suicide risk increases when people face unemployment, job uncertainty and poverty”.


Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago