Maori suicide rates

The claim being made, and taken to the Waitangi Tribunal, that high rates of Maori suicide are linked to ongoing effects of colonisation is totally incorrect.

Around 1974, some 134 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the rate of suicides among Maori was in fact relatively low.

In 1970-74 the rates for young men aged 15-24 years were 8.4 per 100,000 for Maori and 10.2 for non-Maori. This was well past the nineteenth century period of colonisation.

The rates then grew considerably. By 1984-88 suicide rates were 23.2 for young Maori men and 26.0 for young non-Maori men.

ANY SOLUTION TO TODAY’S PROBLEM MUST BE BASED FIRMLY ON FACT.
Present-day suicides reflect the hopelessness associated with the high unemployment that is now common, particularly for young men of every ethnicity, and are in no way a consequence of long-ago colonisation.

By Dr John Robinson