Waiariki MP apologises over comments made on youth suicide

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Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell has apologised for offense caused by his column in The Daily Post which took a ultra conservative stance on youth suicide.

I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused, following my column,” he wrote in a letter to the editor.

His original comments took a hard line which the MP suggesting that “if a child commits suicide, let us consider not celebrating their lives on our marae; perhaps bury them at the entrance of the cemetery so their deaths will be condemned by the people,” he went on to say “In doing these things, it demonstrates the depth of disgust the people have with this. Yes it is a hard stance, but what else can we do?”

A number of critics lashed out at his comments suggesting that they were both ill-informed and without compassion.

The Rotorua Daily Post confirmed that Mr Flavell’s letter to the editor was not published in its entirety, and had the following sentences removed by the newspaper:“I am sorry for raising this issue in this way, but I do so having seen mums and dads, grandparents in their despair, in their real grief. All of us must be concerned.”

The line was removed in editing for length, but was not removed from the published te reo version, and has been reinstated in the online version.

Mr Flavell told the Daily Post that he had a great deal of aroha for those who had suffered from this.

Mr Flavell said in his letter the controversial statement came from practices used in the past on marae, and he was always conscious to look at tikanga for solutions to current issues, but he understood this was not the only way to address this issue.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Personally, I believe if our young people committ suicide, it’s an indictment on ourselves for our lack of responsibility to raise te hunga riiriki to reach their potential. Far too often our young people forget who they are and where they’re from. They don’t know what a home is because home never used to be a house, it was where your people were at.

  2. sad but no one celebrates suicide. Lots of questions but not celebration. Look at the rubbish that is allowed into our lovely New Zealand that is on TV, video, and the games that also is allowed into this country. Everything that is not good for this country is so true and yet we are allowed to be entertained by this rubbish. If you want to help our rangatahi start with abolishing filth, crime, violence that is so freely for anyone to watch on TV etc etc. Than we will have something to celebrate.

  3. Come on chanz, wake up. The importance of his two stories that were posted on this kaupapa were and are just like Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Maori version is the more important one. READ IT!!!

    Kua pa mamae te iwi maori ki nga korero i whakaputaina e te daily post.
    Engari kia kaua tatau e whakapono ki ta ratau korero, he whakarapopoto noaiho te take o ta ratau tapahio korero.
    He rautaki whakawehewehe i te iwi maori. Take out the most in depth korero and then give it a real juicey title. like “Condems” and then lety the “DUM MAORIS” do the rest… CAmon just like the just juice add says “SHARPEN UP”

  4. His apology was heartfelt, as was the apology on the radio this morning. He’s raised the kaupapa and MAN was there some AWESOME korero on the radio this morning!! Kia Kaha Te Paati Maori!

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