Mamaeroa Merito was recognised for her achievements last night at the Community Trust Power Awards for Youth. Alongside four other (secondary school year 13) highly regarded recipients, Mamaeroa was not only recognised for her achievements but won the overall award for the “Best Youth Project Category.”
The Rotorua Girls High School student developed a suicide prevention wrist band tool – “Kia Piki te Ora – Whakamanatangata,” which encourages rangatahi to choose life and to seek wellness.
The tool was inspired out of tragedy having lost school friends and whanau to suicide which impacted immensely on her and her whanau.
However, rather than dwell on the tragedy she decided to make a difference for all youth with a strong message to abstain from suicide. This is her third community award this year having received both the Rotorua District Council’s Youth Award and Community Service Awards as well.
Mamaeroa is an inspiration to all youth. She is hoping to inspire other youth to utilise the tool, especially in light of the Coroner’s recent statistics for youth suicide as the third highest in the OECD. She is well on her way having distributed the tool across Auckland, Northland, Tauranga, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Christchurch , Whanganui, Hawkes Bay , Invercargill, Rotorua, Turangi and Taupo. She has also provided samples to the indigenous people of Australia and Canada as well.