'We don't want our young people dying' - Northland tackles suicide head-on with target rate of zero

Northland health authorities are gearing up to fight their biggest battle against suicide, with sights set on a zero suicide rate over just a few years. 

The play 'Upstander' has been commissioned by the District Health Board and has been touring secondary schools with the aim to stop bullying and encourage teens to speak out. 

Tania Papali'i of the Northland DHB said there is not "a number right or okay for youth to be dying". 

In a three-month period, Northland had six suspected youth suicides. 

"We have a lot of poverty, we have a lot of access to drugs and alcohol. Those are all cumulative factors for suicide," she said.

Earlier this year, the government's suicide prevention panel came under fire when its draft plan didn't set a prevention target. 

Health workers in the north say even one suicide is too many. 

"I think it's achieveable. We don't want our young people dying. We're just working towards that over the next few years."

The DHB has also developed a Far North local response group, a school-based initiative and suicide prevention training programme for youth workers. 

Where can I get support and help?

Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help.

Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354
Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54
Depression Helpline 24/7 - 0800 111 757
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz
What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787
www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service
www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

The DHB's also developed a Far North local response group, a school based initiative and a suicide prevention training programme for youth workers Source: 1 NEWS

Man flies off motorcycle on Auckland's Queen St

A motorcyclist has come off his bike while driving down Auckland's Queen Street today.

The rider was thrown off his bike after losing balance.

Traffic was briefly halted as pedestrians helped the rider up.

An ambulance was at the scene by chance, and checked the rider for injuries.

A man came off his motorcycle after speeding down Queen St.
A man came off his motorcycle after speeding down Queen St. Source: 1 NEWS


Video: Famous Kiwi laser flag flies high above Glastonbury mosh pit

It failed to make it into the final four or even the final forty, but the kiwi laser flag won the hearts of many New Zealanders during the recent flag referendum.

Now, a video has emerged of the laser-eyed kiwi flying above the crowd at the UK festival Glastonbury, which attracts around tens of thousands of music lovers.

It was flown proudly during a set by Royal Blood. 

The mastermind behind the flag, Aucklander James Gray, said at the time that his design Fire the Lazer was a result of "random inspiration", and was drawn up on Microsoft Paint.

While it is unlikely many at Glastonbury would have recognised the laser-eyed kiwi – fellow Kiwis certainly would have.