The Māori lunar calendar can track the incidence of suicide.

That's the claim made by two Māori researchers held at a symposium at Manurewa Marae yesterday.

Maramataka Māori expert Rereata Mākiha says that more open mindedness, findings for solutions to Māori suicide will hopefully be found.

“Ko te maramataka a te Māori e hāngai ana i ngā tirohanga o te Māori ngā tohu o te rangi tohu o te whenua, tohu o te moana e rongo ai te pō e rongo ai te ao. I mōhio ō mātou mātua tūpuna he hononga o ērā mea katoa. Nā i roto i te ao Pākehā kāore ērā mea e hono ana.”

Lead researcher Rikki Solomon has collated 10 years of NZ coronial suicide statistics and correlated the data with the Māori lunar calendar.

“It's not about saying hey we going to predict when suicide is going to happen but we can have an idea.”

As part of the research, the Māori calendar was broken up into seven phases with four moon cycles which revealed that over the last 10 years and results showed 35% of suicide in NZ happened around the phase of Whiro (New Moon) and 16% of suicide happened around the phase of Rākaunui (Full Moon). Solomon explains;

“Those are our anchor days is Rākaunui and Whiro the others just complement each other. Suicide is happening all the time either way but we know what are our anchor is where our beginning point is then we can start enforcing it.”

In the last three months in the Manurewa area, 12 have committed suicide.

Manurewa Marae kaumātua, Tunuiarangi McLean says he backs the research.

“I mōhio ana tātou i tērā iwi, i tērā iwi, kei te rerekē o rātou maramataka heoi anō ka taea tonu te kite i ngā rangahau ngā kaupapa ka āhei tērā iwi ki te hono mai ōna kōrero, ōna kaupapa o te maramataka mō te kaupapa nei o te whakamomori.”

The two researchers hope that the new-found insights will be taken well by NZ.

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