Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Flavell lashes out then apologises

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell has written an Op-Ed in the Rotorua Daily Post in which he suggests a Tough Love approach to suicides:
Perhaps we should make a very hard stand with this. 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.

Flavell backed up his comments on Nine to Noon this morning. Sure, he is frustrated but this seems like lashing out more than anything constructive. To try to fix a problem by threatening excommunication like some Catholic suicide smiter is counter-productive at the very least. Maori aren't alone in youth suicide. They share the tragedy with other people in close knit, low hope environments like Marton and Palmerston North.

The stupidest way to discourage the alienated and the lonely from ending it all is not to promise to segregate them from their loved ones. Thankfully, Flavell has since withdrawn and apologised for his flailing about on the issue.