Top former coach championing dob-'em-in app for at-risk children.
Former Warriors and Kiwis coach Frank Endacott is helping lead the fight against bullying in schools with a new anti-bullying app set to be launched in New Zealand.
Tootoot aims to combat New Zealand school bullying rates - the second highest in the OECD - and high levels of teen suicide by allowing students to anonymously report issues, including by screenshotting abusive messages or taking photos of bullies, via the app, at any time of the day. The report will then be read by the school.
Brand ambassador for tootoot in New Zealand, Endacott first came across the app in the UK where it is being used by 1000 schools.
"I said, 'Hey, this is ideal for New Zealand. You need to come to our country because we have a real problem.'
"You can't save everyone but if you save one life it has worked and I think this could save many."
Endacott said there was a lot of talk about putting an end to bullying but not much action.
"So many young people, not just in New Zealand but around the world, take their lives because of bullying. Bullying can lead to some terrible, terrible personal results for that person. It can have an effect on their entire life or even cost a life.
"I think we've all been through it and it's something I just don't like."
App creator Michael Brennan said tootoot allowed young people to talk to someone about an issue without the fear of being identified.
"The largest barrier I faced when experiencing bullying as a child was feeling comfortable enough to speak to someone about my situation."
Tootoot helped in more than 2000 instances of cyberbullying in the UK in its first year and recently partnered with the UK Department for Education to deliver the anti-bullying platform to 120,000 more pupils across the UK.
Kiwi schools will be offered a free, three-month trial.
Brennan said once a number of schools were using the app, he would send data to the Ministry of Education.
The Ministry's deputy secretary of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said although tools like tootoot provided ways of making it easy and safe for students to report bullying, research had found a combination of measures was most successful.
Casey said many schools had well-developed, comprehensive approaches to bullying and creating a positive school environment, and others were still developing their approach.
The Ministry has launched Bullying Prevention and Response: A Guide for Schools, which gives schools access to tools to help them to address bullying.
One of the tools is the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme being used in about 800 schools - including more than half of the country's secondary schools.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Samaritans 0800 726 666
• If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.