Police have confirmed that five young males aged between 17 and 25 have died suddenly in Kaitaia in the past 12 weeks.

A spokeswoman said all were "sudden death incidents which we have attended, where our investigations lead us to believe the person has taken their own life".

"We pass our investigation findings to the Coroner, who will ultimately make a ruling as to how a death has occurred," she said.

The first death was in late May and the last one occurred this week.


Community leader Ricky Houghton of He Korowai Trust said earlier today that the five deaths reflected "a community in crisis".

"The people are feeling doomed. There's a sense of hopelessness and helplessness of the young people," he said.

Mariameno Kapa-Kingi of Ngati Hine Health Trust said her agency was supporting a group of young Kaitaia people led by 17-year-old student Nina Griffiths who had reactivated a local branch of a group called Respond to All In Distress (Raid).

"There have been three community meetings so far initiated by a young person [Nina] who used to be a Raider," she said.

"We are making sure that we are supporting whatever the developments are. Raid is a piece of that whole community response to the issue."

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.