A new men's walking group aiming to get blokes outside and opening up is starting this weekend in Rotorua.

Jamahl Peneamene moved to Rotorua a year ago with his wife Gigi, and five months ago their son Artie was born.

When Gigi experienced postnatal depression, the couple noticed there was support for mothers, but little for fathers.

Jamahl Peneamene, with his son Artie (5 months). Photo / Ben Fraser
Jamahl Peneamene, with his son Artie (5 months). Photo / Ben Fraser

Peneamene also found it hard to meet other men in between juggling work and parenthood.


"I could definitely see how it would be a mental struggle for others too."

He saw the Australian 'Man Walk' events on Facebook and wondered if the idea would work in New Zealand, so this week he'll try.

Posted by The Man Walk on Thursday, 27 June 2019

On Sunday morning Peneamene will be at the Fat Dog Cafe from 7am.

The first Rotorua Man Walk will leave there shortly after when others have arrived.

"Anyone can join, it's not a dad thing or a youth thing, and I am not a psychologist or a therapist, I am just a guy wanting to walk and talk."

He is inviting others to bring their friends, brothers, dads or sons.

"I want Artie to know he shouldn't shut himself off no matter how he is feeling."

The Australian Man Walk organisers, who now have about 10,000 followers, are also helping Peneamene bring the "Walk, talk, support" concept here.

Men's mental health in New Zealand

● The rate of suicide for males is about 16 per 100,000.
● For every female suicide statistically, there are about three male suicides.
● Men's suicide rates spike around ages 15-25 and then slowly decline to age 65 when they start climbing again.
● On average more than one in six Kiwis are told by a doctor they are experiencing depression in their lifetime.
● Postnatal depression can also affect men - it is more common among men who have been depressed before, or whose partners are suffering from depression.



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)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.