Te Ururoa Flavell - Asshole of the Week Award | The Jackal

27 Jul 2011

Te Ururoa Flavell - Asshole of the Week Award

In a despicable column in Rotorua's Daily Post newspaper, Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell suggested a "very hard stand" should be made on suicide. He thinks that "one is almost wasting time asking why this happens." Really! We're wasting our time asking why young people kill themselves?

Being that the National government has increased poverty and hardship for young people, I guess Flavell has a good reason to want the focus to go off the various causes of youth suicide.

What has happened to the Maori party? When they started, they appeared to support many worthwhile and transformational policies that could have helped New Zealand immensely. 

Now they're caught up in National's negative politicking that will see them fail to reach the 5% threshold in the next general election. But it's not all National's fault... The Maori party is doing a pretty good job at killing itself off. Here's Flavell tightening the noose:
"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. In doing these things, it demonstrates the depth of disgust the people have with this. Yes it is a hard stance, but what else can we do?" Flavell wrote.
What else can he do? He's a Minister of Parliament and part of the government FFS! Why doesn't he start by listening to what people working with disillusioned youth have to say. Wouldn't that be a novel idea? People with big egos like his have little ears I suppose. Mana Mental Health Service manager Gavin Pike said Mr Flavell was wrong to suggest such a thing:
"His addressing this by way of putting our people at the front of the urupa, or on the outside, is not tika [right]. The shame and embarrassment for that whanau will have an impact for many generations to come. If a whanau member committed suicide ... why should the whanau be persecuted by their own?"
Flavell is clearly another idiot who likes to blame the victim. Being that New Zealand has the highest rates of suicide in the OECD for youth aged 15-19, there needs to be an insightful and proactive development in this area.

The blame the victim mentality from people like Flavell is completely ineffectual and in fact adds to the dysfunction. What we need to do is condemn what makes young people commit suicide. Perhaps condemn is too strong a word; we need to identify it and change it. 

Discarding suicide victims without proper burial will do more to hide the epidemic than anything else. Although Flavell is highlighting the issue, this is not the way to go about instigating a change to New Zealand's horrendously high suicide rates.

Stigmatizing families will do nothing to reduce suicide, it will just prolong the guilt and sadness that many families afflicted by youth suicide go through. So for being a complete dickhead, Te Ururoa Flavell is this weeks Asshole Award winner.

"No man ever listened himself out of a job." - Calvin Coolidge.