15 o Mahuru 2023

(15 September 2023)

Wear your Puāwai Kahurangi brooch for those impacted by suicide or grief


The Puāwai Kahurangi is a symbol of aroha and healing.


On the 15th of September is the day we acknowledge those of us impacted by suicide or grief by wearing a Puāwai Kahurangi Brooch.  

 The korero behind the Puāwai Kahurangi brooch, is that there is a way through the pain, to always remember those we have lost, but to find a way to let go of the pain, to heal and come back to Te Ao Mārama.


The disproportionate amount of Māori who have taken their own lives has had a devastating effect on whānau, hapū and communities across the motu, so this is a call for kotahitanga, positive action and finding ways to heal, for our whānau who need it the most.  


The 15th of September 2023 will be acknowledged as Puāwai Kahurangi day.  This day is aligned with the Maramataka (so may change each year) to correspond with the Whiro Moon.  The day of Whiro is a time where our energy is lower, it is a time of internal contemplation and when we plant positive intentions for the future (as shared by Heeni Hoterene, 2023). 


The Centre of Māori Suicide Prevention team at Te Rau Ora have initiated this National campaign, and the vision is that communities around the country get involved and make their own Puāwai Kahurangi, by using their local resources and bringing people together to make Puāwai.  The idea is that the putiputi are accessible, that whānau can make their own (we have instructions on how to make the Puāwai on our website) and can access local resources to make them.  That way, no-one needs to be left out and the concept of healing and strengthening communities happens through koha, korero, mahi-tahi and Kotahitanga


Puāwai Kahurangi day is part of the world Suicide Prevention Week, to align with the international Suicide Prevention movement, but provides a local focus with a local Kaupapa and context of weaving using locally sourced materials.

Rikki Solomon acknowledges that ”A flower blossoming at this time of year is known as a Puawānanga, a child of Puanga and Rehua, and flowers between the rising of Puanga in winter and Rehua rising in summer. These flowers are in between, transitioning, coming from the cold and warming up as we come into summer.”   This description also fits with the meaning of the Puāwai Kahurangi, as we feel cold or empty from loss, through healing, we slowly heat up again, to feel the warmth of the sun once more. 

More information is also on our TikTok page- https://www.tiktok.com/@tromanaakiora


“Anei he rau harakeke. Mā to rau, mā toku rau, ka ora ai te iwi” Rongomaiwahine Mangu 2023

*If you are worried about someone you love or care about, or concerns for your own wellbeing – please know, you are not alone.      Some things you can do:         Remember to talk to someone about what is happening for you, download the Manaaki Ora App or Reach out to 1737, Lifeline or 0800 TAUTOKO

The RED stem of the Puāwai signifies the sense of pain and loss many of us experience when we lose someone. The red also highlights our connection to Papatuanuku  
The BLUE petals of the Puāwai show us that after the tears, there is still the ability to move back to Te Ao Mārama, to the blue skies of Ranginui.  
The Puāwai Kahurangi (Bue Blossom) is a symbol of aroha.   
Wearing the Puāwai Kahurangi brooch places the memories of loved ones close to our heart, to be remembered without having to hold on to the pain, so we can move forward again in our lives.  

If you have access to your own pā harakeke, here are some tips on how to harvest the rau (leaves) in a safe and sustainable way. If you are new to harvesting Harakeke, or don’t have access to your own bush, contact your local weaver (in Aotearoa, NZ) for the best advice on where, or how, to harvest harakeke in your area (tikanga (protocols) may vary slightly in your region).


HE KARAKIA mō te tapahī Harakeke. 

E Hineteiwaiwa,
Nāu ko te whānautanga
Nāu ko te raranga,
Tautokohia mai,
Kia rere tika ai te mahi,
Hei painga mō te iwi.
Haumi e,
Hui e,

Taiki e!



The idea for the Puāwai Kahurangi (named by Ron Baker NZQSM) came from Rongomaiwāhine Mangu.  The day after ANZAC day 2023 we prepared a Te Ihi Ora : Pō Maumahara for whānau and kaimahi in Te Hiku, Kaitaia, in The Far North, who had been impacted by suicide.  Inspired by the ANZAC poppy that remembered our fallen soldiers, Rongomaiwahine created a putiputi brooch for the participants at the Pō Maumahara.  The putiputi, hand-woven from harakeke (and dyed Blue and red), were made so that those who had lost loved ones would have a taonga they could wear to remember their loved one by.   During the night, Ron Baker saw the depth of meaning in these putiputi and the impact they had for the wearer and whānau.  Understanding the power this putiputi could have for whānau to support their healing journey, he saw that this Kaupapa needed to be shared far and wide across Aotearoa.  This is how the Pūāwai Kahurangi has become a National Symbol in the Campaign for Suicide Prevention.    

Printable Booklet (Instructions)

Resources to support whānau

For queries or more information contact:  Puawai@terauora.com