A Taranaki musical duo who have entertained crowds for the last ten years are continuing to spread an important message to bring awareness to the high suicide rates in Aotearoa.
Through their music Aidan Morrell (Ngāti Mutunga) and Ash Haimona (Ngāti Porou), who perform as Ash and Aidan, hope to set a positive example for men and encourage them to open up and talk about their problems.
Morrell says, “It’s about projecting a positive image for Māori men, representing yourself, representing your whānau, your hapū your iwi.”
Since he has left high school twenty years ago, Morrell says he has lost about ten family and friends to suicide. Statistics show New Zealand's suicide rate reached an all-time high this year at 579
Haimona, who is a descendant of legendary composer Tuini Ngawai, says he wants to inspire Māori to be successful no matter their circumstances.
“Only you will stop yourself, your success and happiness lies within,” he says.
The duo met in 2006 around a kitchen table while jamming together. Since meeting, they have built up an impressive resume including performing at the TSB Festival of the lights and singing the national anthem at major sporting events in Taranaki.
They will be celebrating their ten years together as a musical duo tonight in The Auditorium at The New Plymouth Club. They want their success to encourage Māori men to be themselves and pursue their dreams.
“we are truly humbled by the support we have received over the past 10 years,” says Morrell.