Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club (TNMC) are a group of motorcyclists with real concerns for the numbers of teen suicide cases happening each year, using their wheels and hearts to assist those suffering.

“We use the noise of our machines to raise awareness,” says ambassador of Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club, Richard Tatana.

Richard stated that they are bikers, not bikies, who ride in support of the community. Through their rides and organised public events, they hope to increase people’s knowledge and interest in the cause. As well as to reinforce that there is always support for people who are struggling.

This is their first year of riding for Riders Against Teen Suicide (RATS) and the first for the region.

Any funds raised are passed on to the NGO’s that work directly with suicide prevention and, in particular, teen suicide. At their event on the 7th of November, TNMC will hand over funds raised to a representative from Youthline New Zealand who will be at the end of the ride’s public event in Motueka.

The national figures for teen suicides at 654 from June 2019 to July 2020 are almost twice the national road toll, said Richard, and aren’t showing any signs of abating. As someone who has lost too many family and friends to suicide over the past year, Richard is determined to do what he can to help.

Christine Warren and Anton Bugler are two of the members of TNMC who have completed a one-day suicide prevention course called Life Keeper. It’s a national suicide prevention training programme, which gives people the skills to recognise and support those at risk of suicide.

The TNMC will be riding on the 7th November from Filco Harley Davidson, Annesbrook. Everybody with a motorbike, any club or social riders, are welcome, with registration beginning on the day at 9.15 am. The ride goes via Tapawara with some stop-offs before finishing at the Motueka Recreation Centre at 1 pm.

The ride finish at the Motueka Recreation Centre is a public event where people can leave a memento of someone they have lost. Six hundred and fifty pairs of shoes will also be at the event representing those they have been lost to suicide in the past year.

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