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Bikers with a cause . . . Members of the Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club gather in Oamaru. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

A group of motorcycle enthusiasts from the Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club rode together through North Otago last Friday to help raise awareness of teenage suicide in New Zealand.

Many riders were on their way to Invercargill for an official club event.

Tamati Reihana and Garry McLennan were two riders who travelled a mile at a time to show their support for the cause.

Most members had their own reasons for joining the club.

For Mr McLennan and Mr Reihana, it was wanting to help make a change after losing friends to suicide.

Both men believed more work needed to be done to improve mental health support in New Zealand.

Mr McLennan said he was proud his work could help save lives.

“If I can encourage just one person to go home and say to their family member, ‘I love you’, I’ve achieved something,” he said.

Mr Reihana hoped the club could also change attitudes towards motorcyclists.

“We try and change the stigma around bikers as well,” he said.

“A lot of people will see us with our patches and they think we’re gang-related. Not all bikers are gang members – there are bikers out there that want to help.”

Mr McLennan has been with the club for about three years, while Mr Reihana has been involved for one year.

The club is open to anyone who wants to join.

For Mr McLennan and Mr Reihana, Tribal Nations is not just a club – it is a family.

The club also rides to campaign against domestic violence and synthetic cannabis use.

All money raised from the event in Invercargill will be going to support the Life Matters suicide prevention group.

Where to get help:
Lifeline: 0800-543-354 or (09) 522-2999
Suicide Prevention Helpline: 508-828-865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline: 0800-376-633 or free text 234
Samaritans: 0800-726-666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111