The Mental Health Foundation is urging New Zealanders to think seriously about how they can help reduce the suicide rate.
The latest Ministry of Health figures show 506 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2009.
That's more than 25 percent below the peak rate in 1998.
Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says people should be thinking about how they can make a difference.
"It's encouraging that there's a trend going down, but we have to acknowledge that that still isn't good enough, and that we all have to take responsibility and do more."
Ms Clements says some of the most effective protective factors are supportive relationships, belief in a positive future, and a strong cultural identity.
Ms Clements feels people are skirting around the issue which doesn't help in dealing with the problem, and says there's a need for a sensible robust debate on the issue of suicide.
"Someone told me only about 10 days ago, that someone told him that he should say sudden death, and shouldn't ever say suicide. Well that just isn't helpful, because there is a need for healthy and informed discussion."
Judi Clements says people need to be more aware of warning signs of people not coping.