White Ribbon congratulates the Warehouse Group

 Press Release


White Ribbon congratulates the Warehouse Group

White Ribbon congratulates The Warehouse Group for developing a comprehensive human resources policy around domestic and family violence.
“The violence that affects our communities and families also has a significant impact on businesses,” says Judge Boshier, chair of the White Ribbon Committee. “It is terrific news to see such a large employer step up and demonstrate the type of leadership required across all of New Zealand.”

The Glenn Inquiry estimated that the cost of dealing with child abuse and domestic violence is approximately $7 billion annually. The report also estimated that $1 billion is lost each year in workplace productivity because of abuse and violence such as lost wages and days off work.

“It’s clear that the impact of family violence weighs most heavily on the families and friends of those who are victims. But it is also indisputable that employers incur costs as well. We should use that information to encourage all employers to look at ways in which they can help address violence and support survivors.

“The announcement by the Warehouse Group is another positive step towards the elimination of domestic violence. It sends a strong signal that employers want to be part of the solution, and on behalf of White Ribbon, the Warehouse Group are to be thoroughly congratulated.”

• One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
• Less than 20 per cent of abuse cases are reported
• Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
• On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners
• Police attend a family violence incident every 5 ½ minutes
• Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
• In 2013 Police recorded 95,101 family violence instigations (provisionally 94,300 in 2014)

For all media enquiries contact:                                                                      
Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager
04 297 2757 | Mobile  021 212 2953

The White Ribbon Shield

White Ribbon Shield

White Ribbon Shield

The White Ribbon Shield is a football tournament organised by the Ashburton White Ribbon Committee in conjunction with Mid Canterbury Football.

The tournament will feature teams from the Mid Canterbury United FC (MCUFC) and Methven FC. There will be seven games from under 10s through to seniors, including one women’s game. The corresponding age grade teams from each club will play against each other with the winner getting 3 points.  At the end of the day all the points are tallied and the club with the most points wins the White Ribbon Shield.

Field 3 (To the Left of the main field)
Game 1
10:00 – 11:30am MCUFC15s boys vs. MCUFC16s Boys (This will just be an exhibition match as Methven FC don’t have teams in these age groups)

Game 2
11:45 – 1:15 MCUFC 1s girls vs. Methven FC Div. 2 women

Field 1 (Main field)
Game 1
10:00 – 11:45 MCUFC 18s boys vs. Methven FC 18s boys

Game 2
12:00 – 1:45 MCUFC senior men vs. Methven FC senior me

Field 2 (To the right of the main field)
10:00 – 11:30 MCUFC 14s boys vs. Methven FC 14s boys

Small Field 1
10:00 – 10:55 MCUFC 12s boys vs. Methven FC 12 s boys

Small Field 2
10:00 – 10:55 MCUFC 10s boys vs. Methven FC 10s boys

There will be free sausages and giveaways during the day and White Ribbon and Family Violence resources available.
For further information contact Evans Chibanguza or Anna Arrowsmith on 027 296 0001 or family.violence@saferashburton.org.nz

Training for the 2015 Campaign


mockup of this year’s posters

This year the Campaign Team will be training our Ambassadors, White Ribbon Riders and community spokespeople.

The two hour training session will include:

  • An overview of family violence
  • White Ribbon’s focus on ending men’s violence towards women
  • The 2015 Campaign focusing on ‘Respectful Relationships’
  • Media and campaign strategies

Training dates will be announced shortly and will take place at multiple venues in both the South Island and North Island.
It is hoped that the sessions will take place in Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, Hastings, Gisborne and Auckland. Other centres could be added if there is sufficient demand. Please contact us to discuss.

Please fill out your details if you are interested in attending a training session

A volunteer’s story

Rebecca Ashcroft

Rebecca Ashcroft

Working as a volunteer for the White Ribbon campaign was an incredible learning curve and an enriching experience that I would highly recommend.

From the very beginning I felt I was helping to make a positive change, meeting a diverse range of people and learning more about the practical aspects of a non-for-profit organisation.

I worked both behind the scenes and on site at various White Ribbon events during White Ribbon months, giving me an appreciation of the campaigns audience and reach. As part of a team collectively working towards a positive, non-violent New Zealand, I learned an incredible amount, gained invaluable experience, and had the satisfaction of knowing I was making a difference.

I am currently participating in a University Exchange with the University of Edinburgh. My work experience with White Ribbon, and the reference that followed, enhanced my application and greatly helped with my acceptance in the program.

The volunteer internship is a fantastic opportunity to gain invaluable experience and also to help in the community, and something I would highly recommend to all. Rebecca Ashcroft – White Ribbon Volunteer 2013-2015

For more information in volunteering click here

Response to discussion paper “Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence”.

Peter Boshier - Chief Family Court Judge

White Ribbon Chair Judge Boshier

White Ribbon Media Release

05 August 2015


Response to discussion paper “Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence”.

Judge Peter Boshier, White Ribbon Chair, has welcomed the much tighter framework proposed for the handling of family violence cases in New Zealand. His comments come in response to the just released discussion paper on how we can improve on our appalling family violence record in New Zealand.

Judge Boshier says, “setting down guiding principles as suggested by the discussion paper would give better clarity and provide more certainty as to what should happen in domestic violence cases”. At the moment, it is too unclear what the consequences will be, and many victims feel discouraged by the process.

“If there can be a clear expectation that the breach of a protection order has consequences, our societal attitudes might change for the better”, he says. “We have seen clear examples where drunk drivers and disqualified drivers are routinely charged with very little exercise of discretion by authorities. And yet, when it comes to the much more evil social malaise of family violence, the consequences are far from clear.

Judge Boshier says, “there are many very good ideas in the discussion paper that are worth progressing and acting upon. The increased focus on victim safety is significant, and one way of really enhancing victim safety and better protecting children will be to routinely conduct risk assessments in family violence cases. This will provide a better understanding of the real risk victims and children may actually be facing.”

Judge Boshier also believes, “that the suggestion to increase sharing of information will lead to better decision-making and will further decrease risk.”

“There is a clear theme in this discussion paper of promoting victim safety, and making perpetrators of family violence more accountable. White Ribbon applauds this focus” he says.

Judge Boshier also warmly welcomes the idea of providing out of court assistance to both victims and perpetrators, saying “that self-referral where there is escalating conflict and the beginning of domestic violence may well save a life.”

  • A more in-depth analysis from Judge Boshier is available here
  • Have your say on the discussion document – information on how you can have your say is here
KEY STATISTICS • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives• Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported• Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women

• On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners

• Police attend a family violence incident every 5 ½ minutes

• Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime

• In 2014 Police responded to over 100,000 family violence incidents

KEY WHITE RIBBON MESSAGES • Violence towards women is unacceptable• Violence is not just physical• Men are part of the solution

• You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge


2015 will see White Ribbon launch a new November campaign focused on ‘Respectful Relationships’


For all media enquiries contact:
Rob McCann, White Ribbon Campaign Manager
04 297 2757 | Mobile  021 212 2953|rob@whiteribbon.org.nz

Strengthening New Zealand’s Legislative Response to Family Violence


Download the discussion document

The Ministry of Justice is consulting about New Zealand’s family violence laws. The domestic violence act was introduced in 1995 (reviewed in 2007) and the discussion document is an opportunity to review the current laws and approach and have your say. The Ministry want to know your views about the ideas presented in the discussion document along with any other ideas you have for strengthening New Zealand’s family violence laws.

Here are some views of Judge Peter Boshier, Chair of the White Ribbon Campaign

Part One

  1. Is there scope for broadening the definition of family violence and including guiding principles?

The definition is generally sound but certainly could be broadened. What will help is the setting down of guiding principles, and sense of expectation and consequence. This has worked well overseas. It has also been the hallmark of the success of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act where guiding principles have heavily influenced judicial decision making. I think too that having a greater emphasis on accountability and consequence will assist judiciary, Police and health professionals in approaching this issue and exercising judgment. A good, modern example of requiring accountability is to be seen in the recently passed Vulnerable Children Act 2004.

  1. Victim safety: Are there better ways of applying for orders and for our responses to breaches?

I would like to see a completely new approach to how orders can be applied for. I would like these to be “online” and for applicants to be able to choose options in a similar way to how Survey Monkeys have been created. There can be simple fields for supporting information. All-important accompanying certificates such as medical and police family violence reports can be scanned and attached. I do not see conventional sworn affidavits as being necessary and think that the information should be able to be verified as to truth and consequence by the applicant and a scanned signature attached.

There is good scope for having a wider range of applicants acting for someone else.

I think our responses to breaches have been too weak and that there should be a default position as to consequence. When a disqualified driver is apprehended by Police, little discretion is exercised – they will invariably be prosecuted and the court has little discretion because of the default expectations created. Similar clear expectations should apply to breaches.

There is good scope when property orders are made, for better dealing with consequence as to whether it is wise for the victim to continue living in the same house as the perpetrator or whether he should be required to live elsewhere in supported accommodation.

The safety of victims and children caught up in family violence will be greatly enhanced if there is a mandatory expectation of risk assessment, so that the true nature of the risk being faced is known. At the moment, it is not. The Police ODARA risk assessment tool is known to have limitations. However we have good risk assessment tools in operation overseas. One of the single most important outcomes of this discussion paper may be legislative backing for risk assessment and accordingly triage to gauge future response.

  1. Prosecuting family violence perpetrators

The paper asks whether we should “create a standalone family violence offence or a class of offences” and on page 33 of the paper, three examples are given. New Zealand is now behind other countries in this respect because family violence is not recognised at all other than through the obscure label of “male assaults female”. The Minister’s reference to the Law Commission as to whether or not there should be a standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation is an example of what such a standalone offence might look like. There is merit of having a clear label attached to family violence offending and of that being available to any police officer or judge who sees a criminal conviction record. Many countries have chosen to keep generic violence offences but add in as an aggravating factor, whether or not it has occurred in context of family violence. This particular approach is also very attractive.

The paper also asks what changes there might be to court processes and structure to enable criminal courts to respond better to family violence cases.

Our domestic violence courts have been well intentioned but have met with limited success. The clear guiding principles I suggested earlier will help, and these could include mandatory timelines for disposition of cases and default expectations as to consequence. At the moment procedure is too driven by conventional criminal procedure process and allowing judges to be much more directive in how cases are handled may encourage victims to seek access to the criminal justice process but at the same time maintain the appropriate balance of natural justice for perpetrators. Judges should be able to hear family violence cases quickly and on terms that they direct, rather than an open ended ill-defined basis.

  1. Should there be an additional pathway to safety?

This section of the paper asks whether victims should be able to access services short of having to go to court. Since the Family Court began in 1981, there has been an ability of those in conflict to seek help through the court short of applying for orders. A self-referral where there is escalating conflict and the beginning of domestic violence, may well save a life later. A victim should also be able to ask that another person attend for an assessment or a discussion or both where family violence is occurring or the victim fears it is about to.

A very helpful and insightful suggestion is that Police take at least one of the following steps when responding to family violence reports, that they file a criminal charge (or issue a warning), issue a Police safety order, or make a referral to a funded service or services or an assessment?

What better services for victims, perpetrators and whanau should there be?

On page 45 of the paper suggestions for enhancement of sharing of information between agencies and between courts is set out. Good decisions can only be made on full information. This is exactly the basis upon which medical professionals work – they rarely operate or suggest medical procedure without knowing all the facts. We need to do the same when it comes to outcomes of family violence. We may be dealing with lethality and not even know it. Clear expectations as to sharing of information will help and a good clinically based risk assessment for judges may be instrumental in better decision making over bail and sentencing. There is scope for overall relaxation of privacy so that all possible relevant information is permitted to be shared while always retaining the right of anyone affected by decision making to challenge the basis of doing so.

One of the justifications for this approach is because we are not just dealing with adults and their rights but children who have equal rights but cannot express or claim them. The state must be protective and principles of privacy may be required to adjust accordingly.

  • Read our press release here
  • Have your say here
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence discussion document here

Better family violence law – Welcome from Justice Minister Amy Adams

White Ribbon Rider honoured as a White Ribbon Ambassador

Press Release

21 July 2015


White Ribbon Rider honoured as a White Ribbon Ambassador

Colin Agnew is the leader of this year’s South Island leg of the White Ribbon Ride and he’s bringing the Ride to a South Island town near you.

Mr Agnew has been involved with the White Ribbon Ride since it first began in 2008 and is very pleased to become an Ambassador – though he may look tough, he has a soft heart.

“The ride means a lot to me, and the stories I’ve heard have only increased my determination to keep coming back each year.”


One memorable ride was 2011 when a woman in Gore recognised his motorbike and approached him with her three children. The woman had talked to him at a White Ribbon Ride a few years before, and told them it gave her the confidence to pack up and leave her violent household. She said she was now living in Gore, safe and happy with her children.


“It’s a sign to me that I need to keep doing this as long as it takes.”


It’s these kinds of stories, both from those closest to Agnew and complete strangers which encourage him to continue to want to help those suffering from family violence.


“I don’t think anyone has the right to abuse someone, and that sharing their stories helps not just the person in that situation but encourages others to speak out too.”


The White Ribbon Ride will be visiting towns throughout the South Island this year, and will need help from organisations to host them. Riders can join in the Ride at any location and can participate for the day, or the week and take part in the events that are held by each town. This year we will also be encouraging scooters and bikes under 250cc’s to join in when the event is within the city limits.


The ride spreads the White Ribbon anti-violence message, by going directly into communities where violence can often be pervasive. It proves to men you can still be tough without having to condone abuse, and allows women to see that not all men are violent.


The Ride will launch from Nelson on 17 November, and travel down the West Coast reaching Haast on the 19th and travelling through Wanaka on the 20th. By the 22nd the ride reaches Invercargill before beginning the ride north through Dunedin and onto Christchurch for White Ribbon day on 25 November and ending in Blenheim on the 26th.



  • Further details can be supplied by Rob McCann, White Ribbon Campaign Manager
  • The draft South Island Ride schedule is here https://whiteribbonnz.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/south-island-itinerary-2015-april.pdf
  • To interview Colin Agnew contact Colin on 027 625 5777
  • There are now over 80 White Ribbon Ambassadors
  • They are men from all walks of life who are willing to lend their leadership to the White Ribbon cause
  • All Ambassadors volunteer their time freely to the campaign to end men’s violence towards women
  • This year the campaign is focusing on respectful relationships http://whiteribbon.org.nz/2015/07/13/the-focus-of-white-ribbons-campaign/
  • Ambassadors must commit to the kaupapa of the campaign and can include men who were formally violent, however they must acknowledge that past behaviour, and be living violence free lives
  • The campaign launches in November and is organised by the White Ribbon Trust with expert advice from the White Ribbon Advisory Committee chaired by Judge Boshier


Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager
04 297 2757 | Mobile  021 212 2953


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