For the campaign to be successful, men must be seen to lead and actively support the kaupapa. Ambassadors play a vital role in building support, visibility and developing a shared understanding of the campaign within their social groups, workplaces and communities. Our Ambassadors embody the principles of the campaign. They are chosen for their willingness to challenge the behaviour of abusive men, and to convey key messages directly to their own communities.
Please feel free to download and submit your nomination forms for 2014.
We are looking to communities to nominate potential Ambassadors who are respected and influential role models in their workplaces, businesses, government departments, faith, cultural groups or wider communities. All nominees must be informed of the nomination and sign a statement that they are living violence-free lives and will uphold the White Ribbon pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. Ambassadors will be provided with training, information packs and ongoing mentoring.
DOWNLOAD THE NOMINATION FORM HERE
If you would like an Ambassador to speak at your local event, please send the request through via this form.
- A description of the event
- Date, time and location
- Whether you are able to contribute to the costs of an Ambassador’s travel
- How long you require the Ambassador
- What you would like them to do, e.g. speech, take part in activity etc.
We are unable to guarantee the availability of an Ambassador, but will do our best. The more advance warning we have the better your chances are.
Dr Ajit Swaran Singh became the first Fiji-born Indian to be appointed to the District Court Bench in New Zealand. He was sworn in as a Judge in Manukau, Auckland on Diwali Day, 4 November 2002. Judge Singh is the recipient of numerous awards for his outstanding achievements in the field of public service. He regularly speaks at the Ethnic A Conferences and community forums on cultural issues concerning family violence/child abuse/mental health/bullying in schools, particularly as such issues affect the immigrant & refugee communities.
For many years Dr Singh has been involved with community education on family violence issues, particularly for recent migrant groups, youth and senior citizens. In becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, Dr Singh will promote the principles of White Ribbon by supporting the campaign, challenging the behaviour of abusive men, and encouraging others to do the same.
Alasdair is a highly respected member of the Kapiti community. As Senior Sergeant and Officer in Charge in the Kapiti Policing area, he has implemented numerous community policing projects and been very supportive of Voices Against Violence Initiatives. Alasdair demonstrates both a professional and personal commitment to addressing domestic violence. He is available, active and goes the extra mile when addressing domestic violence in his community.
In becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, Alasdair hopes to demonstrate that the NZ Police are 100% behind the White Ribbon Campaign. Great to have you in the team Alasdair!
Alfred entered Parliament as a List MP for National at the 2011 election. Based in Auckland, Alfred is a New Zealander of Cook Islands descent and is married with four children.
Alfred has a strong Governance and community development background. He has international experience in community development with developmental work in Canada and also the Cook Islands. He also has experience sitting on a number of national, regional and local Governance Boards and Advisory Committees prior to entering Parliament. Alfred was also a recipient of the 2009 Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leaders Award.
Andrew Little is the former national secretary of New Zealand’s largest trade union, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) and former president of the New Zealand Labour Party, now a list MP. Andrew saw an excellent opportunity to spread the White Ribbon message to the 50,000 members of the EPMU – and so approached the Campaign to work together and become an Ambassador. Andrew continues to advocate for equal rights and and end to violence towards women.
Andy has worked in the area of family violence for the last ten years and has huge determination in making New Zealand violence free. Declaring himself a ‘salesperson for peace’, Andy has offered opportunities for his male colleagues to make themselves and their families safer. With a family of six, Andy understands the necessity of a non-violent household and puts into practise what he believes. He has spoken to a number of audiences on the subject, including the family violence sector and a range of students. Andy firmly believes that being violence free helps to create a balanced family, social and work life, and hopes, by becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, to show this to other men.
Awen retired from professional league two years ago, and is now a Sports commentator for Maori Television (Code) and Sky Television. He is married to Natasha has two children.
Awen says he is motivated to support White Ribbon Day because of his personal experience of family violence. “As a child I was around it and exposed to it,” Awen says. “I remember how terrifying it was and I still battle with it. It scarred me deeply – and as an adult I try to avoid confrontations because it brings back all those terrible feelings. I still remember those feelings from when I was three or four.”
“As a role model for White Ribbon Day, I would love to encourage more men to hold each other accountable so that they are never intimidating or violent in their home, and with their family. It takes a brave person to take up the challenge to break the cycle for generations of males in their family. To me that’s a role model.”
Barry Matthews was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Department of Corrections from 2005 to 2010. Prior to that he was a long-serving police officer. Barry worked in the public sectors of New Zealand and Australia for almost four decades. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Law Professional examinations, a Bachelor of Laws Degree and a Diploma of Criminology. Barry helped to broker the use of Corrections to make and distribute the White Ribbons for the campaign and the department utilised this opportunity to talk to prisoners about the campaign.
Benjamin lives in Auckland and is the Director of CPS Printing 2000 Ltd and a Committee member of the Taiwanese Hwa Hsia Society and Asian Council on Reducing Crime.
Benjamin is a respected leader in the Taiwanese community in Auckland. He is a supporter of Shakti, is passionate about reducing violence and is keen for men to take responsibility. As a child he experienced violence and as an adult had been abusive to his wife. He sought help for his violence, made changes and took responsibility for what he had done to others. He has been public about his story and actively been challenging domestic violence in his community. His goal is ‘that all families are living free of fear, have peace of mind and above all without violence’.
Billy Te Kahika Junior is one of New Zealand’s premier guitarists and plays to audiences all over NZ, Australia, USA and the Pacific. His experience as a family man, musician, businessman, soldier, youth mentor and Christian make him an exemplary role model for men of all ages.
Billy has been involved in the Holden Driving Towards a Future road safety campaign and Westpac It’s Youth Future financial literacy campaign. He is also an Auahi Kore ambassador through the Health Promotion Agency in Wellington
As a musician, Billy reaches a wide audience of all ages and background. As a white ribbon ambassador Billy will use his presence and profile to further the campaign of non-violence to women.
Bob Harvey is the Chairman of Waterfront Auckland, a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO), to deliver a world class waterfront for Auckland city. He is Chairman of the Telecom Foundation and member of Rugby World Cup 2011 and the Lotteries Commission for Rugby World Cup.
He is Chairman of BNZ West and still holds the position of Vice President of Mayors for Peace. He is the former Chairman of the NZ Peace Foundation, Chairman Health Sponsorship Council, Deputy Chairman of the NZ Film Commission and a member of the Board of Te Papa. He served 6 terms as Mayor of the city of Waitakere, retiring in November 2010 when the city was amalgamated. He was awarded, with six international Mayors, the United Nations Award for Peace in 1997 and the United Nations Life Time Achievement Award for the Environment in 2007. He is married to Barbara, a mid-wife and has 6 grown children.
“Get some help or we’ll call the Police.” This was the ultimatum Brian Gardner’s friends gave him the day after he assaulted his first wife. “Looking back, those friends calling me on my behaviour was one of the most loving, caring things anyone has ever done for me.” Seventeen years on, Brian is the former CE for Te Kupenga National Network Stopping Violence Services and was the Chair of the National White Ribbon Committee. Brian’s message to other men is: “Life can be better. Ask for help, it’s worth it.”
The White Ribbon Campaign welcomed Bruce Pilbrow, outgoing CEO of The Parenting Place and former Deputy Chief Families Commissioner, as a new White Ribbon Ambassador in 2010. Bruce is an avid White Ribbon supporter, championing the kaupapa at a variety of levels throughout New Zealand. His commitment to reducing family violence is a core part of his belief system and he is well respected and an excellent communicator and motivator.
Seeing too many families affected by violence has inspired Bruce’s desire to become a White Ribbon ambassador. “My work has shown me that too often violence pushes families over the edge. Anything that can be done to stop this from occurring I’m going to support wholeheartedly. Violence has no place in our society and I hope the campaign will help bring about a violence-free future for all of our families.”
Chris Sola is the Chairperson of The Dream Centre Trust and the Senior Pastor of The Dream Centre Church in Manukau. He founded both of these organisations in 2000 with the primary purpose of empowering people with a desire to dream. Described as a leader who demonstrates the values of the White Ribbon Campaign in his life, he is a man who is proactive and tirelessly working in his community. He takes a stand on things he believes in, and puts his heart into everything.
Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard has been a member of the New Zealand Police for the past twenty years, in Hastings. For the past 6 years, Darren has been the Hastings Family Violence Coordinator responsible for the area. As a dedicated father, partner and police officer he is an asset to all groups he participates in – from Te Rito collaborations to White Ribbon Rides.
He fully believes that everyone has the right to live their lives free from violence and abuse, and as Family Violence Coordinator and White Ribbon Ambassador can spread the White Ribbon message far and wide.
On the morning of 23 September 2009, David’s daughter Helen Meads was murdered by her husband Greg at the stables on their Matamata farm. It was the final chapter in years of control and abuse.
“I’m proud of my daughter Helen,” says David. “She was a wonderful person who was cut down in the prime of her life by a controlling and violent person. There is some justice in knowing that Helen’s killer is behind bars, but I need to do more than that. I need to make sense of the awful situation we found ourselves in, and do my part to ensure the violence against women is both understood and ended.” As part of his mission to change attitudes, david write the book, Helen, the Helen Meads Tragedy.
“This book is an attempt to shine the light on abusive relationships. As parents Pam and I didn’t recognise the warning signs, we didn’t know what to do, and tragically, neither did our daughter. If we had known to look on the Women’s Refuge site, Helen would have understood that the most dangerous time is when you are leaving an abusive relationship.”
David has a long history of advocating for the equality of women and men and has been running sessions about eliminating violence towards women over the past year with excellent results.
As a White Ribbon Ambassador David hopes to continue the work for eliminating violence towards women, advance the equality of women and men and create a greater social awareness for the opportunities and needs of the area.
Evans has a vast knowledge of family violence and feels passionately for making a difference to the community. He demonstrates strong leadership skills and strongly believes in what white ribbon represents. He is always leading by example and has no problem in challenging abusive behaviour. By standing up for what is right he encourages others within the community to do the same.
Evans is a Care and Protection Social Worker at CYFs, President of the Ashburton Conference of St Vincent de Paul and on the National Board. He co-coaches the mid Canterbury under 18s Greens team and is a mentor with the Ashburton Buddy/Mentor programme. He is also heavily involved with the Ashburton Families Without Violence network and is at the forefront of the Family without Violence awareness activities.
‘As a white ribbon ambassador I hope to raise the profile of the serious issue of domestic violence and hopefully as more people stand up against this issue we will have a violence free society. I have long held the view that the one place that anyone should feel safe is in the home and so believe the issue of domestic violence needs to be wiped out and I am willing to do everything I can to make sure this happens’.
George is the co-chair of the South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network. He works with many local iwi and organisations and is heavily involved in many community functions where he will promote the White Ribbon kaupapa. George was announced as an Ambassador alongside Hon Pita Sharples at a special Matariki ceremony on Mangere Mountain in June 2012. The names of 100 victims of domestic violence were read aloud in this special vigil attended by hundreds. Check out the photos here.
“We need to stand up to abuse against women. I am honoured to be part of this campaign and I thought about it, what it would be like if it was my family, my wife, my 2 year old son who was killed and tears well up inside me. If I can help stop this abuse and stop one more life being taken by being a White Ribbon Ambassador I’m happy” George said.
As well as captaining the Football Kingz in the Australian NSL, Harry has played 37 internationals for the All Whites, including matches at the 1999 Confederations Cup in Mexico. Harry is a board member of the NZPFA - New Zealand Professional Footballers Association. Part of his role involves facilitating the relationship between White Ribbon and NZ Football which has seen the Community Cup named the White Ribbon Cup. In 2011 White Ribbon became officially endorsed by the All Whites. In his role as a board member of the NZPFA, Harry communicates and actively promotes the White Ribbon messages.
Harry’s father, the late Dr. Paratene (Pat) Ngata, was an active campaigner for the cause. “For me it’s about legacy – not just from Dad’s work but also about the sort of role models sportsmen can be, and the sort of influence they can have when they stand up for up for what is right. You don’t have to experience violence to understand just how terrible the effects can be on women, and children.”
Having worked at Child, youth and Family for many years, Harjit has shown himself to be enthusiastic and willing to assist whenever asked, and spends his spare time volunteering. He has volunteered for the South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network, the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin and many more show his passion for community work and dedication to serve the community.
Seeing too many families affected by violence has inspired him to become a White Ribbon Ambassador, and Harjit feels that violence has no place in the Aotearoa community.
Iain is a respected member of the Kapiti Community and as a member of renowned Kiwi band Fat Freddy’s Drop, is a role model for young and old alike. Iain is actively involved in the Kapiti community and is described as a ‘mover and shaker’ who gets things done. He is someone with drive, tenacity and determination, and who supports the kaupapa of non-violence to women. Iain is a real asset to the Campaign, and we welcome his willingness to join the team as one of our Ambassadors.
Jeremy is a qualified counsellor with a Post Graduate Diploma of Counselling and a member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. He has been working in private practice for over 12 years.
Jeremy has also studied and practiced insight meditation since 1984, and has been teaching retreats throughout New Zealand since 1993. Through his work at Stopping Violence Services Wairarapa, Jeremy helps men to overcome their violent behaviours and attitudes, hence is directly living the kaupapa of the White Ribbon Campaign.
Jeremy has been a long-time supporter and promoter of the anti-violence / White Ribbon message. In his role as Editor of the Gisborne Herald, he has led his team to actively promote the kaupapa through numerous mediums over the past few years.
Under Jeremy’s leadership, the Gisborne Herald has taken bold stances, such as a completely black front page with a white ribbon, and publishing a full-page letter providing a victim’s whānau an opportunity to express their grief. He has provided a significant amount of advertising for free and involved the Herald in community events where he provided leadership and a voice for the White Ribbon message.
Jonnie is the Maori Programme Co-ordinator at the Peace Foundation and is actively involved in promoting peace issues affecting youth and the wider community. He has knowledge and skills in conflict resolution, peer mediation and peaceful communication to help families, schools and communities become safer environments.
Jonnie is of Nga Puhi descent and is currently studying at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiāranga, completing a Bachelor of Education to compliment his passion for education and teaching. Jonnie is a confident public speaker, and comes highly recommended as a White Ribbon Ambassador. Check out Jonnie in action here.
John Key is the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand, now in his second term of office as leader of the National Party. He was born in Auckland but moved to Christchurch when a child where he was educated at Burnside High School and then gained a B.Comm from the University of Canterbury. John is married to Bronagh and has 2 children.
John became a White Ribbon Ambassador in 2010. “Family violence wrecks far too many lives in New Zealand,” says Mr Key. “This government is committed to working with the police, community and family organisations, and campaigns like White Ribbon and It’s Not OK to encourage people to take action and help bring family violence down.”
Johny O’Donnell is a young entrepreneur and speaker with a passion for connecting generations to make a difference. At age 15 Johny led the establishment of the youth action movement Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), executing a number of large events and projects aimed to raise awareness and build leadership in young kiwis to prevent violence.
In June 2011 Johny launched his speaking career after presenting to the Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment in Dallas, Texas. Johny now shares his time between speaking on engaging Generation Y and working on an online start-up that he runs with his older brother Jamie.
Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Jonathan Young worked in Waitakere City for 20 years as a Minister where he led a multi-cultural community of people from many different ages, backgrounds and vocations. This work gave him a thorough understanding on the issues facing New Zealanders from all walks of life. Over the years Jonathan also worked in the fields of financial administration, software programming, property management, design and publishing journals and magazines.
He started his working life as a teacher and has a strong commitment towards the opportunities education creates for people. As part of his former work, Jonathan developed links in Cambodia and has contributed to the development of Cambodian communities through his own involvement and the sponsorship of New Zealanders working in that country.
Judge Peter Boshier is the chair of the White Ribbon Committee. For further information click here. He was appointed as the Principal Family Court Judge of the New Zealand Family Court in March 2004, after serving on the District Court Bench since 1988. Judge Boshier has worked extensively in the management of the Family Court and judicial system. In 1993, he completed a review of the Family Court, which resulted in a number of changes to Court processes. Judge Boshier has a particular interest in Pacific youth justice and child offenders. In 1999, he wrote the Child Offenders Manual, which gives practical guidance to intervention with child offenders. In 2002 he was seconded by the New Zealand Government to join the Pacific Judicial Education Programme based in Suva, and while there completed a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching. In April 2009 he was made a distinguished alumnus by the Victoria University of Wellington, for outstanding contribution to the law.
Julian is an active member of the Hutt Union Community Health Service, Chair of the Network for a Violence-Free Hutt Valley, and has a keen interest in the community and woks tirelessly within them. He actively promotes healthy and respectful relationships, which he believes are the answer to preventing family and social violence. He has been married for 25 years, and has experienced abuse as a male in previous relationships
Julian wants to become a White Ribbon Ambassador in order to publicly show his beliefs on violence, and to show that the cyclic pattern of violence needs to be broken
Kalum Jury-Field is a case manager at Work and Income in New Plymouth and also part of the police-led organisation known as Big Brothers, Big Sisters – where he is a brother to a young man for whom this role model support is invaluable. Kalum is also a Public Services Association (PSA) delegate, another role which he handles with diplomacy and confidence. Kalum wants to raise awareness of the violence affecting New Zealand and is passionate about his desire to make a difference.
Len is the first Mayor of the Auckland Council. Len grew up in Otara and Papatoetoe, and went to Mayfield Primary School in Otara, Papatoetoe Intermediate and De La Salle College in Mangere. He studied arts and law at Auckland University before joining the Auckland law firm Wynyard Wood, where he became a partner. He also co-founded the Howick Free Legal Service. Len is married to Shan Inglis. They have three children: Samantha, Olivia, and Victoria.
Len is an outspoken supporter of family violence initiatives and was welcomed as a White Ribbon Ambassador in November 2011. Len wants Auckland to be one of the safest cities in the world and said that it was the responsibility of all those who lived in it to make it so.
Maine Curtis is the principal of Waitohu School in Ōtaki. Working within his school and local Ōtaki – Kāpiti communities (former Board of Trustees chairperson of the Ōtaki Children’s Health Camp School and current chair of the Kāpiti Postvention Initiative) he aims to awhi endeavours that enable our vulnerable to be supported.
“My school has the explicit aim of ‘valuing and nurturing individuals to be themselves’. As a White Ribbon Ambassador, supporting the kaupapa of treasuring, standing up for and beside our mothers, partners, daughters, sisters, aunts, female colleagues and friends is exactly the message I try to live within my home and school life. Making this message explicit is something I’m proud to be part of.”
Manugrew up in the Bay of Plenty and lives in Kaiti with his wife Tarsh and two young children. He was a founding member of Tairawhiti Men against Violence and a key person in generating and mobilising community action in Tairawhiti following the murder of a number of women.
After leaving school I studied design for five years and completed a Bachelor of Design degree from Victoria University in Wellington. I worked in the design and advertising industry, lectured at university and eventually did secondary school teacher training through Christchurch College of Education. After a few years teaching students at risk of leaving mainstream schooling, I decided to put my time and energy into community organising and youth work where I helped establish a school for teenage parents and a childcare centre for their children, youth offending prevention services and alternative education programmes. Over the past ten years I have worked in international development on projects in Nepal, Fiji and the Philippines – and was a Board member of The Council for International Development (NZ) and worked as a short-term contractor for The World Bank in 2006.
Manu is now a local councillor. In addition to Manu’s Council responsibilities, he is a self-employed researcher and project manager.
I was honoured when I was asked to be a White Ribbon Ambassador. My daughter would have supported any opportunity for me to speak out against men’s violence and White Ribbon is an effective campaign that allows men to speak to other men. It’s been hard though, reliving the loss of a family member, but if I can stop just one act of violence then it’s worth it. The campaign has been nothing if not supportive, and I’m thoroughly impressed by how White Ribbon gets its messages out to the whole of New Zealand and particularly, the campaign team’s support and nurturing of community initiatives. Change begins with each and every one of us. If I can accept the challenge to end men’s violence towards women, I’m confident my neighbours, my community, our political representatives and ultimately the men of New Zealand can also take on this challenge and put an end to the appalling acceptance of violence in our country.
Martin Sloman is a counsellor working in Primary Mental Health and in private practice. Originally from Wales, Martin arrived in New Zealand from the UK in 2009. He has a wife and two children and lives on the Kapiti Coast.
In his career history Martin has been a senior IT Manager in the UK, before eventually changing career direction to work as a therapist. He has a particular interest in men’s mental health and together with Kapiti musician Ryan Edwards formed “Whirlwind” (www.whirlwindstories.com), which endeavours to encourage men to tell and share their stories about surviving the tough stuff, and not to rely on negative coping strategies which can often include abuse or violence. The postcards from the project contain stark quotes from famous and ordinary men and have been circulated NZ wide. They have a particular presence in “living without violence” organisations.
There is much synergy between Whirlwind’s story and the role of a White Ribbon Ambassador. Martin regards it as an honour to be in this role, that it brings together his professional ethos as a therapist, his desire to be a support for men and their whanau and his own personal experience as father, husband, friend and as a man.
Mervin Singham has provided leadership in various ethnic communities in Aotearoa for many years. He is the director for the Office of Ethnic Affairs and has worked at the Human Rights Commission. These areas of work have raised his own awareness of the impact of discrimination, abuse and violence, and made him committed to the cause of ending violence.
In becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, Mervin will use his personal values and experiences to support the campaign and encourage others to take the pledge
I am honoured to take up this appointment as a White Ribbon Ambassador. I hope that together we can increase the number of whänau, men, women, iwi and communities who feel supported and encouraged to stand up and voice their intolerance of violence against women and children.
Family violence fundamentally affects our whole society. It is the responsibility of all New Zealanders to front up and take action against family violence and this is why I have chosen to add my voice.
As a society, we have to move forward from being aware of the violence, to take more action. To hold people to account and provide the help that they need. Only then will we start to create a violence free future for nga whänau. This is what I hope together we can achieve
Murray became the head of the Ministry for Social Developments’ Family and Community Services in January 2012. Prior to this position, Murray was the Chief Executive of Barnardos New Zealand for over 8 years , and in this role worked with and on behalf of many thousands of children, young people and their families. Murray also has had a long history of voluntary work. He has a commerce degree from Victoria University and is a Chartered Accountant. Murray is one of the original White Ribbon Ambassadors, taking up the position in 2009. He continues to support the campaign and is a vocal advocate for ending violence towards women.
Neil Alton was recently appointed to the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Operation Manager role. Prior to this Neil was the Chief Executive Officer of the Poverty Bay Rugby Union and actively brought the Union into the It’s Not OK family. “We thought we could make a positive difference on a local level to raise awareness of family violence. There is no doubt that family violence is a serious issue and with the help of some local role models we want to get the message out to young people and the whanau that family violence is unacceptable and help is available”.
Pancha has played a strong role in the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils in looking at the role of women within the Federation, and in consistently raising the issue of family violence in all its forms within the Council and within the more recent migrant and refugee communities across the country.
Pancha wants to contribute to turning men around in the migrant and refugee communities to not only respect women as equals, but also to see the success of women as their own. Pancha has earned the respect of many women within the ethnic community for raising his concerns, and challenging men to own up and address issues in a fair,inclusive, just and caring manner. Welcome aboard Pancha!
Pete Hodkinson has been the elected President of the NZ Union of Student’s Associations since January 2012. He was previously a student at Unitec in Auckland where he served as student president for two years. An accomplished public speaker, his personal interests combine music and training as a Crossfit athlete. Pete has been actively involved in supporting the work of the Pacific Students Association and Commonwealth Students Association. He represented New Zealand at the Global Student Leadership Summit held in London in September 2012.
Peter Tennent is a former Mayor of New Plymouth and a very good role model who worked closely with the Taranaki Safer Families Trust and Taranaki Community Law Centre. Peter has always been willing to participate and acted as once of the faces for a local family violence project. Passionate about his local community, he feels privileged to have led the district during its most successful decade where Taranaki was judged the best and most liveable community on the planet! (United Nations endorsed Liv.Com Awards)
Phil Kingsley Jones has spent decades guiding the futures of some of rugby’s most sensational, and toughest players, the most well known being national hero Jonah Lomu. Phil is a man’s man welcomed in the rugby fraternity from clubrooms to boardrooms. So when he calls for male fans to watch their behaviour around women, he has the mana to make that message heard. His plea, as one of the Campaigns newest Ambassadors is to red-card domestic violence. “This game of ours is a physical, aggressive game…but that is on the field. It’s very sad that domestic violence becomes such an issue during sports events. No game, rugby or otherwise, should ever be used as an excuse to hurt those most dear.”
Hon Dr Pita Sharples co-leader of the Maori Party and Minister of Maori Affairs was announced as a White Ribbon Ambassador on 21 June 2012 at a special Matariki Candlelight Vigil on Mangere Mountain. Dr Sharples opened the vigil with an acknowledgement to the more than 100 men, women and children who have died over a five year period through domestic violence or child abuse.
Dr Sharples has co-chaired the Waitakere Task Force on Family Violence for many years, initially with former mayor Bob Harvey, also a White Ribbon Ambassador. “I’m honoured to have been nominated as a White Ribbon ambassador. I have worn a White Ribbon for many years as a symbol of non-violence, and now to be asked to take a leadership role is very humbling. I believe that our tamariki are our future and they deserve to grow up in homes that are violence-free and I want to encourage young men to build relationships based on love and respect,” Dr Sharples says.
Raj has a Masters in Sociology and LLB and migrated to New Zealand in 2002. His professional journey in New Zealand includes fulfilling roles as a South Asian Life Style Coordinator-ProCare, Community Centre Manager YMCA Auckland and Programme Advisor Migrant/Adult Educator Ora Limited NZ. Currently he is a qualified interpreter with CMDHB, ADHB and DOL.
Raj believes that an effective way to change attitudes of men towards women is by educating and raising awareness through legal, cultural, spiritual and religious settings. He is well known for his commitment to raising awareness among the community on various issues when needed. He very much reckons his family’s support in his endeavours towards having an educated and aware community development.
As an Ambassador, Raj intends to continue promoting interest at speaking engagements, community events, and motivating others to challenge the abusive behavior of men in the families.
Ratilal Champaneri is a highly respected member of New Zealand’s Indian Community. As a husband and father of a girl and two boys, Ratilal is aware he is a role model, not only for his children, but also for the wider community. While interacting with him, one cannot help but notice the immense respect and sensitivity he has for women.
Ratilal understands that changing people’s attitudes and mentality towards women will take a long time. In becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, Ratilal hopes to raise awareness of the issue of violence toward women, educating boys and men to view women as valuable partners in life. He believes attitudinal change is equally as important as taking legal steps to protect women’s human rights, and vital to the development of society and attainment of peace. He believes in a concentrated collaborative approach between government, non-government including healthcare authorities, legislators and mass media. We welcome Ratilal’s passion and desire to make a difference.
Rawiri has previously worked for the Kokiri Marae Health and Social Services where he was a passionate colleague, but is now following a boyhood dream and entering the army to be a social worker.
By becoming an ambassador, Rawiri wants to be the face of the message for Maori men against violence, and be an active participant against violence.
Ray has just been re-elected as Mayor of Hutt City, and is a patron for the Network for a Violence Free Hutt Valley. Within the council environment, Ray stresses an open door policy where anyone with family violence issues can ask for support. A strong sense of community mindedness has also seen Ray involved with numerous community projects such as fundraising for the local volunteer fire brigade, organising food bank appeals and coordinating youth awards. He has been a Justice of the Peace for sixteen years.
In becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, Ray wants to help lift the awareness of family violence and stress that it is not okay.
Ravin is Vice President of the Multicultural Council of Wellington and has been working closely with the White Ribbon Campaign to raise the issue of men’s violence towards women within his own community. Ravin will be promoting and campaigning to highlight the White Ribbon message on events organised by the Multicultural Council of Wellington.
Ravin has good leadership capabilities, is a reflective listener who carefully considers viewpoints. He encourages others, is always positive and is highly regarded in the community.
Ravin has embraced the White Ribbon campaign and has persuaded his Wellington branch members to become involved and organise events during the year’s campaign.
Ric is the Chair of the White Campaign Trust and Chief Executive Officer of the RNZSPCA, The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a voluntary organisation which, through 47 SPCA Centres across the country, provides help to animals and owners. A programme called ‘One of the Family’ was launched in 2007 and is run in schools nationwide. The program, spearheaded by Norm Hewitt is aimed at intermediate-school-aged children, and raises awareness of the link between animal cruelty and human violence.
Research has shown that family violence often starts with, and involves, animals, and that most animal abusers are adolescent or young males. Research also suggests that families are losing – or have lost – the values of nurturing and respect, with many children not being taught to care for others. We believe that teaching children to empathise with animals is an effective way to teach children to empathise with each other.
Ric has a strong commitment to the community and has been an active member of ComVoices for several years. ComVoices is an independent network of Tangata Whenua and leading community and voluntary organisations set up to promote and make visible the positive contribution of the Sector to communities. Ric has previously been the CEO of YMCA New Zealand.
He is married to Jenny and has three children. Also a motorcycle enthusiast, Ric has taken part in the last three White Ribbon Rides on his big blue Honda Goldwing.
Richard Clarke, Skycity NZ Breakers General Manager says, “It’s a great honour to be asked to be a White Ribbon Ambassador. We are being asked to lead by example; to ensure that our family and friends know that violence is never acceptable, and to use our public profiles to get this message into the wider community.
“It’s a message that we are proud to support at the Breakers, and we hope that our fans take this message away with them. I’d like to think that we can use the profile of our club and players to make a difference. We want to encourage all New Zealanders to stand up and say no to violence against women and children.”
Robert Mackay is a young leader advocate for those with disabilities as well as a long time peace campaigner who has worked with many non-governmental organisations including Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, World Vision New Zealand, Red Cross New Zealand and the Peace Foundation since the age of 14.
He is currently the National Vice President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand and an International Ambassador of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.
He is a strong believer in the philosophy of Ahimsa (the belief in and practice of nonviolence) and is deeply influenced by teachings of nonviolence by many well-known international peacemakers. Robert believes “it is vital for humanity to live in peace, respect, dignity, compassion and harmony with each other to counteract an increasingly polarising, disconnected and violent world”.
Ross is a dedicated, strong and loyal member of the Hutt Valley Community and has been for many years. Ross is well known for his commitment to making the area a ‘safer and more caring’ community, and his nature of wanting the very best for his community is only one of his great traits.
Ross is a receiver of the Paul Harris fellowship for Rotary and has been a Stokes Valley Police Volunteer for many years. He was recently the recipient of a Civic Award in Hutt City for his contribution to making our communities “safer, and more caring” places to live, work and play. As an Ambassador, Ross intends to continue promoting interest at speaking engagements, raising funding, and overall encouraging others to challenge the behaviour of abusive men. Great to count you as one of our Ambassadors Ross!
League legend Ruben Wiki is a passionate supporter of efforts to end domestic violence in New Zealand. “I grew up in a house where my mother was beaten by her partner (not my father) and I know how scary that can be. I want to do what I can to help make sure this doesn’t happen to other mothers and children.”
As a husband, and father of two, Ruben says he is always aware that he is a role model for his children. “As men, what we can do to help, is to speak up when men say or do things that we wouldn’t want our sisters, wives or children to experience. We need to say it’s not OK. If we come across violence in our families or our friends’ families, we need to be able to help them to get help. Let’s make it our problem as well and not just ignore it.” he said. “It takes teamwork to raise a family and it’ll take teamwork to create a more peaceful, respectful society for our children to grow up in.”
Dr Russell Wills is New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner beginning his five-year term in 2011. Dr Wills trained at the University of Otago Medical School in Dunedin and Christchurch and began his paediatric training in the United Kingdom. He completed his training, and gained a Master of Public Health degree, in Brisbane. In New Zealand he took up the roles of national paediatrician for Plunket, senior lecturer at the Wellington School of Medicine and community paediatrician at Wellington Hospital. Returning to his home region of Hawke’s Bay, he became a general and community paediatrician at Hawke’s Bay hospital. Dr Wills’ clinical interests are in general paediatrics, child protection and children with severe behaviour disturbance. He sees many children with autism, ADHD, foetal alcohol effects and the behavioural and developmental effects of abuse and neglect.
“I hope that my example inspires more men to commit to never being violent towards their partners and children, and to speak up when they see violence against women and children.” The Commissioner lives in Hastings with his wife and two sons. He will remain a paediatrician in Hastings half-time and Commissioner half-time.
Shane Whitfield is a Manager of Community Social Services in Christchurch. In his current role he works with families and solo mums who have been subjected to violence from ex partners. He is a great listener who relates well to both men and women, talks about the hard stuff and is gentle when he does so. Shane is an honest family man, a great communicator and someone who “walks the talk” in the trying environment that Christchurch currently finds itself.
Australian Idol Winner Stan Walker became a White Ribbon Ambassador in November 2010. Stan is ideally placed to use his public profile to champion a violence-free lifestyle to other men. Stan explains, “I was blessed with a voice and not just a singing voice. I have a unique opportunity to talk to other young men and tell them that violence against women is not OK. As a child I witnessed and experienced some terrible things,” Stan says. “My house felt like a scene out of ‘Once Were Warriors’.
“Family violence destroys a family from within and set me on a chaotic and destructive path. If there is violence in your home, talk to someone. You don’t have to face it alone. There’s a helpline in New Zealand and it’s free. The same goes for people who witness family violence”, says Stan. “Staying silent is not the answer and you can’t help your friends and family by keeping quiet.”
Steffan is became a Green Party member since 1992, and became a Member of Parliament in 2011. He is focused on a cleaner planet, through the organic and GE free movement, and fully supports the White Ribbon Campaign. He lives in Marlborough and will be a high profile ambassador for the area.
Steffan wishes to extend the awareness of of the White Ribbon campaign, be an example and look at how he can lead and educate boys and young men against violence towards women.
Takurua Tawera is a humble, spiritual man of integrity who exemplifies consistent behaviour in both his work and personal life. He knows the challenges and opportunities in working to address men’s violence, as he has both the past experience and current knowledge through his work engagements. He is actively involved in his community and has a history of being involved in the White Ribbon Campaign. This year Takurua will again be co-leading the White Ribbon Ride under Te Ahi Kikoha – “The Sharpened Flame”. This entity born in 2011 brings a wealth of Maori knowledge and expertise combining both personal strengths and the group’s passion to end violence with their love of bikes.
Tau Huirama is CEO Strategic Relationships at Jigsaw. He plays a leading role in the development of national strategies for the prevention of child abuse and family violence across Aotearoa New Zealand. Tau is from Tainui waka and of Waikato and Ngati Maniopoto descent. He is a loving father and grandfather, with four adult children and three grandchildren, and also Koro to very many grand nieces and nephews. His desire is for all children to be nurtured and encouraged to achieve their dreams.
Tau has worked in child protection and family violence prevention for the past 20 years in the community and justice sectors. His past roles have included counselling and group work for sexually abused children, and group facilitation for men who have been violent towards their partners and children.
“At Jigsaw we hope that men will stand for hope and safety of their partners and children, and show their support by proudly wearing a white ribbon” Tau says. “We want men to not only challenge each other, but support each other to change any attitudes and behaviours that condone or support any violence towards women and children.”
Te Ururoa Flavell belongs to the Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Ngāpuhi tribal nations. He lives with his wife, Erana, in Ngongotaha, Rotorua and has five children.
Previous to being an MP, Te Ururoa has worked in education circles for most of his life. He has filled leadership positions at all levels of the education sector in teaching, Governance and Management, and has been a teacher, principal, CEO of Whare Wānanga, and an education consultant. He has also been involved in education programmes about Te Tiriti o Waitangi over many years and deeply involved in the settlements process on behalf of his own iwi and Te Arawa whānui. He is a long standing supporter of the Māori civil rights movement and is passionate about the need to end violence.
As co-founder of the Tairawhiti Men Against Violence group, co-ordinator of the Tauawhi Men’s Centre and Chair of the Tairawhiti Abuse Intervention Network, Tim’s paid and unpaid work overlap and the product is someone who really “walks the talk” every single day.
“To me the White Ribbon pledge and wearing the ribbon represents a way of being that is year round and a “life-time” rather than “one- time” commitment to being violence free. It is a call to men, which comes with a challenge to make a stand about this issue and to encourage other men to do the same. We all have our own journeys and will therefore have our own way of demonstrating this – the key is starting with ourselves and the recognition that if I’m safe, I can promote safety to others”.
Tim’s determination to effect positive social change was spurred on by the loss of a friend to a family violence tragedy. He takes every opportunity to role model respectful relationships and is a great father and family man. In his work life Tim is very well respected by his many colleagues and friends.
Tim has been the champion of White Ribbon Events and events to promote non violence and the kaupapa of White Ribbon. He has been involved in one way or another in every local White Ribbon event since 2006 including the National White Ribbon Men’s Hui held in TikiTiki in October 2012.
“There are still many things I hope to achieve in terms of closing the gaps in terms of support for men to address their violence and enhance the protection of women and children in our communities. It is humbling to be acknowledged in this way and I hope that I can continue to repay the faith and support that my colleagues have shown to nominate me”
Tony had a 39 year career with the New Zealand Public Service, with 34 years at Inland Revenue and 5 years as Chief Information Officer at Land Information New Zealand. He semi-retired in 2009 to help look after the 4 acre property and to do work part time for the International Monetary Fund. That role sees Tony working part time helping emerging countries with their Information Technology requirements, and has taken Tony to such diverse countries as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Moldova and Kiribati to name a few.
In 2010 Tony was elected to the Kapiti Coast District Council as a Ward Councillor for Paraparaumu Ward where he is currently the Deputy Chair of the Corporate Finance Committee. In addition to his Council duties, Tony has recently been appointed a Trustee on the Otaki Clean Tecnology Trust and as a committe member to the Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce. Tony lives with his wife Marj on the Kapiti Coast. They have two children and four grandchildren. Tony’s personal interests are family, gardening, golf and supporting any team wearing the Silver Fern of New Zealand. Welcome aboard Tony!
Trevor Simpson works in health promotion and was nominated by The Health Promotion Forum at the suggestion of Tau Huirama, another White Ribbon Ambassador who sits on their board. Trevor is highly regarded in his community as a leader and moves easily across groups of people in many cultures, while proudly wearing the White Ribbon as a mark of his support for the White Ribbon kaupapa.
Umar Kuddus is a student currently attending the University of Auckland in his final year of his Bachelor of Commerce.
He is a member of the National Party and his passion to make a difference regarding domestic violence along with his many other qualities has gained him a great deal of respect in the community of Manurewa. He is a member of the Counties Manukau Police Youth Advisory Board which has allowed him to connect on a deeper level with our communities, specifically to make them a safer and happier place to call home. Working with youth he has developed a broad perspective on how family situations, such as domestic violence affect children. This ensured Umar is actively concerned with what can be done to mend familial relationships within our communities. In 2015, Umar will be attending The Auckland University of Technology to study for a Bachelor of Laws and is looking forward to representing White Ribbon at AUT.