Hon Pita Sharples – New White Ribbon Ambassador
June 21, 2012
‘The White Ribbon Campaign welcomes Hon Pita Sharples as a new White Ribbon Ambassador in the fight to end violence against women’, says Families Commission Campaign Manager Rob McCann.
The White Ribbon Day campaign raises awareness of men’s violence against women – which in New Zealand is generally directed at wives, girlfriends and other intimate partners. White Ribbon Ambassadors encourage men to get involved by helping to challenge and change men’s abusive behaviour and attitudes towards women.
‘Matariki is a special event in New Zealand’s calendar, celebrating the traditional Maori New Year,’ says Mr McCann. ‘It’s an important time for family to gather and reflect on the past and the future – a future the White Ribbon Campaign would like to be violence-free.
White Ribbon Ambassadors are chosen for their passion and commitment to ending violence towards women. There are now 43 ambassadors who use their public profile to champion a violence-free lifestyle to other men. Dr Sharples has Co-chaired the Waitakere Task Force on Family Violence for many years, initially with former mayor Bob Harvey.
‘I’m honoured to have been nominated as a White Ribbon Ambassador,’ says Dr Sharples. ‘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’ says Dr Sharples.
Minister Sharples will be formally honoured as a White Ribbon Ambassador at the Matariki Event in South Auckland organised by the South Auckland Family Violence Protection Network. There are now 42 White Ribbon Ambassadors including Ruben Wiki, Stan Walker, Len Brown, David White and the Prime Minister.