Auckland Mayor Len Brown Launches White Ribbon Campaign

Len Brown signs the White Ribbon Pledge

The White Ribbon Campaign to end men’s violence against women was today launched by Auckland Mayor and White Ribbon Ambassador Len Brown.

‘I’m proud to launch the 2012 White Ribbon Campaign’ says the Mayor. ‘Violence against women is unacceptable, and as a man I want to play my part in ending this violence.’

The 2012 White Ribbon Campaign was launched today with Mayors throughout New Zealand putting their signatures on a pledge to never commit or condone or remain silent about violence towards women. The signatures will be displayed on 25 November on the international White Ribbon Day.

‘On average, more than one woman dies and over 290 men are convicted for assaults on women every month. Those women are our mothers, daughters, sisters, female workmates and colleagues,’ says Len Brown. ‘As men, we must take responsibility to end this violence, and that is why I and many other community leaders are putting our names on the White Ribbon pledge.’

The White Ribbon Pledge is one of a number of initiatives organised by the Families Commission-led White Ribbon Campaign. The pledge brings together leaders from throughout the country in a united show of support to end violence against women. As support grows for a violence-free future, the White Ribbon Campaign hopes to encourage men to take a stand and show they’re man enough to end violence.

‘We want this campaign to talk to people that are outside the tent,’ says Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson. ‘There are many passionate people throughout the country working to reduce violence, but we need to connect with the many good men that simply don’t believe this problem affects them.’

‘While there’s no violence in my family, I could easily say this issue doesn’t affect me. But I have two daughters, and one day, I might have grandchildren. I don’t need any other reason to make ending violence against women my responsibility. And that goes for nearly every man I know. We all have women in our lives, and to shrug our shoulders and say this violence only affects others is a cop out.’

‘By standing up and not remaining passive bystanders, we can influence our friends, our mates and work colleagues. Are we man enough to stop violence towards women – I’d like to think so,’ says Mr Davidson.

Office of the Mayor:
Glyn JonesChief Press Secretary
White Ribbon Media Contact:
Rob McCannFamilies Commission White Ribbon Campaign Manager
04 917 7045 or 029 917 7045


White Ribbon is an international campaign that asks men to show they won’t tolerate, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. It originated as a men’s movement in Canada and is now part of the United Nations annual calendar.  The Families Commission took a leadership role in New Zealand in 2006 and the campaign now focuses on the whole of November, culminating on 25 November – White Ribbon Day.

White Ribbon is a campaign to change attitudes and behaviours around men’s violence towards women. This is led by men, for men. This isn’t about finger pointing and blame. It is about recognising that there is a serious problem, accepting the fact that abuse could be happening around each and every one of us, and that it’s critical to step from the side-line and take action. White Ribbon promotes a violence-free culture change in New Zealand and in order to facilitate this, organises nationally-led projects to support local initiatives.

KEY Statistics

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Only 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
Key Messages

  • Violence towards women is unacceptable
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem



  • Check that your actions and those of your mates are OK – be man enough to make a call on inappropriate behaviour.
  • Make sure the women you know are OK – if not, start a conversation with them, with their partners, or with someone who can help.
  • For advice call the helplines 0800 456 450 or 0800 733 843 or visit
  • Wear a white ribbon every day, join a White Ribbon project or activity – show your support.


This year the campaign will include messages on non-physical violence, an area that is little understood, and very commonly experienced by women. Many women say it is the worst kind of abuse, and often underestimated. It is about manipulation, intimidation and coercion – using fear to get what you want. It’s often not recognised because it can be subtle and hidden. Survivors say psychological abuse attacks their spirit and self-esteem, and its effects can last the longest. Key Messages here.


White Ribbon Ambassadors

There are now 49 Ambassadors who are men from all walks of life that are willing to stand up and support the campaign. Ambassadors include: sports stars Ruben Wiki and Harry Ngata; politicians Prime Minister John Key and Hon Pita Sharples; community leaders Auckland Mayor Len Brown and former Mayor Bob Harvey; sector leaders Tau Huirama and Brian Gardner, Judges Peter Boshier and Ajit Singh; entertainers Stan Walker and Billy TK Jnr and many more. See the full list here.

White Ribbon Ride

The White Ribbon Ride is an exciting initiative to promote a violence-free culture change. The week-long motorcycle tour takes place every November with a lead group of riders steering three convoys through 80 towns in the North and South Islands, picking up support riders in every region. Events are organised in every town, from school and prison visits, marches and breakfasts, to fashion parades, quiz nights and Dads and Lads days. Download the itinerary here.

White Ribbon Online

White Ribbon has an active Facebook presence with multiple posts each day designed to provoke discussion, raise awareness and share success stories. With a viral reach that can exceed a quarter of a million people, this is a unique medium to join the conversation about ending men’s violence towards women Visit our Facebook page.

Resource distribution & online Shop

Over 600,000 free resource items are distributed annually to assist communities with local promotion of the White Ribbon kaupapa. In September 2012, the campaign launched a new online shop where supporters can purchase branded merchandise to help support the campaigns three-year plan to become self-funding. Resources and Shop.


The White Ribbon Committee, made up of government departments and NGOs, provides strategic advice to the Campaign, and increasingly, prominent organisations such as NZ Football are promoting White Ribbon as their cause of choice. The campaign is funded and led by the Families Commission with support from Ministry of Social Development and Te Puni Kōkiri. Further information can be found here.

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White Ribbon is a community led campaign to end men's violence towards women

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