Ripēne Mā (White Ribbon) Reserve opens
November 3, 2014
A Community reserve in Christchurch has been named Ripēne Mā Reserve (White Ribbon in Maori) to honour those who lost their lives to violence. This site has been blessed, and a ceremony held for close family members, and now there is an opportunity for the Christchurch community to participate in the official opening of the reserve on Friday, 27 November at 7pm as part of White Ribbon month.
The park’s new name honours the memory of Rebecca Chamberlain and Tisha Lowry who were both murdered. The council has worked closely with the families and the community to develop plans for the reserve which include the design of butterflies, which is pūrerehua in Māori, one of the names of the victims.
It was named Ripene Ma so that “we could use it as a commemorative memorial site, that we could remember each year during the week of White Ribbon” says Rachael Fonotia, Manager of ACTIS (Aranui Community Trust Incorporated Society).
The Aranui Community Trust has been promoter of White Ribbon for sixteen years. “We are always looking to promote White Ribbon and ways for people to seek help” Fonotia says. “We seek to acknowledge violence with the aim of preventing it.”
The community opening is a chance for families and communities to come together, Fonotia says. It’s an event “to reflect on what the outcomes of domestic violence might be, and how you might contribute some of your experiences.”
“It’s a site for everybody, for whatever reasons for them, personal reasons; it’s a site for anybody to reflect,” Fonotia says.
The Christchurch Council invite you to attend the opening and show your support against violence towards women, after which there will be a sausage sizzle at the Aranui Community Trust and an opportunity to start new conversations on how to end the violence in our communities.
For more information contact:
Rachael Fonotia – Manager of the Aranui Community Trust.
03 963 7070 or 021 216 7177