School Visits from White Ribbon Riders

Since 2009 the White Ribbon Ride has visited communities throughout New Zealand to spread the message that violence against women is unacceptable. The riders look tough and their motorbikes draw in a crowd, but it is their message that has the greatest impact. The Ride traditionally takes place in November to coincide with White Ribbon Day and associated events. The one downside to that timing is that senior students have usually already left school at that time, and as a result miss the opportunity to hear from the Riders. In response to this issue the Hauraki Ride is looking at moving their Ride to March 2020 to trial and see if alternating the time of the rides is effective in engaging more youth.

Another way to facilitate Riders connecting with senior students is the opportunity to have a group of Riders visit your school during the year to present on these issues. We have a number of enthusiastic Riders who are keen to connect with local schools during the year and develop a more meaningful and long-lasting relationship with the students and school. The fact that some of the Riders have experience as victims and former perpetrators of domestic violence gives them and their message more credibility with students.

In October last year experienced White Ribbon Rider Rick Hepi organized a visit to an alternative education provider Te Ata Kura, which is managed by Neville Heihei. The group of five Riders who attended did some ice-breakers and games to build rapport with the students, then broke into groups to work as teams to engage in problem-solving. They finished with a push up competition between Riders, teachers, and students. The Riders were at the Kura for 2-3 hours and really enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time getting to know the students. Both the Riders and the school are very keen to repeat the experience.

In a letter about the visit Neville Heihei commented: “The White Ribbon riders visit to the school was a great success for our students. They were able to openly disclose personal information about their upbringing regarding violence and what they have learnt from that. The opportunity for students to be able to articulate their feelings and emotions in a safe space with the riders, class mates and staff was amazing. It seemed that everyone came away with a learning for the day. This speaks of the power of the White Ribbon kaupapa.”

We have also recently developed a powerpoint presentation that Riders will be able to give in schools if you would prefer a more formal presentation to a large group rather than the interactive engagement that was possible with the relatively small number of students at Te Ata Kura. There are plenty of options available and we are keen to work with you to create a meaningful opportunity for students to engage with the Riders, who are all volunteers and relate extremely well to young people. Their honesty about their own experiences creates a real connection with the people they encounter.

If you think a visit from some of our Riders would be of value to your students please contact us at and we will help connect you to Riders in your region.

If you are keen to join the 2019 Ride in the South Island or Lower North Island please download your registration of interest form here.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: