Win morning tea for your team!

We know that 2020 has been extremely challenging for everyone and we just wanted to say thank you to all those community groups, businesses, government departments and individuals who have found ways to spread the kaupapa this year.

With the absence of the full White Ribbon Ride, there has been a shift in focus. There are still some big events planned, but there has been an increase in smaller events. We have also seen a growth in competitions, which are a really fun way to get people involved without having to attend large public gatherings. We know of a t-shirt design competition for youth in the Wairarapa, and a high school art competition, which led to the creation of some beautiful artworks incorporating the White Ribbon.

We want to hold a competition of our own to thank all our amazing supporters. To enter, organise an opportunity for your team to get together and discuss the #outdated stereotypes, list your event on our website, take a photo of the event or your White Ribbon display, and send it through to us at to go in the draw to win morning tea for your team from White Ribbon. For ideas of events you could organise, and information on this year’s campaign please download “What your organisation can do to support White Ribbon in 2020” here. You can order White Ribbon resources from our online store, posters and flyers are free.

Entry details:

  1. Organise an opportunity for your team to get together to discuss the #Outdated stereotypes. (This can be any kind of event you choose. If you would like a White Ribbon Ambassador to come and speak please get in touch and we will help to organise that.)
  2. List it on our Events page ( just add Private to events that are not open to the public)
  3. Send through photos of your event or your White Ribbon display to (Please write Competition – North Island or Competition – South Island in the subject line)

Terms and Conditions:

There will be one North Island and one South Island winner. Morning tea will be provided for up to 20 people. There will be a large cake for the runner up in the North Island and the South Island. Entries close on 10 December (the end of the 16 days of action against gender-based violence). The competition will be judged by the campaign team and announced on 14 December. The judges decision is final.

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No Beer for a Year Fundraiser

White Ribbon is thrilled to be one of three beneficiaries of an innovative fundraising campaign by Ben Karl that seeks to raise awareness of New Zealand’s binge drinking culture.

Born and raised in Rotorua and now studying engineering science at University in Auckland, sports fan Ben found himself reflecting on the heavy drinking he was doing each weekend and decided it was time to stop and highlight the issue of New Zealand’s drinking culture and the impact it is having on individuals, families and communities. Ben noted: “After waking up one morning, hungover, I found myself reflecting on the past couple of years of my life. Since when did buying two boxes each weekend become routine? Why is this kind of behaviour considered so normal in New Zealand? Why is it that minimal concern has been expressed for my mental and physical health? At that moment, I knew something had to be done to spread awareness around this issue.”

Ben loves to help others and decided that it was time to tick a fundraiser off his personal bucket list. He chose to support the Salvation Army because of the drug and alcohol support they offer and their broader community support in these challenging times. Both White Ribbon and the Gumboot Friday charity were chosen as Ben believes domestic violence and depression are closely related to alcohol abuse. A lot of his close friends and family have been victims of domestic violence and have had mental health problems too, so the ambitions of both charities are something that he is really passionate about.

Ben’s goal is to raise awareness around this issue. He wants New Zealanders to confront the issue of alcohol abuse in our society and reflect on our own alcohol use. Ben asks: “Is it healthy? Are you affecting yourself or others as a result of it? Maybe take a weekend off the booze to enjoy the more beautiful things in life and chuck your booze money in the givealittle if you want to, it is for a good cause.” We certainly concur!

We are really grateful to Ben for his support of White Ribbon’s kaupapa and for the much-needed funds that will help us to continue to work to prevent violence. If you have an idea for a fundraiser, please get in touch ( we would love to see how we can help.

Spreading the kaupapa in the Wairarapa – White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Shepherd and his family

Our Ambassadors are at the core of our efforts to prevent violence against women. Today we’d like to introduce one of our hardworking team Mark Shepherd, who lives in the Wairarapa and has made sharing the White Ribbon kaupapa part of his everyday life.

Mark became an Ambassador after he and his wife Tracey became had been involved with the White Ribbon Ride. They both found speaking at schools and with other groups and hearing others experiences really rewarding. We are so grateful to Mark for the huge amount he does in the community. Since he became an Ambassador in 2018, Mark has been a mentor for local Youth Ambassadors and has also taken on the leadership of his local Ambassador cluster.

One of the many reasons Mark connects so well with people who are struggling is that he can relate. Mark’s father died when he was 15 years old and soon after he left home. At age 17, he became a father himself. He drank heavily and was sometimes violent, though not towards women, and has since learnt that frustrations and a lack of confidence played a huge part in those years where he felt he had no other options. Realising he would lose all contact with his then two sons if he didn’t change, led Mark to move away from the alcohol scene when he was 25.

In the intervening years Mark met Tracey, who he describes as “an amazing lady who has, over the last 32 years, helped me see that making bad decisions does not necessarily make you a bad person and that with the right guidance and support you can get your life back on track.” Mark clearly sets a fantastic example in the community and for his own family of three sons and five grandchildren.

Mark’s middle son Jamie is a keen motor sport enthusiast and has also recently shown his commitment to the kaupapa by adding the White Ribbon logo to his Burnout car. He works with Mark in their family-owned Property Maintenance business. Both put family first and make it a priority to take time out to enjoy school sports days to support Jamie’s kids.

One of the main issues Mark is concerned about is the tendency to lock perpetrators away without addressing the issues that led to them becoming violent. It is not about excusing the behavior but if we don’t want the cycle to continue we need to intervene and support perpetrators to change.

While COVID-19 has hampered local plans for a White Ribbon Community Day this year, Mark, Tracey and other local Riders will be visiting the Masterton Boxing Academy in October to share their experiences next month. Mark has some fantastic advice to share: “we as NZ males need to drop the Macho image and ‘ASK FOR HELP’ when we need to. Showing emotion does not make us weak, it makes us human.”

If you know someone who would make a great Ambassador or if you’re keen to take on the role yourself, please contact us ( to find out more. Ambassador nomination forms can be downloaded from our Ambassador page.

Annual Family Violence Intervention Study Day 2020 – Wednesday 28 October

For those of you based in Auckland, Kathy Lowe at Auckland DHB has kindly shared the information below about their upcoming Annual Family Violence Intervention Study Day. They have some fantastic speakers and are covering topics we know will be of interest to many of you. If you would like to know more please contact the Family Violence Intervention team using the details below.

Annual Family Violence Intervention Study Day 2020

Wednesday 28th October 2020

0845 to 1615hrs

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences,

Lecture Theatre 505.007

(Across the road from Auckland City Hospital)


TIME Topic Speaker Details
0845 – 0900 Introductions
0900 – 0945 FVDRC 6th Report Pauline Gulliver Findings and recommendations of the FVDR 6th Report on men who use violence.
0945 – 1045 Personal narrative Rata Korewha My journey to becoming non-violent
1045 – 1115  Morning Tea                                                                                                                    
1115 – 1215 Gandhi Nivas Ranjna Patel Where can men go when they are removed from the home?
1215 -1300 Men’s groups Kara Dee Morden Four theoretical frameworks used in men’s groups.
1300 – 1345 LUNCH
1345 – 1445 Family violence perpetrators.  Existing evidence and new directions Dr Bronwyn Morrison Exploring people’s pathways to violence, initial treatment experiences, lifetime treatment dose, and what was/was not useful about treatment.
1445 – 1530 Mental health slot Dr David Codyre Safe man safe family psychiatrist.  How does family violence create ongoing life challenges?
1530 – 1545


1545 – 1610 What can health do now?
1610 – 1615 Close
Close 1615


For more information contact the Family Violence Intervention team at:


The 2020 Virtual White Ribbon Ride.

The 2020 White Ribbon Ride is cancelled. Instead a series of local rides are occuring. These will be joined together and be called The 2020 Virtual White Ribbon Ride.

Under normal circumstances the White Ribbon Riders travel throughout New Zealand spreading the non violence kaupapa and promoting the annual November campaign. It’s an exciting initiative where riders who look rough and ride powerful bikes, talk about Respectful Relationships and solutions to tackling this country’s crippling domestic violence record. Violence destroys families, sets our children on a destructive journey and affects one in three women. Usually this week-long motorcycle tour happens every November – White Ribbon Month, and is a powerful and inspirational voyage for all involved.

This year with the threat of COVID19 we are holding local rides to ensure we keep our population and riders as safe as possible. That means that the lead riders will not be steering a convoy through towns in the North and South Islands, picking up support riders in every region along the way. Instead local riders will be supporting local White Ribbon Riders and local organisations to attend local events as the White Ribbon Riders.

How to support the 2020 Virtual White Ribbon Ride:

1. Register your event online

2. Contact White Ribbon ( and we can see if we can provide a local Rider or Ambassador and White Ribbon resources to support your event.

3. No event in your area – why not create your own White Ribbon Event at your school, workplace or community. Click here for details.

4. Your event will be added to our Virtual Ride Map.

5. Share your photos/videos from your event on socials or stories tag in Facebook with the #whiteribbonride2020

When you put up a global post with the hashtag #whiteribbonride2020, the campaign team are able to local the post and share this.

This year we will be encouraging local riders to join with a local White Ribbon Rider to support local events and continue to raise awareness in your town or city. To find out more about how to organise an event, read this document.


Brendan Pyper’s song “You Call Yourself A Man”

Singer songwriter Brendan Pyper has kindly shared his song “You Call Yourself A Man” with us. Brendan began studying music at Wintec when he was 23 and was then part of the band The Latest Fallout. Now aged 32 and based in Auckland, he is recording as a solo artist.

This very personal song took him a long time to release. It was written 4 years ago when his mum was still in a relationship with her abusive partner. For many reasons, including her safety, he decided to wait to record and share it. His mum had been with her abuser since he was a teenager and the way he treated Brendan and his mum led him to move out and live with his girlfriend at a young age as he didn’t want to be in that environment.


After almost two decades Brendan’s mum left her abusive husband with the support of her sons and is starting to rebuild her life. When he finally played the song for her she said “I love that. You should’ve gone harder.”

Brendan approached White Ribbon with his powerful song as he wants to help others who are struggling. Please share it and the message that violence is never okay and respect is at the heart of a healthy relationship. For more of Brendan’s songs or to get in contact you can find him on Facebook.  If you want more information about healthy relationships, please take a look at our toolboxes.

The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on domestic violence in New Zealand

One of our wonderful White Ribbon Ambassadors Mele Wendt MNZM was invited to speak about domestic violence in New Zealand with a particular focus on the impact of COVID-19 in a webinar jointly presented by UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Nations Association of New Zealand and Wellington. We are delighted to be able to share this link to the webinar if you missed the opportunity to take part on the 23rd of June. The webinar was really informative and featured four fantastic speakers Mele, Dr Ang Jury (Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge), MP Jan Logie (Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice -Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) and Superintendent Eric Tibbott (NZ Police).

Dr Jury highlighted some of the challenges Refuges faced and the ways they adapted to the lockdown. While she was happy to make observations about what occurred Dr Jury noted that the true impact on women and children will only emerge over time. She is very concerned about the effect of a recession coming on the heels of the lockdown, describing it as the “perfect incubator for family violence.”

MP Jan Logie was very positive about the response to COVID-19 locally, calling it “the best example of government and community partnership she’s seen.” The government response was shaped by research based on the overseas experience and previous New Zealand crises like the Christchurch earthquakes. They wanted to ensure there was clear communication that help was available, that Family Violence was still being taken seriously and that financial support was accessible.

Superintendent Eric Tibbott provided a lot of information about changes in the way NZ Police are responding to domestic violence call outs. He acknowledged the value of international research that demonstrates that there are usually multiple episodes of family violence before a person reaches out to police. They are now focused on getting officers to think beyond the incident and focus on identifying underlying stressors and contributors to help prevent harm. Superintendent Tibbott noted a UN population fund report which predicts a twenty percent increase in family violence across its member states as a result of COVID-19 and its impact globally. In light of these dire warnings it was really positive to hear that the helpline Hey Bro saw a significant increase in people reaching out for support during the lockdown.

Mele Wendt MNZM spoke about the key drivers of violence, her own experiences of domestic violence as well as White Ribbon’s kaupapa and COVID-19 campaign to try to provide sensible suggestions to keep people safe. Mele emphasized the importance of reaching out for help, contacting the Police and advocated strongly for greater resourcing to support perpetrators to change their behaviour.

With the current community transmission of COVID-19 and the return to the Level 3 restrictions in Auckland the thoughts of the speakers on the impact on domestic violence are especially relevant at this time.


Judge Ajit Swaran Singh, White Ribbon Ambassador, advocates for zero tolerance of family violence on Apna TV

Auckland District Court Judge Ajit Swaran Singh recently featured in a programme focused on family violence for Hindi television channel Apna TV. Judge Singh has been a vocal champion of violence prevention for many years and is one of White Ribbon’s longest standing Ambassadors.
It is so important for ethnic communities in New Zealand to hear anti-violence messages from community leaders in their own languages. We are extremely grateful to Judge Singh and Apna TV for highlighting the issue.  The interview is predominantly in Hindi, but the White Ribbon message is also in English and begins at 12:20 on the recording.
Born and raised in Fiji, Judge Singh completed his legal qualifications (LLB & LLM Honours) at Victoria University in Wellington. He also graduated with Doctor in Civil Laws (DCL) from the Institute of Comparative Laws, McGill University based in Montreal, Canada. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor at the High Courts of Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.
Judge 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. Since 2012, Judge Singh presides at the Auckland District Court.

Judge Singh is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his outstanding achievements in the field of public service, including Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award presented by the President of India and Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame Award presented by Sir John Key (NZ Prime Minister at the time). He regularly speaks at the EthnicA Conferences and community forums on cultural issues concerning family violence/child abuse/mental health/bullying in schools and racially motivated crimes, particularly as such issues affect the immigrant & refugee communities.
For many years Judge Singh has been involved with community education on family violence issues, particularly for recent refugee and migrant groups, youth and senior citizens. Judge Singh’s long-term commitment to violence prevention and spreading the White Ribbon kaupapa is truly inspirational.  If you would like to nominate someone in your community to become a White Ribbon Ambassador please click here.

White Ribbon Ambassador Arish Naresh in Queen’s Birthday Honours

We were delighted to learn that White Ribbon Ambassador Arish Naresh was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to the community and dentistry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. At just 34 years of age, Arish has already made a substantial contribution both to the community as a whole and in his field.

Arish was born in Fiji and moved to New Zealand in 2006. When he was growing up his opportunities were limited so he created his own path. Now, he is dedicated to seeing other people succeed. In 2018, we were thrilled to have him become a White Ribbon Ambassador. There had been challenges in his wider family with family violence, which he attributes in part to poverty and alcohol issues. Working with migrant communities in his many roles, Arish was aware that family violence and a general lack of equality and respect for women were areas that needed to change. There is a culture of keeping these things hidden and last year’s campaign to Challenge the Unspoken Rules really resonated with him, as that was part of his motivation in stepping up to take on the Ambassador role.

Arish has held a number of senior leadership positions within the healthcare sector in New Zealand and is currently residing in Adelaide in a fixed term role as Program Director for Specialty Medicine at Royal Adelaide Hospital. He is enjoying the opportunity to learn about the Australian health care system but he is also really looking forward to returning to his home base in Gisborne soon.

Helping others is a core principle for Arish. He has been a Board Member of UNICEF New Zealand and a Justice of the Peace. He is also the Founder of OWDSOCKS –Opportunities without Discrimination. Arish is committed to working to prevent violence against women and looks forward to continuing this mission on his return to New Zealand.

We are extremely grateful to Arish for his commitment to White Ribbon and his dedication to helping migrants thrive, not just survive, in New Zealand. If you know someone in your community who is willing to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women, please talk to them about becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador. Having community leaders spread the kaupapa within their community, is a vital part of our efforts to prevent violence against women. Please click here to download a nomination form. If you have any questions about the process or the role please contact us at


White Ribbon Spoken Word 2020

White Ribbon are holding their second spoken word competition via zoom on Thursday September 17th and it’s going to be a night of hot poetry, sizzling truths and fiery performances.

The theme of the night is ‘Respectful Relationships’ so get ready for some amazing rhymes and inspired takes on ending (men’s) violence in New Zealand.

Last year’s White Ribbon campaign focused on #Unspoken Rules – clichés about masculinity that men and boys inherit from society. By turning these rules around into positive statements, we encouraged people to challenge them.
This year it is Challenge the #Outdated. This will pivot the focus from the unspoken to the outdated and focus on the advice men have been given when growing up that we can now see as unhealthy. The campaign will continue to take a conversational tone and use the common expressions that men would have heard growing up. These unhealthy attitudes will literally be overwritten with positive alternatives – creating new, modern alternatives to outdated ideas of masculinity.
Contestants can speak to any of these concepts.

Judges and prizes will be announced soon.


Poems must be the original work of the performer/s. Plagiarised material will result in disqualification.
Performers must be students at a NZ secondary school (or equivalent) and 15 years or older
Poets can perform by themselves or with a team.
No accompaniment by sound, props, or costume is allowed.
Each poem should be between 1-4 minutes (max of 5 minutes).

Contestants will be marked down for going over time.
No musical accompaniment. No props. No costumes. Personal poem transcripts permitted.
Judges mark score cards using a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the highest.
Scores will be based on: performance, writing ability and uniqueness.
All performances must be inspired by the theme of ‘Respectful Relationships’
All entrants must supply their script.
White Ribbon reserves the right to take photos and videos of the performers at the event and utilise the video/photos/script to promote Respectful Relationships.


You will need to provide your email address, school, name and stage name if applicable, and upload or send us the text of your poem. You may also upload a video of you performing the poem if you wish. You’ll also need to provide a photo for the programme and a brief bio for our MC so our MC can introduce you. Entry form.

Entries due by Monday 14th September 5pm.

On the Night:

Information about the evening will be sent to all performers. There will be an opportunity for a brief technical sound check prior to the event beginning.

Public can join the zoom webinar here
Passcode: 809348

Finalists will get the chance to perform their piece on Thursday 17th September to an online audience via zoom. The judges include the CE for Woman’s Refuge Dr Ang Jury, Award-Winning Comedian and Playwright James Nokise and Jordan Hamel who took out the 2018 New Zealand Poetry Slam championship and competed at the World Poetry Slam Championships in San Diego.


First prize is $500, with $200 for the runner up and $100 for third place. Your work may also be selected to feature in the November Nationwide White Ribbon Campaign.


Download the poster as a PDF as a jpg

Facebook events page is here

History of Slam Poetry

One of the most vital and energetic movements in poetry during the 1990s, slam has revitalized interest in poetry in performance. Poetry began as part of an oral tradition, and the Beat and Negritude poets were devoted to the spoken and performed aspects of their poems. This interest was reborn through the rise of poetry slams across America; while many poets in academia found fault with the movement, slam was well received among young poets and poets of diverse backgrounds as a democratizing force. This generation of spoken word poetry is often highly politicized, drawing upon racial, economic, and gender injustices as well as current events for subject manner.

A slam itself is simply a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams before an audience, which serves as judge. The work is judged as much on the manner and enthusiasm of its performance as its content or style, and many slam poems are not intended to be read silently from the page. The structure of the traditional slam was started by construction worker and poet Marc Smith in 1986 at a reading series in a Chicago jazz club. The competition quickly spread across the country, finding a notable home in New York City at the Nuyorican Poets Café.

taken from