Upper Hutt City Council Becomes a White Ribbon Accredited Business

Upper Hutt City Council is one of the first councils nationwide to be White Ribbon Accredited, alongside Carterton District Council and Napier City Council.

The councils were accredited by the White Ribbon Trust at a board meeting in early September. Council’s director of Community Services, Mike Ryan, applied for accreditation on 10 April 2019 which required Council to demonstrate the ability to support the White Ribbon kaupapa, enact policies, train staff, and put in place proactive violence prevention.

“Upper Hutt City Council is committed to being an employer that supports staff that are in domestic violence situations or are perpetrators of domestic violence as well as promoting awareness amongst staff of domestic violence within the workplace and community,” says Mr Ryan. “As a territorial authority, we have a duty of care to the members of our Community. We’re leading by example and encouraging other organisations to get on board.”

The importance of championing for a domestic violence-free community is highlighted by police call outs to incidents and disturbances within the wider community.

“Upper Hutt City Council has long been a supporter of initiatives that aim to reduce domestic violence,” says Council’s Chief Executive, Peter Kelly. “Achieving White Ribbon Accreditation is another step in that journey. We’re thankful of the opportunity to partner with and support White Ribbon in the reduction of violence towards women throughout our communities.”

In addition to Council’s accreditation, Community Development Team Leader, Sue Colville has now achieved White Ribbon Ambassador status. Sue’s role at Upper Hutt City Council gives her the opportunity to influence and support the White Ribbon kaupapa by engaging and connecting with Council staff and the Upper Hutt community, promoting key messages about respectful relationships and working to highlight the issue of family violence in our local community.

The Council is continuing to develop initiatives and support community efforts aimed at reducing domestic violence. These include White Ribbon Day activities in November and events throughout the year. These will be publicised in the coming months.

R Kelly’s announcement to tour NZ – White Ribbon comments

R. Kelly will tour Australia and NZ next year. Picture: AFP / Getty

The death and vigils for Grace Millane gave New Zealand an opportunity to do more than mourn for Grace and the 14 New Zealand women killed by men this year. We have a chance to put these feelings of horror to a practical use.

White Ribbon’s Manager is asking people to think about the media they are watching and using.

“White Ribbon is asking men who are not violent to get involved in violence prevention,” says Mr McCann. “To make getting involved easy, we have created eight actions which support Respectful Relationships (which is a prevention against violence) and that get people off the side-lines and active.”

“When people take the online White Ribbon Pledge to stand up, speak out and act against men’s violence towards women, they are asked to choose an action. In the case of R Kelly we would ask that people think about the media they use and that includes the music we listen to.

“Is it sending all the wrong signals? Does it treat women like objects? Is it sexist?

“We would ask people to consider what signal they want to send to their friends and colleagues and children. Do you want to listen to a man that has multiple accusations of harrowing sexual, mental and physical abuse brought against him?

“It’s a personal choice, but if it were me, I would not go. I would not want my sons to think that I believe the alleged behaviour of R Kelly is ok.

“The time for vigils is drawing to an end. Now it’s time for action.”

White Ribbon wants to make a difference by getting people actively involved in violence prevention by taking the online pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.nz and choosing one of eight actions.


  1. Listening and believing women.
  2. Reflecting on and changing their behaviour.
  3. Disrupting other men’s violence towards women.
  4. Treating women as equals.
  5. Choose how to be a man and how I will act.
  6. Talk to a young man about breaking out of the Man Box.
  7. Think about what they watch and the media they use.
  8. Talk with young men about respectful relationships and pornography.


These actions all support Respectful Relationships (which is a protection against violence) and get people actively involved in preventing men’s violence towards women.

Each action is linked to videos which may be copied or shared.


Notes from The Courier Mail

While Kelly was R&B royalty in the 1990s, in recent years he’s become embroiled in a series of sex scandals.

The singer dropped a 19-minute single titled I Admit in July to “set the record straight” on multiple allegations of sexual misconduct he has been facing for years.

In the song, Kelly admitted that he’d “made some mistakes” but said he did not abuse or sexually assault women. R. Kelly has been accused by multiple women of running a “sex cult,” brainwashing and sexually abusing women, including some teenagers.

He has repeatedly denied the claims.

In May, a woman named Faith Rodgers alleged the I Believe I Can Fly singer “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her during a roughly year-long relationship, according to a civil claim.

She alleged Kelly sexually abused and demeaned her, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes.

A three-part docuseries about the singer, Surviving R. Kelly, will air on US television in January, just a month before Kelly’s Australian tour. The series will give voice to many of Kelly’s alleged victims, who are set to detail harrowing accusations of sexual, mental and physical abuse against him.