White Ribbon congratulates the Warehouse Group

 Press Release


White Ribbon congratulates the Warehouse Group

White Ribbon congratulates The Warehouse Group for developing a comprehensive human resources policy around domestic and family violence.
“The violence that affects our communities and families also has a significant impact on businesses,” says Judge Boshier, chair of the White Ribbon Committee. “It is terrific news to see such a large employer step up and demonstrate the type of leadership required across all of New Zealand.”

The Glenn Inquiry estimated that the cost of dealing with child abuse and domestic violence is approximately $7 billion annually. The report also estimated that $1 billion is lost each year in workplace productivity because of abuse and violence such as lost wages and days off work.

“It’s clear that the impact of family violence weighs most heavily on the families and friends of those who are victims. But it is also indisputable that employers incur costs as well. We should use that information to encourage all employers to look at ways in which they can help address violence and support survivors.

“The announcement by the Warehouse Group is another positive step towards the elimination of domestic violence. It sends a strong signal that employers want to be part of the solution, and on behalf of White Ribbon, the Warehouse Group are to be thoroughly congratulated.”

• One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
• Less than 20 per cent 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
• Police attend a family violence incident every 5 ½ minutes
• Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
• In 2013 Police recorded 95,101 family violence instigations (provisionally 94,300 in 2014)

For all media enquiries contact:                                                                      
Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager
04 297 2757 | Mobile  021 212 2953

Family Violence requires a collaborative approach


White Ribbon Chair Judge Peter Boshier

Press Release

20 February 2015


Family Violence requires a collaborative approach

White Ribbon Chair, Judge Peter Boshier, has applauded the decision of the New Zealand Police to engage further with experts.

“Working collaboratively is at the heart of how White Ribbon operates,” says Judge Boshier. “By tapping into experts who sit outside your organisation, you can significantly enhance your knowledge and understanding of an issue, and as an added bonus receive free and frank advice.

“Our own experience is that we have a committee made up of experts and agencies who volunteer their time to provide advice to the White Ribbon Campaign. That keeps us focused and in touch with the issues of communities.

“White Ribbon believes New Zealand needs considerable attitudinal change, and that must take place with our men.

“It is a sad but undeniable truth that the most serious and damaging violence is perpetrated by men against women, and that all men must take responsibility for changing this.

“The days of saying ‘it’s not my problem’ are over. As men, we must take responsibility for changing the attitudes and behaviour of other men. There is no other choice if we are ever to significantly reduce the appalling family violence statistics in this country.

“We can be justifiably proud of how well New Zealand achieves in any numbers of arenas, but there can be no room for pride when the police indicate that there were 94,300 family violence incidents reported last year. The statistics are horrific and we must do more.

“It is a sad indictment that family violence may well be the single greatest social issue we have to address in this country,” said Judge Boshier.

Associated media: Radio NZ report

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 per cent 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
  • Police attend a family violence incident every 5 ½ minutes
  • Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
  • In 2013 Police recorded 95,101 family violence investigations (provisionally 94,300 in 2014)
  • Violence towards women is unacceptable
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge
  • 2015 will see White Ribbon launch a new November campaign
For all media enquiries contact:
Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager
04 297 2757 | Mobile 021 212 2953

take note – spoken word competition

take note trophies

take note trophies

The spoken word competition ‘Take Note’ was an event created for high school students to perform poetry that highlighted domestic violence. The event was held on Tuesday the 18th of November in Manukau, Auckland in the Gallery Council Civic Building.

The spoken word competition was an event chosen by the youth themselves using a survey taken at a White Ribbon breakfast in 2013. The competition provided a rare opportunity for the youth to speak up and share their perspectives on family violence.

School students performed pieces of poetry and the top three individuals were awarded trophies.

Take Note was the chosen name for the event, as it urges everyone to look at the problem of family violence in our society and to, take note. So while social worker Diana Vao organised the event it was important that the students played a central role said Diana as “the youth are going to be the new leaders of our society.”

“The youth of New Zealand are usually only seen, not heard” Diana said. And through this competition they were able to share what she thought was a “simplistic way of looking at the problem of family violence, and how to deal with it.”

Every contestant was a strong believer in standing up to family violence, and talking about this problem in a way that did not stigmatize anyone. The students faced the problem head-on; discussing subjects that they feel are usually ignored by the older generations.

“The students brought a freshness,” said Diana, “and a sense of innocence to the subject of family violence.”

There was an undeniable urgency behind the words and the competition introduced an innovative way of talking about family violence. There are already plans to run the event again in 2015.

And the winners were:

 Read the spoken word pieces on the next page

Read more of this post

Brother fights domestic violence

10344933John McGrath, brother to Patricia McGrath who was killed early in 2013 by her partner, has been campaigning around the Northland region. In July, John became a White Ribbon Ambassador in order to “plant the seed in [boys’] heads now” so that they can stop the damage of family violence before it begins. Patricia’s death affirms that male violence against women can be fatal and has a detrimental impact on many lives. Patricia’s family reached out to White Ribbon to help support our anti-violence message, to share Patricia’s story with others and to create awareness about violence against women.

Patricia was a 34 year old mother of two and a case worker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). Her family describe as someone who was very caring and loved to help people; a wonderful and beautiful person. The loss of Patricia has been a huge blow to her family and friends, as well as the community as a whole. Patricia’s death affirms that male violence against women can be fatal and has a detrimental impact on many lives. The following article offers more information about Patricia: Click here to read more.


Brother fights domestic violence


The brother of a Northland woman who was killed by her partner is stepping up as the region’s first White Ribbon ambassador.

John McGrath has campaigned ferociously on behalf of domestic violence victims and their families, since the death of Patricia McGrath in January last year.

The mother-of-two died of a brain injury after she was punched in the face by partner Phillip Mahanga.

Mahanga is serving a three-year sentence for manslaughter.

McGrath’s first act as an ambassador was to urge students at Whangarei Boys’ High School to consider the seriousness of the country’s domestic violence problem.

“We never thought this was going to happen to us, but our family has had this disaster, and now we’re on a journey to change things and make them better,” he says.

“These boys will be men soon and some will even be parents soon. We need to plant the seed in their heads now. We’ll speak at every school in this country if we can – we need to bring these [domestic violence] stats down, especially in Northland.”

McGrath, who spoke alongside wife Kate McGrath, told the boys of how his “role model” sister changed once she entered a relationship with Mahanga.

He said she became increasingly isolated and withdrawn from family life, and started getting angry with her children “which was not who she was at all,” McGrath said.

“Usually we’d go around and we’d walk straight in and help ourselves to tea, but it started changing and she’d be waiting at the door – you’d know we weren’t welcome because he was there. He dominated her and isolated her, then he took control and at the end just killed her.”

McGrath told The Leader his sister’s death has changed the way he views the relationship between men and women.

“It’s definitely changed the way I look at men, especially Maori men – we once were warriors. When you think about a warrior, he is respectful, he has mana, he is noble. Our young men still have that pack mentality but none of that mana.”

He says this certainly doesn’t apply to all Maori men, and is the result of long-term oppression.

“Introduced religion has made [Maori] lose identity. We’ve got to come back to earth and realise man is not better than woman,” he says. “I don’t care if people run me down on that, because my heart is already broken and it can’t break any more. We’re not the ones who should have the life sentence.”

As a White Ribbon ambassador, McGrath joins a national and international network of men speaking out against violence towards women.

White Ribbon Day 2013 – Dr Jackie Blue

Jackie Blue

Jackie Blue is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, former MP and mother of two girls

From the outside I had everything going for me. I was a young GP. I had great friends and a loving family. My boyfriend had just moved in with me.

But the reality was far from fairy tale. I will never forget the day that finally spurred me to call the Police. We’d been at a friend’s barbecue. It was something as small as people asking me about my job. That set him off. As we drove into our carport, he started hitting me as hard as he could. That was the last time.

For two years I was in a violent relationship. It wasn’t every week or every day. It was random and unpredictable. He’d belittle me and put me down. I felt too ashamed to ask for help. That was the great irony of my life. As a doctor, I was there to help people with their problems, but I couldn’t even help myself.

That’s the sad and brutal reality for too many women. Just over a week ago I joined with thousands of others to march against sexual violence in the wake of the Roast Busters scandal. Unfortunately, that case is not an isolated incident. As I was write this media are reporting that a woman was stabbed in Lower Hutt and a Northland man was convicted of 39 sex and violence charges spanning two decades.

One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives. Only 20 per cent ever report it. This should not be tolerated. We have all the evidence and research. We know what works. We need action.

We have some excellent initiatives like the violence intervention programmes running in hospitals across the country. It is helping to reduce violence by aiming to screen all women aged 16 years and over for family violence and making sure those who disclose get the support they need.

Dr Kim McGregor and Rape Prevention Education are doing excellent work in our schools to educate our young people. It would be great to see more resources made available to roll out their programmes to a wide group of young people.

But what is urgently needed is a strategy to ensure that there is a coordinated approach. The National Sexual Violence Prevention Plan that was scuppered in 2009 needs to be urgently re-instated.

But this isn’t something we can simply leave to Parliament and the Police and hope they solve the problem for us. It comes down to what we do as individuals, families and communities. That is where the change needs to take place. Fundamentally, it’s about each of us taking responsibility for the problem.

When someone is in a violent relationship, or they’re the victim of sexual violence there will always be a bystander. Someone who sees the warning signs. Someone who knows what’s going on. We need them to speak up. We need them to tell someone.

Most men are not violent, but most violence against women is perpetrated by men. That’s why we need to support our men, because they’re the role models for our children. We need them to be part of the solution.

Today is White Ribbon Day. It’s a fantastic campaign raising awareness of violence against women. This year we’re asking men to take a pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. Whether you are a husband, father, son, brother, uncle or granddad you all have women in your life that you wouldn’t want to see subjected to violence. Make a stand and take the pledge.

Women in violent relationships are waiting to be asked. No one asked me. So I kept it to myself. Make sure the women you know no longer have to stay silent.

Jackie Blue is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, former MP and mother of two girls.


Kaeo Event header for web


Saturday 22 June from 11am – 2pm at the Kaeo Union Church Hall

Join the township of Kaeo for a Family Day and Fund Raiser for the Kaeo’s Junior Netball teams with speeches, face painting, bands, a sausage sizzle and refreshments. “It’s also an opportunity we are taking to talk about family violence and the violence against our whānau, family and women,” says Hillary Sheard, one of the local organisers.

Hillary Sheard - Kaeo

Hillary Sheard

“Decisions determine destiny, and in our community we need to take the right decisions to end the violence which is destroying lives. That means taking personal responsibility to end the violence of all the members of our community.

“We all have women and children in our lives, and that’s why we are partnering with the White Ribbon Riders who are riding in to support our efforts to draw attention to the violence and our hope that we can find a solution.

White Ribbon Ride coming to a town near you copy

Join the White Ribbon Riders at the event

“White Ribbon asks you to take the pledge to never commit condone or remain silent about violence towards women. You can do this by wearing a white ribbon and showing that you will not condone violent behaviour.

“We know that most people in our community are not violent, but we all know people who are. They can be members of your family, your sports team or your workmates. We are saying that’s it’s not ok to stand by while others are violent. It is our responsibility to take action. That decision to stand up and be counted will determine the destiny of our community.

“Join us on Saturday 22 June at the Kaeo Union Church Hall from 11am to 2pm for a Family Fun Day where you can enjoy the festivities, meet the amazing White Ribbon Riders and most importantly send a signal to everyone in our community, that we will not tolerate the violence any longer.” Hillary Sheard


Phil Paikea

The White Ribbon Riders strongly believe that if our society is to be one in which we all thrive, then men need to stand up. The White Ribbon Campaign presents men as part of the solution and Phil Pikea from the Bream Bay Trust agrees. “It starts with personal responsibility and resonates outwards. We have a responsibility to our families, the people we work with, the mates on your team, our friends. If you as a man stand up and recite the White Ribbon Pledge – to never commit condone or remain silent about men’s violence to women (and children) then we can make a difference. The White Ribbon Riders are coming to this wonderful event to stand with Kaeo, not in judgement, but as men who want to support our brothers.” Phil Paikea

  • For further details of the event contact Hillary Sheard
  • The White Ribbon Riders will be leaving from and returning to Bream Bay with Friday and Saturday meals provided
  • To join the ride contact the Bream Bay Trust
  • Download the poster



  • Jackson August – 0211386582
  • Phil Paikea – 0211210763

Aim:  Travel to Kaeo to support community in raising awareness to whanau violence. Meet with locals and other riders to share the kauapapa and to forge lasting friendships.

Route In General:

  • Ruakaka / Kawakawa / Kaeo / Overall kms to Kaeo 140kms – 2hrs 15 min

Timings:  Approx only

Saturday 22 June

  • Briefing 8:30am at Bream Bay
  • Depart from Ruakaka Bream Bay Trust : 9:00am
  • Meet with mid north riders @ Kawakawa Caltex 10:30am
  • Arrive in Kaeo 11:20am
  • Depart Kaeo 2:00pm

Please remember, this kaupapa is drug and alcohol free

No gang patches or back banners to be worn while on the ride… all riders will ride under the white ribbon kaupapa, and will be known as the White Ribbon Riders. In saying that, the organisers acknowledge the mana of each group and independent riders that support this kaupapa.