Two-wheeled tide rolls in for vic­tims

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion/news - By MICHELLE CROSS

The rum­bling of more than 20 mo­tor­bikes was hard to miss as the White Rib­bon Rid­ers rolled into Mata­mata on Satur­day morn­ing.

White Rib­bon of­fers men the op­por­tu­nity to be part of the so­lu­tion to end­ing vi­o­lence against women – a ma­jor prob­lem in New Zealand.

Mayor Hugh Ver­coe of­fi­cially wel­comed the group and said he was shocked to hear there were more than 800 in­ci­dents of domestic vi­o­lence in the com­mu­nity last year – and those are just the cases that were re­ported.

White Rib­bon am­bas­sador David White said he took his role very se­ri­ously. His daugh­ter He­len Meads was mur­dered by her abu­sive hus­band just over three years ago.

‘‘ We can’t let an­other He­len hap­pen,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to look over the fence and look out for each other.

‘‘It’s not much, I just ask you to do it.

‘‘ I’ll con­tinue to speak about this is­sue un­til they carry me away’’.

Labour politi­cian Sue Moroney also at­tended the event and she re­in­forced one of the key is­sues for White Rib­bon: ‘‘Take re­spon­si­bil­ity, as we are all part of the so­lu­tion.’’

This year the White Rib­bon ride will visit 97 com­mu­ni­ties across New Zealand.

The group of rid­ers like to think of them­selves as cru­saders whose goal is to change the world.

Morn­ing tea and re­fresh­ments were pro­vided to the crowd and rid­ers be­fore they con­tin­ued on their jour­ney.

Grate­ful: David White, right, and a fel­low White Rib­bon Rider were pre­sented with a cheque for $800 on be­half of lo­cal busi­nesses.

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