Riders’ anti-vi­o­lence mes­sage spread­ing

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY DEAN TAY­LOR

Con­voys of White Rib­bon mo­tor­cy­cle riders were seen around New Zealand last week as part of White Rib­bon Month.

The White Rib­bon Ride is one of the most ex­cit­ing ini­tia­tives tack­ling this coun­try’s crip­pling do­mes­tic vi­o­lence record, the riders vis­it­ing schools and at­tend­ing func­tions across the coun­try to bring their anti-vi­o­lence mes­sage.

The week-long mo­tor­cy­cle tour hap­pens ev­ery Novem­ber — White Rib­bon Month — and is de­signed as a pow­er­ful and in­spi­ra­tional voy­age for all in­volved.

A lead group of riders steer con­voys through towns through­out New Zealand, pick­ing up sup­port riders in ev­ery re­gion along the way.

The North Is­land Hau­raki ride went from Hamil­ton to Ro­torua, with a pre­sen­ta­tion to Te Awa­mutu In­ter­me­di­ate School on Day 2.

The fol­low­ing day, while re­liev­ing at NZME sis­ter com­mu­nity news­pa­per Taupo¯ and Tu¯ rangi Week­ender, editor Dean Tay­lor caught up with the ride at Taupo¯’s Tauhara Col­lege, where it was the re­gion’s turn to ex­pe­ri­ence this pow­er­ful pre­sen­ta­tion, lead by Aaron Mor­ri­son.

He in­tro­duced his ‘class of 2018’ to the stu­dents and en­gaged with the young­sters to bring their mes­sage on how they can be re­spect­ful and have healthy re­la­tion­ships.

Vi­o­lence de­stroys fam­i­lies, sets chil­dren on a de­struc­tive jour­ney and af­fects one in three women.

Aaron looked di­rectly to the young men and told them it was their job to step up and learn to be good lead­ers with­out re­sort­ing to bul­ly­ing or vi­o­lence.

Rider Tony Brook­ing spoke about the class of 2018, say­ing ev­ery­one had a back­ground.

“We’ve all made a mis­take,” he said.

“We’re here to­day to fix it.”

The White Rib­bon Ride was just one of a num­ber of ini­tia­tives com­mu­ni­ties put in place to em­pha­sise the It’s Not OK mes­sage as New Zealand looks to tackle its poor record of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and bul­ly­ing.

In Waipa¯, res­i­dents showed their sup­port by head­ing along to White Rib­bon dis­plays out­side Te Awa­mutu Com­mu­nity Link/WINZ and Cam­bridge Pa­per Plus on Fri­day.

From 10am to 3pm peo­ple en­joyed free sausages, chat­ted with sup­port­ive peo­ple and donned white rib­bons.

Photo / Dean tay­lor

Editor Dean Tay­lor re­lieved as editor of NZME’s sis­ter com­mu­nity news­pa­per Taupo¯ and Tu¯ rangi Week­ender last week and caught up with the White Rib­bon Ride when a team vis­ited Tauhara Col­lege. Pic­tured is leader Aaron Mor­ri­son in­tro­duc­ing his ‘class of 18’ to the stu­dents.

Photo / Bethany Rol­ston

Te Awa­mutu po­lice drum up some sup­port at Fri­day’s White Rib­bon dis­play out­side Te Awa­mutu Com­mu­nity Link/WINZ.

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