Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden with White Ribbon riders after arriving in Queenstown yesterday. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Dressed in black leathers, men on motorbikes roared into the
resort yesterday to spread the message that violence against
women is not acceptable.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Udenwas a pillion
passenger for part of the trip into Queenstown.
Upon the convoy's arrival at Earnslaw Park, Ms van Uden said
she admired what the group was doing.
After a kapa haka performance from a local group, rider
Richard Bradley, of Blenheim, addressed the crowd, saying
women were to be treasured, not murdered or abused.
He told the Otago Daily Times that 20 years ago
smoking was acceptable in homes and public buildings but now
it is not and he was confident the same attitude shift could
occur with violence towards women.
Fourteen New Zealand women were murdered by their partners
each year and abuse ranged from emotional to physical, sexual
and elder abuse.
"I don't believe it's the role of the government [to stop
this]; it's the role of the communities," Mr Bradley said.
The White Ribbon Ride raised awareness of the problem and
challenged men to stop all violence towards women.
Today the riders will take their message to Invercargill,
then Bluff before travelling back up the South Island.
International White Ribbon Day is this Sunday. People can
wear a white ribbon to show they oppose violence towards