Bikers deliver message of anti-violence

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden with White Ribbon riders after arriving in Queenstown yesterday. Photo by Christina McDonald.
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 women.