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Bikers take to streets for cause

GILL ALCOCK
Last updated 05:00 28/11/2012
white ribbon ride waiheke

PRE-RIDE CHAT: Senior constable Fred Aplin addresses the group before they head off on their tour of Waiheke to acknowledge White Ribbon Day.

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Thirty men with motorbikes took to the roads on Sunday morning to mark the annual White Ribbon Day which promotes non-violence towards women.

As the bikes formed a long procession and weaved their way from Charlie Farley's on Onetangi beachfront, the roar of the engines could be heard echoing round the narrow roads of Rocky Bay, Palm Beach and Kennedy Point before reaching the destination of Alison Park in Oneroa.

The parade was led by Waiheke policeman senior constable Fred Aplin, the large white ribbon flag fluttering behind him. Bringing up the rear to make sure no-one got left behind was senior constable Clint Vallender.

The bikers were met at the Alison Park flag pole by a group which included Green Party MP Denise Roche and sculptor Toi Te Rangiuaia known as Paora, who both addressed the gathering.

Campaign manager Rob McCann says the 2012 White Ribbon ride focused attention on non-physical violence, a category of violence that uses emotional or verbal behaviour to control someone through fear. An example of this is cyber bullying.

"This form of abuse is often underestimated and is not recognised by many people because it can be subtle and hidden. Survivors say psychological abuse attacks their spirit and self-esteem and the effects can last the longest.

"Highlighting cyber bullying as a form of violence will help both men and women recognise that this form of non-physical violence is not OK."

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