Motorcyclists spread anti-violence message on tour
A nine-day White Ribbon motorcycle convoy completed a circuit of the South Island in Blenheim on Saturday, raising awareness of the country's unacceptable record of violence against women.
Among the riders was Rangitane development manager Richard Bradley, a member of the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club, of past and present military servicemen and women, that led the tour.
Mr Bradley said community leaders around the country welcomed the convoy and he was pleased to see Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman and Green MP Steffan Browning at the Blenheim railway station car park to mark the end of the nine-day journey.
"When community leaders turn up to support the ride they are supporting the end of violence in the community," he said.
The tour was especially about males travelling and spreading the message: "Domestic violence, are you man enough to stop?"
The group stayed on four marae around the country and talked with a range of community members including many children.
Violence against women in Blenheim did not happen in just Holdaway or Lucas St but throughout the town, Mr Bradley told the group of riders.
Mr Sowman said all the mayors of New Zealand had signed a document affirming that violence against women was not right.
Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club member Nathan McQuade said he was among Blenheim people who joined the convoy at Kekerengu then returned to Blenheim. He said some day he hoped to be there for the whole ride.
Families Commission White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann said the campaign had talked about physical violence for a couple of years and it was fair to say most men understood it was wrong to use their fists.
"What is less well understood are the effects of non-physical violence," Mr McCann said.
- The Marlborough Express