Delivering a message

Motorbike riders with a message of peace to share are making their way to Kaikoura in two weeks' time.

On November 24, the White Ribbon Riders, who some will remember from previous visits, will be riding into Kaikoura.

Their message is the same: Stop violence towards women and children.

Riders from two motorcycle clubs, The Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club and Te Ahi Kikoha Motorcycle Club (a Maori activist group) will meet at the village green, West End, at 10am on Saturday for a Special White Ribbon event with market and food stalls.

The gathering will begin with a welcome.

Children will have the opportunity to sit on the bikes and have their photographs taken.

Kaikoura mayor Winston Gray said he fully supported the ride.

"It's fair to say that all mayors and figureheads should take an interest in the wellbeing of their local people . . . Unfortunately I will be away on the 24th, however we must strive for a society where women and children are not marginalised in any way and are given the respect they deserve," he said.

Event organiser Lesa B'do hopes that local motorcyclists will turn up and show their support for the riders.

There will also be spot prizes for children on bikes wearing a white ribbon, so come along and listen for your chance to win one of several special prizes.

An escort is planned for the riders as they leave town and head for Blenheim.

Anyone can join the ride providing they have a valid licence, a warranted bike with a minimum engine size of 250cc and are willing to support the rider's pledge never to condone or commit violence towards women and children.

Motorcycle riders from the district are invited to ride with the group to Kekerengu Cafe, The Store, where a tab will be provided for riders with helmets and wearing a white ribbon.

Lesa said the event marked a much-needed leap in attitudes about relationships. Much of the problem seemed to stem from outdated ideas of ownership instead of companionship.

Each year in New Zealand there are more than 3500 convictions against men for assaults on women, and about 14 women are killed.

Kaikoura Star