It is New Zealand Anti-bullying Day and attendees at a South Auckland marae took to donning pink shirts on their orator’s platform to raise awareness among the community to stop bullying.
Pink t-shirts took front and centre at Manurewa Marae today.
“We want to show the community that bullying among our children in schools and at home is not ok,” says elder, Rangi McLean.
The anti-bullying message is being led by the local youth of Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi.
“It's about restoring the spirit and mind of a person,” says Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi youth worker, Raniera Pene.
“For us, the priority is showing compassion. When you show compassion it results in peace, which gives you understanding. Through understanding, you can stand confidently”.
Budget 2018 has injected $3.2bil over four years into health, including mental health. However, there are concerns bulying will remain a serious issue given New Zealand has the second highest rate of bullying in the world according to some studies.
“Generally speaking, those funds don't flow to the community groups that actually do make a difference, like Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi or the Mental Health Foundation who are working with our whānau around bullying,” says Hapai Te Hauora Chief Executive, Lance Norman.
Locals hope the wearing of pink t-shirts during a Māori customary practice will be seen on other marae across the country in support of the anti-bullying message.
The awareness campaign will conclude tonight with performances from local cultural groups, hip-hop dancers, and singers.