Vodafone Warriors support PSD

MEDIA RELEASE

The Vodafone Warriors are calling for all New Zealanders to have the mana to speak up and speak out against bullying, ahead of Pink Shirt Day tomorrow, 18 May.

The rugby league stars have turned into Pink Shirt Day warriors to support New Zealand’s largest anti-bullying campaign. They swapped their rugby jerseys for pink t-shirts at training this week, and player Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck filmed this video of the boys in action.

“It’s cool to be different and young people in New Zealand should always feel good about who they are,” Vodafone Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says.

“Pink Shirt Day is a good reminder to be kind and to support our teammates, family and our communities,” he says.  

Maori and Pasifika focus


There’s a specific Māori and Pasifika focus to this year’s campaign.

"Rangatahi from Te Kaha O Te Rangatahi Trust translated the original Pink Shirt Day slogan, Speak up, Stand together, Stop bullying’ into something that resonates with them," Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson says.

The slogan Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora, Whakaweto te Whakaweti, translates to Speak up and speak out. To stand together in life and wellness To shut down bullying, intimidation or threats.

“Rangatahi were excited that their kupu was included in a Māori designed t-shirt which used the waha to represent the mana, strength and passion to speak up for others through our kōrero,” Mr Robinson says.

Along with the Vodafone Warriors, a record 2,700 schools, workplaces, community groups, whānau and individuals are supporting Pink Shirt Day this year.

Celebrities including Tiki Taane, Simone Anderson, Jono and Ben, Brodie Kane, Sir Peter Leitch and All Black Sam Whitelock are also joining in to celebrate diversity, promote kindness and aroha and speak out against bullying.  

New Zealand rated second-highest for school bullying out of 51 countries and as many as one in five Kiwis are affected by bullying in the workplace.

“Bullying can have serious and ongoing impacts on our mental health and wellbeing. We know that people who are bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and avoid going to school,” Mr Robinson says.

About Pink Shirt Day

  • Pink Shirt Day supports schools, workplaces and communities to be safe, welcoming and inclusive for people, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or cultural background.
  • Pink Shirt Day originated in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007. Two students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, took a stand against homophobic bullying and mobilised their whole school after a student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink.
  • Since 2012, Pink Shirt Day has been led by the Mental Health Foundation. 2018 partners include Te Kaha O Te Rangatahi Trust, Counties Manukau Kaitiaki roopu (group), the Peace Foundation, RainbowYOUTH, InsideOUT, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA), Auckland District Health Board Peer Sexuality Support Programme (PSSP), Emerge Aotearoa, Youthline, the Human Rights Commission and Bullying-Free NZ Week.
  • Schools are also encouraged to participate in Bullying-Free NZ Week, which runs May 14-18, in the lead-up to Pink Shirt Day. An initiative of the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group, this year’s theme is: Let’s talk about it.
  • Media can use the Vodafone Warriors video, if credited to www.warriors.kiwi


For media inquiries, local contacts, story angles and photos, please contact:  

Sophie Lowery
Senior Communications & Marketing Officer
09 623 4810 ext 840 or 022 131 9982
sophie.lowery@mentalhealth.org.nz

Maoriposter1

“Being a part of a national movement towards positive change is such a powerful feeling. That we are all working towards making young people feel good about who they are, right across New Zealand.”

Pink Shirt Day participant