Public drive to stop bullying

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Pink Shirt Day is celebrated annually in many countries and encourages people to talk about bullying and to take action against it. Photo / Thinkstock
Pink Shirt Day is celebrated annually in many countries and encourages people to talk about bullying and to take action against it. Photo / Thinkstock

A Hastings group wants to stop bullying and is asking for the community's help.

The 4 ResiSTANCE Group is organising a series of community engagement evenings where they actively seek the input from the local community around the issue of bullying.

The first will be held on Tuesday, May 13, at the Waimarama Community Centre.

Hastings 4 ResiSTANCE Group chairman Trevor Howes said there were a growing group of community organisations wanting a change.

"But we can't do that without the community. We want to know how bullying affects our communities, and invite everyone in their community to come to our meetings, or contact us with their stories."

The group first looked at what initiatives were happening in the communities, on a national level and on an international level.

"We are very much looking for best practice and translating solutions to our communities" Mr Howes said.

Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe said he supported the idea.

"We are very pleased that this group is taking a leadership role and is asking our communities what we want.

"There are already some pretty cool things happening here in Flaxmere and we are looking forward to hosting Pink Shirt Day in Flaxmere."

Pink Shirt Day is celebrated annually in many countries and encourages people to talk about bullying and to take action against it.

This Pink Shirt Day, New Zealanders are asked to speak up, stand together and stop bullying.

Pink Shirt Day takes place on Friday, May 23, when the community engagement meeting is organised in Flaxmere.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule is also supportive of the idea.

"I believe it is great that this initiative comes forward from the community, for the community," Mr Yule said.

"I am proud that Hastings is one of the first cities in the country to tackle this issue."

The Hastings 4 ResiSTANCE has been supported by Te Punanga Haumaru Fund to raise awareness of the impact of bullying within the Hastings District and develop a community plan to encourage positive behaviours that value diversity and allow the community to say clearly that bullying is not acceptable within Hastings District.

*For more information on the Community Engagement Meetings, visit hastings4resistance.co.nz

- Hawkes Bay Today

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