Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

Rotorua student on mission to beat cyberbullying

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One local student is on a mission to combat cyberbullying by not only helping the victims but by helping the bullies help themselves.

The 17-year-old Rotorua Girls' High School student, who chose not to be named, was one of three winners of a nationwide competition run by NetSafe and Google where participants created campaigns last year to promote positive online behaviour.

She presented her anti-bullying web campaign to Google's headquarters in Sydney, a valuable experience she said helped guide her.

"It was a challenge to come up with your own anti-cyberbullying campaign, it interested me so I just got into it and made my campaign called Noble.

"The inspiration for Noble itself came when I was trying to think about what would be the best way to tackle cyberbullying and I thought about how I think teenagers and adults - anyone really - never really responds well to being told 'you're doing this wrong' or 'don't do this' and being kind of told off.

So I thought the best way to combat it was to demonstrate positive behaviour online as an alternative way of behaving online.

"So basically I developed a campaign where I role-model positive behaviour and encourage others to do the same. As part of that I have a Facebook page and along with that I have two websites, one is a place for the bullies to go if they need advice on how to stop what they're doing.

"And then my latest one, Noble Plus, is one I just set up about a month ago where I'm doing articles on people who are doing good things to demonstrate to others positive ways to behave as well.

I got really into the Facebook page and I thought I really want to do something else and when you realise you have three parties, the victim, the bystander and the bully you want to help all three.

"The victims are being targeted for health and support, then the bystanders are being told what you can do if you're witnessing it, then I realised for someone who is a bully they need somewhere to go to find a way out of the situation, because I feel like there's just nothing for them.

"I'd love to take it further, that's why I set up the Noble Plus, but it's a little bit one way.

I'd like people to be able to get involved and be able to participate and I'm finding that's not really happening yet. I understand that, because it's quite new.

Anyone who wants to help can just get on board and keep pushing it further so that positive behaviour becomes more the norm."

Explore Noble:

* www.facebook.com/noblenewzealand

* www.nobleplus.wix.com/nobleplus

* www.adviceforcyberbullies.weebly.com/

- Rotorua Daily Post

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