Masculinity will take centre stage in Te Puke this evening.

Te Puke It's Not OK campaigners against family violence are holding a public screening of award-winning American documentary The Mask You Live In.

It deals with the socialisation of boys to hide or reject parts of themselves that don't fit within narrow definitions of masculinity, and how it affects their lives.

After the screening there will be a panel discussion and question and answer session with local dads. Some are community leaders and role models, while others deal with family violence as part of their jobs.


The panellists will be Bay of Plenty Steamers coach and former police officer Clayton McMillan, Family Court Judge Stephen Coyle, Te Puke rugby coach Craig Jeffries, Te Akau Ki Primary School principal and basketball coach Bruce Jepsen, psychologist Wol Hansen, and social worker Des Willison.

They will reflect on the documentary's themes and how they apply in their own lives, at home and at work.

Mr Jeffries said he was happy to be involved with the campaign and the event.

It was an opportunity to look inward, and think about the role models in our families and communities, he said.

One of the event's organisers, Te Puke lawyer Megan Leaf, said they hoped people in positions to be role models for boys, such as sports coaches and players, would come along.

People who had experienced violence in their families were also welcome.

While the event was a fundraiser, it was more about education, she said. Free tickets were available to anyone who wanted to come and couldn't afford it.

Te Puke had been chosen as one of four New Zealand towns to screen the film, thanks to the great reach and engagement campaigners had achieved in the town, Ms Leaf said.

Among their achievements was training more than 50 community "champions".

Champions were normal people trained to get the right help to people experiencing domestic violence, or who are worried that someone they love is having trouble at home.

Each champion attends two seminars, one from the perspective of a domestic violence victim, and another by a reformed perpetrator, Ms Leaf said.

They also take a course that teaches them how to get people the help they need, and how to make themselves available in their communities.

What: Watch The Mask You Live In, followed by a panel discussion
When: Saturday 20 May, 6pm
Where: Te Puke Intermediate School
Price: $10, available from Empowerment NZ at 32 Jocelyn Street or at the door.
Can't get there? Watch it on Netflix NZ