Family violence advocate David White says he will never forgive his daughter's killer but he has learned to live with what happened.

And in a bid to stop other women and families from suffering a loss like he has, Meads it embarking on a tour of New Zealand to speak about family violence, prevention and awareness.

Helen Meads was murdered by her husband Greg in September 2009.

After suffering years of physical and psychological violence, she found the strength to leave.


Four days later, she was dead, shot in the head by her husband at their Matamata property.

Since then her father has been a staunch anti-violence campaigner and has worked behind the scenes helping other women and families out of dangerous situations.

He's also met Meads, who shot his daughter point blank in the face with a shotgun, in prison several times over the years as moves forward with his life.

When asked if he had forgiven Meads, in light of the visits to him in prison, White replied, "How can I?"

"You learn to live with it, you learn to stop hating because that only burns yourself up. you pull yourself apart.

"You learn to live with it and learn to try to use what happened to help other people. But forgive them? If it was your daughter would you?"

Meads, who White says is now genuinely remorseful for what happened, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.

White said he has met Meads, who he described as a "changed man", to sort through legal issues and begin repairing the relationship for the sake of the couple's children, Kimberly, 26, and Samantha, 18.


He said he preferred not to look back at the shooting, instead since then, he'd had been trying to help turn around the country's appalling family violence statistics.

Convicted murderer Greg Meads has met with David White in prison on several occasions. Photo / File
Convicted murderer Greg Meads has met with David White in prison on several occasions. Photo / File

A new initiative he launched today, with sponsorship from Matamata businesses Baigent Motors and Tainui Press, Harm Ends - Futures Begin tour around New Zealand.

He will visit each of the 71 different electorates in 71 Days, carrying out 120 presentations.

He had written to each of the 71 electorate MPs but was frustrated to receive responses from just six.

"What gets me is the appalling lack of take up by the MPs. It's their responsibility to represent their communities.

"For all the talk down there, how many MPs are committed to doing it. That's why I wrote that letter as a personal challenge to the MPs ... what are you doing for your own electorate?

"They got the letter in November. The silence is deafening ... basically they don't give a rat's arse as long as they get voted in next time."

Helen Meads pictured with daughter Kimberley.
Helen Meads pictured with daughter Kimberley.

He said there was one who had "knocked my socks off" and that was Christchurch National MP Nicky Wagner who had been all go since getting the letter and was preparing a big welcome for him in the city.

Asked whether he'd thought the number of family violence incidents had reduced or increased since his daughter died, White said nothing had changed.

"It's not got any better, we haven't improved anything. We keep saying the same things over and over and giving the same message and all we're getting are the same results.

"We have to change the message and get back to the community and set up ways of looking at it."

He said there could be all the new laws in the world in place but it still wouldn't affect what was happening in the homes of Kiwis.

"Family violence is only learned behaviour. All you have to do is unlearn it and that's all there is to it."

It wasn't just about tackling abuse, but also housing, education, health, employment and social issues.

White's tour of the country opens in Kaikoura in February 25 and finishes up in Spirits Bay, Northland, on May 29.

Harm ends, futures begin tour - the dates

If you're in danger NOW:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent.