A Whangarei man whose sister was killed in a highly public case of domestic violence will today become an ambassador for anti-violence group White Ribbon.

John McGrath will be made a White Ribbon Ambassador in a ceremony at Whangarei Boys' High School.

Phillip Andre Mahanga, 33, was sentenced to three years' jail in July last year for the manslaughter of 34-year-old mother of two, Patricia Ann McGrath, known affectionately as Wowo.

The couple had been in a relationship for 14 months but her family had never met Mahanga.


After his sister's death Mr McGrath became involved in the anti-violence movement, including leading a march through Whangarei in January last year just days after his sister died on January 8.

The McGrath family also helped make and participated in Enough is Enough, a 27-minute documentary with main messages that domestic violence must be stopped and that it is important to speak out against family violence.

White Ribbon is an international campaign that asks men to show they won't tolerate or remain silent about violence towards women. It originated as a men's movement in Canada and is now part of the United Nations annual calendar. The campaign is organised by the White Ribbon Campaign Trust and focuses on the entire month of November, culminating on November 25 White Ribbon Day.

Mr McGrath will join more than 60 White Ribbon Ambassadors including sports stars, community leaders, judges, entertainers, social workers and activists. Some other ambassadors include Stan Walker, Awen Guttenbeil, Harry Ngata, Reuben Wiki, and Prime Minister John Key.