Northland students Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau and Jayde Brown say bullying is harmful and should never be accepted.

It's a simple but straightforward message from the two Te Kapehu Whetu students who were two of about 100 at the school who dressed for Pink Shirt Day.

The national day is a chance for individuals, schools, community groups and businesses to unite against bullying.

Te Aroha and Jayde, both 11, said bullying was "bad". "We're wearing pink because we are against bullying," said Te Aroha.


"Bullying doesn't belong in our school," said Jayde. She worried that people who were bullied might commit suicide.

The school walked around the Hatea Loop and the staff got involved, dressing in onesies and other pink gear.

Meanwhile, Whangarei Boys' High School also celebrated Pink Shirt Day with stalls and sausage sizzles.

Photographer Michael Cunningham went to both schools to capture all the pink. The schools were among dozens of organisations in Northland, and hundreds nationally, that took part in yesterday's event.

Pink Shirt Day started in Canada in 2007 when two school students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a younger student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink.

The day is led by the Mental Health Foundation, with the Peace Foundation, Rainbow Youth, InsideOut, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association, Youthline and Family Works.