14 June 2012
WO1 Todd Groombridge in front of "It's Not Ok" Campaign billboard in Upper Hutt
Roadside billboards featuring New Zealand Defence Force (NZ Defence Force) personnel will be placed in Upper Hutt alongside those of All Black Cory Jane in support of the City Council’s month-long campaign against family violence starting 18 June.
"Family violence is a community issue and we in the NZ Defence Force can help prevent this by supporting initiatives in the wider community," Assistant Chief Personnel Commodore Kevin Keat said.
The billboards feature four of the six "Champions" who are fronting the campaign within the NZ Defence Force – Lieutenant Sarah Smith from the Navy, Major David Thorsen and Warrant Officer Class One Todd Groombridge from the Army, and Squadron Leader Oliver Bint from the Air Force.
The billboards will be placed at the entrance to Trentham Camp, Whakatiki Street, Fergusson Drive opposite Exchange Street, outside Rimutaka Tavern (just before the Caltex gas station) and in Silverstream.
Billboards featuring Cory Jane, who plays for the Wellington Hurricanes, will be placed at Riverstone, Gibbons Street, Harcourt Park and Totara Park.
"This show of support from the NZ Defence Force is a big boost for our campaign," Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy said. "Police statistics show that about half of all homicides in New Zealand result from family violence so the more support we can get, the faster we can remove this scourge from our communities."
"We congratulate the NZ Defence Force for showing leadership on this issue. By raising awareness about family violence within the NZ Defence Force and by joining the Upper Hutt City’s campaign, they have shown true commitment to reducing New Zealand's high rates of family violence," said Murray Edridge, Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
The billboards are supported by the "It's not OK" campaign, which is based at MSD. The campaign funds community projects all over New Zealand to change attitudes and behaviour towards family violence.
Last December, the NZ Defence Force launched its own campaign against family violence. Posters and brochures about family violence have been disseminated in camps and bases throughout the country. Online information about warning signs of family violence and where to seek help have also been made available to NZ Defence Force personnel.
The NZ Defence Force’s information campaign aimed to raise awareness about family violence issues, signpost the services that are available within the organisation and externally, and encourage personnel to seek help if needed.
For media queries, please contact: Major John Gordon, Senior Communications and Media on 021 478 574.