NZ rugby players join anti-violence campaign

Seven New Zealand rugby players are taking part in a programme this weekend that aims to prevent domestic violence.

Domestic violence Source: Breakfast

The players will be in Vanuatu to give their support as role models to the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP).

It is the sixth year running that New Zealand has taken part in the joint initiative between the New Zealand Aid programme, the New Zealand Police and police from five participating Pacific Island nations.

Last year the programme won the NZ Rugby Players Association Off the Field Achievement Award.

Programme head Cam Ronald said over 60 sports people have taken part in the programme in Samoa, Tonga, Guam and the Cook Islands.

"One of the best ways of preventing violence is for young men and women to see role models promoting the message that violence is not OK," Mr Ronald said.

The group will promote the "Break the Silence End the Violence" message with young men and women in Vanuatu as well as sharing their passion for rugby through coaching and skills sessions.

This year, the rugby players will also be joined by NZ Age Grade hockey player Matthew Symonds, who will run training sessions with local hockey players.

New Zealand police assists five countries in the Pacific as part of the PPDVP, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu.

Personal Development Manager for the Hurricanes Steve Symonds has been involved with the programme since it started and says the anti-violence message is one that is close to the players' hearts.

"Rugby is a hard game and you have to be tough on the field, but the message is that there is a time and place to be aggressive and that it is not at home with your family."

Liaki Moli (Auckland and Blues)

James McGougan (Bay of Plenty, Chiefs and Junior All Black)

Onosai Auva'a (NZ 7s, Auckland and Blues, Counties and offshore

Ambrose Curtis (NZ 7s representative Hurricane and Wellington)

Timo Tutavaha (Hurricane and Taranaki)

Motu Matu'u (Hurricane and Wellington)

Mark Abbott (Hurricane and Hawke's Bay)

Matthew Symonds (NZ Age Group Hockey Player)