Pink competition highlights kindness
BY JULIA WADE
A sea of pink greeted Kaipara’s mayor recently as he ventured into local schools to judge a dress-up competition designed to highlight a serious social issue.
Pink Shirt Day, a growing global phenomena since emerging from Canada in 2007 which encourages people to ‘speak up and stand together to stop bullying’, found its way to Kaipara district on May 17. Students and teachers donned all shades of the colour to show their support of the anti-bullying message, and also in an attempt to impress Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith who had the honour of judging the colourful and creative entrants.
Organised by Twin Coast Community of Learning / Kahui Ako – a collaborative and supportive educational organisation with a focus this year on the wellbeing of students, staff and community – the dress-up competition involved Kaipara’s Paparoa, Maungaturoto, Kaiwaka and Mangawhai Beach primary schools and was part of Bully Free Week NZ, May 14 -17.
“Congratulations to all the students, schools and their teachers for participating in Pink Shirt Day,” Mayor Smith said. “The initiative is important to encourage resilience and also courage, for calling out bullying behaviour in young people. Growing kind people in Kaipara can be fun and colourful as well as have a serious message.”
A sea of pink greeted Mayor Smith on entering classrooms. “My 22-year-old step-daughter colours her hair pink so the colour is trendy and all around us now. Wouldn’t have been possible when I was at school!”