Paul Steinmetz view on the trip to Guam with the rugby and PPDVP group

Paul Steinmetz view on the trip to Guam:

I could understand how taking 4 professional rugby players to Guam would help develop what is a relatively new sport to the little Island of Guam, but I had some serious reservations about how this would all link into the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Program”.  This was just one of the questions I had as we boarded our flight to Guam via Tokyo.

After the 20 Hrs of travel we finally landed in Guam and were rewarded with just 4hrs of sleep. Our first formal engagement was with the First Lady( Christine Calvo ).She epitomised the people of Guam, friendly and genuinely delighted with the message that we would be bestowing upon the people of Guam. She was an avid rugby fan having played the game herself and was the founder of her own charity with ties to Domestic Violence. She would prove to be our strongest promoter and was never far away during our travels, this in itself just added to the hype and media interest created by our visit.

After the first day it was very clear that the interest created through having professional athletes delivering such a serious message was a stroke of genius.

Mark Reddish and Liaki Moli, both 6’6 and 6’7 respectively, brought with them a sense of awe as soon as we walked into the schools and when they demonstrated with the students what it feels like to take part in a lineout( the volunteer being that of the lifted) they were easily a captivated audience.  We all had our chance to speak and each of us had varying messages.  While some spoke of family and what that meant to them other members of the group spoke of the domestic violence that they had to endure in their own upbringing. To hear these stories being told in such a raw and candid manner was for some too much to handle.

During a University lecture one lady removed herself in tears in order to report a situation where she was scared for her life due to an abusive partner.  Our talk had prompted her into action and as such a plan would be put in place to ensure her safety. This was just the start of what we would understand to be an increase of reporting of domestic violence during our stay.

From youth centres, schools and universities to correctional facilities, radio and TV appearances the reach over the 7-8 days to the people of Guam is somewhat staggering.  Their gratitude was relentless and the New Zealand Police with the New Zealand Rugby Union should be very proud of what they are providing to these Islands under the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Program

Personally it gives one the chance to reflect on what’s important in life, to look at the importance of family and to get great satisfaction that the efforts made over a very busy week will change the lives of many in Guam.  

Thanks to Kim, Soni and Steve for helping develop such a meaningful and rewarding trip.


New Zealand Rugby Players Prospective on the Guam tripDSCF1230 DSCF1383 DSCF1202 DSCF1242 DSCF1243 DSCF1245 DSCF1246 DSCF1263 DSCF1267 DSCF1303 DSCF1320

NZ Rugby players in Guam selling “Break the Silence, End the Violence” message for the PPDVP

The opportunity to be involved with the PPDVP and the NZ Police staff involved continues to provide outstanding opportunities for the men of rugby who are selected to be part of the project. The Guam trip worked extremely well. The smaller player group, an impressive in country program coupled with the Guam Police and the First Lady of Guam’s collaboration ensured  a very effective promotion of the key messages and development opportunities for the rugby men.

 Five years ago the visits were about media, schools and rugby to raise awareness around the need to report domestic violence. This trip to Guam involved visits to prisons, schools, universities and interactions with some key political figures from sport and the office of the First Lady. The program has evolved to such an extent that we now place players in situations that put them face to face with the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. As the challenges are elevated so are the learning’s. Players have moved from static media interviews five years ago to live radio and television this year.  Players now refer to experience as life changing, the ultimate in compliments.

 I am extremely proud of what has been achieved through our partnership with the NZ Police on this project. It was a bold move five years ago but the benefits to both partners are evident.  Players now push to be involved on these trips and countries are asking us to come back. What better recommendation can we have than that.

 We have made great friends and contacts in the Police as a result of our combined efforts. Our players have grown to understand the wider functions of the police and the positive attitude they take to their work. A number of player’s are looking at options in the Police post rugby. We may have started out with the intent to support a program and push a message but what we have all gained is far greater that we could have reasonably expected.


Stephen Symonds

Personal Development Manager

Hurricanes limited

021 492998





NZ Police help Tonga to reduce domestic violence

The PPDVP mentor for Tonga – Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner, has recently returned from a week in Tonga, with an emphasis in training and refreshing staff.  The Bay of Plenty Times carries this article

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) Research expanded

PPDVP will undertake the second stage of the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) research in Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Vanuatu in early 2013.  A series of interviews with key participants will add the “qualitative” aspects to the earlier “quantitative” analysis.

These combined results will direct the further training and development work of PPDVP.

The first interviews and workshops will be held in Tonga in the week of the 2nd of December, followed by Samoa on the 9th of December.

PPDVP Programme Officer, Soni Malaulau and Kaitiaki Research Ltd principal, Dr Michael Roguski, will undertake the analysis.

PPDVP Management Assessment of Cook Islands Police

PPDVP Programme Manager Cam Ronald will undertake a visit to Rarotonga from 18th to 21st November.  The assessment will include a stock take of the current activity in the Cook Islands and allow for future cooperation and workplans to be agreed.

PILON Annual Meeting

PPDVP Regional Programme Officer Soni Malaulau will attend the PILON Annual Meeting in Tonga from 4th to 7th of November.  he will present a short summary of the recent Sexual and Gender Based Violence research undertaken by the PPDVP.

PJDP Workshop in Tonga

The Pacific Judicial Development Programme (PJDP) and PPDVP are working together to provide workshops for the Judiciary and the community on domestic and family violence, around the region.

A workshop was held in Tonga from 18 to 20 September. The focus was on the new Family Protection Legislation which has passed in Tonga and raising awareness of domestic violence. The workshop spent time with the Judiciary, prosecutors, the Tonga Police, court staff, and community groups discussing case management and various options around sentencing.

NZ Law Commissioner, and past NZ Chief Family Court Judge, Peter Boshier – led the workshop.

Judge Peter Boshier

A media release by Judge Boshier is available

The workshop heard from PPDVP Programe Manager, Cam Ronald on the regional work of the PPDVP and from the head of the Tonga Police DV Unit, Inspector Sete Polutele, and Ofa Guttenbeil of the Women and Children’s Crisis Centre.



Ofa Guttenbeil

Participants spent time examining the legislation and the new provisions.

Tonga Police and Crown Prosecutor

Tonga Police and Crown Prosecutor

Rotary donate laptops to Tongan organisations

The Rotary Club of Katikati in the Bay of Plenty of New Zealand, with support from a local Tauranga company “Ballance”, have provided laptops through the New Zealand Police International Service Group for use in the pacific.  The laptops have been fully restored after use by the company and have been provided with software and a carry bag.

Three laptops were recently presented in Tonga.  PPDVP Tonga Mentor, Greg Turner, handed over the laptops and noted “These are a great way for New Zealand organisations and their community to support the work on domestic and family violence in Tonga and other pacific countries.” A media article is available.

Laptop hand over

The photos shows Greg, the officer in charge of the Tonga Police DV unit – Inspector Sete Polutele, and one of the three recipients, Lola Koloamatangi of the Tongan National Centre for Women and Children.

The other computers were gifted to the Salvation Army and the Tonga Women and Children’s Crisis Centre.



White Ribbon Day in Nauru 2013

The Nauru Police and PPDVP have worked together to develop a series of posters that will promote a non-violence message in Nauru in the White Ribbon Day period of 2013.

Nauru Poster

The full set of four posters is at Nauru WRD Posters

The posters have been produced by the PPDVP mentor to Nauru – Constable Felix Alefaio of New Zealand Police – taking a series of photos which have been brought together to make the posters by Mission Hall in Wellington.

The posters will be delivered to Nauru prior to the 16 Days of Activism in November.

PPDVP is working with the Australian Federal Police to provide resources such as this to all PICP member countries this year.


PICP works with PPDVP on police culture

The 42nd meeting of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) at Rarotonga adopted recommendations from PPDVP to work together to introduce a change in the culture of pacific police officers around their attitudes to violence.

The PPDVP had undertaken analysis in five countries to determine the attitudes of staff in 2011.  These results have helped to guide a proposed response plan with police to raise their awareness of gender issues in the lives and in their work.

PPDVP Programme Manager Cam Ronald outlined to the Chiefs of Police the findings of the analysis, the issues that were identified, and a proposal on how these attitudes might be improved.  Cam said “The analysis that we have taken has given us a great insight into the lives and thoughts of both male and female officers across the region.  There is now the chance for us to work with them, within their local police forces, to widen their views around what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviours. Things have to change if real progress is to be made. We accept that changing attitudes will take time.”

The PICP members considered the findings and the proposals and agreed that they would support the work of the PPDVP in the particular countries where the surveys were undertaken.  They further agreed that they would take this issue on as one for all of the pacific and work together in their response.

PPDVP is currently developing a programme that will work on identfying desirable and undesirable attitudes at a personal, team, police wide and community level.

Cam said “This is a significant commitment by the Chiefs and one that strongly shows their will to make effective change. ”

An extract from the PICP briefing and their recommendations is available at PPDVP PICP 2013.

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