League great speaks out on violence

NZ Herald Sep 16, 2009

A new, more activist Families Commission began to emerge yesterday with the appointment of league great Ruben Wiki as an “ambassador” against domestic violence. Wiki, 36, spoke at Manukau’s Friendship House about his own experience as a 10-year-old, when his mother was “beaten up and thrown against the wall” by her partner.

Parents Inc chief executive Bruce Pilbrow, who was appointed a Families Commissioner at the same time as Christine Rankin in May, said bringing in big names was part of a shift in the commission’s focus from research towards “action” on key social issues. “It’s the acting part that I’m interested in – getting something like this, strong advocacy, actually standing up for families,” Mr Pilbrow said. He is also lobbying the Government to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to a year – a cause promoted in a commission report two years ago but not yet endorsed by either major political party.