Quirky messages define West Coast campaign - 23 July 2014

Family is at the heart of everything we do
Let off steam in a positive way
Cut out family violence
Don't let violence takeaway your family
Don't blow your fuse. Take time out before sparks start flying

‘Batter your Fish not your Families' is just one of a series of individualised messages used in the West Coast It's not OK Campaign.

A range of locally known people were asked to come up with their own message against family violence, using their occupation or hobby as a springboard:

‘They shouldn't have to cop your anger' (local policeman)

‘Don't just cruise along, challenge your behaviour' (motorbike rider)

‘Don't blow your fuse. Take time out before the sparks start flying' (electrician)

‘Stop doing your block at them all the time' (woodchopper)

‘Hands are for holding not hitting - it is OK to ask for help' (Salvation Army)

Contributors include shop owners, mayors, artists, sports people and trades people.

The Coast wide campaign involves all three district councils — Westport, Hokitika and Greymouth — under the slogan Coasters Say it is OK to ask for Help.

The messages appear on posters and billboards in all three districts.

In Hokitika a calendar was produced using art work by local primary school children.

They were invited to enter an art competition illustrating what they like doing with their families. The best 12 images were chosen for the calendar.

The calendar also had inspiring messages about family violence prevention and a list of local services where people can get help.

Each primary school pupil was given a calendar to take home.

In Westport high schools pupils were asked to come up with slogans and designs which contributed to the final posters and billboards.

All three councils passed resolutions committing to support family violence prevention on the Coast.

"Asking people to come up with their own message against family violence really helped people to understand that preventing family violence is everybody's business — we all have a role to play," Westport spokesperson Sue Sullivan said.

"Locals love our West Coast flavoured messages which means they are listening to what we are saying and talking to each other about it," Hokitika spokesperson Ned Tauwhare said.


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