Bullying-Free NZ Week 2019

Bullying-Free NZ Week ran from Monday 13 May to Friday 17 May. See how schools took part and check out this year's free school activity pack to use to support work all year round.

On this page:

Whakanuia Tōu Āhua Ake! Celebrating Being Us!

hands up

The theme for the fourth annual Bullying-Free Week (13 to 17 May 2019) was Whakanuia Tōu Āhua Ake! Celebrating Being Us!

It was an opportunity for students to celebrate what makes them unique – such as talents, interests, appearance, disability, culture, race, gender or sexuality.

Schools that encourage respect, value opinions, celebrate difference, and promote positive relationships make it difficult for bullying behaviour to thrive or be tolerated.

Supporting diversity, talking about bullyilng and working together. encourages schools to build environments where everyone is welcome, safe and free from bullying.

True Colours Club at Rototuna High School

true colours
photo credit: Rototuna High School

Year 13 students Timi Barabas and Namrata Verma have started a group for students called the True Colours Club.

This student-led initiative was created with the aim of creating a safe zone for students at school. There are currently 18 students from years 7–13 in the club, who hold weekly meetings and a school counsellor also attends to give support and advice.

To coincide with Bullying-Free NZ Week, the true Colours Club organised their own Kindness Week Including a True Colours concert, a compliments wall, free lollies, secret squirrel gifts and a drone photo of the entire school in pink They also plan to start workshops to help students understand the impact of bullying on mental health and how to take actions towards taking a stand.

Read more at the NZ Herald(external link) and on the Pink Shirt Day(external link) website.

Buddy benches at Onekawa School, Napier

buddy bench
Photo: Warren Buckland, NZ Herald

Painted in bright and inviting colours, Onewaka School's new buddy benches have been creaed to reduce loneliness and encourage friendships in the playground. The school's PTA, Team Pipi, were inspired to create their own bench after co-chair, Jo Breslin noticed the concept at another school. Breslin said it was a great way to share the message of inclusion and kindness. "It's a non-verbal way for kids to communicate that they're in need of a friend or someone to talk to."

Read more at the NZ Herald.(external link)

A week-long conversation at Tinui School, Wairarapa

Tinui School, a small rural Wairarapa school, had a week-long conversation for Bullying-Free NZ Week, ending with a show of pink for Pink Shirt Day.

Throughout the week they discussed bullying at morning Karakia and Waiata and used resources from the website to create posters in mixed age groups that were displayed across their two multi-level classrooms.

Tinui School PSD
Photo: Tinui School

Coming together as a Kāhui Ako at Oteha Valley School

Oteha Valley School, a multi-cultural primary school in Albany on Auckland’s North Shore, were one of seven schools across Oneroa Kāhui Ako who came together for Bullying-Free NZ Week and Pink Shirt Day. 

Kāhui Ako leaders spoke to all students in classes about what they could do to tackle bullying. At Oteha Valley Primary School almost all the children dressed in pink for a day focused on collaboration, friendship, and following the school’s anti-bullying programme.

The school raised $465 that went towards the overall total of over $4000 donated by Oneroa Kahui Ako to the Mental Health Foundation.

Oteha Valley School
Photo: Oteha Valley School

Students led a week of smiles at Whanganui High School

whanganui high
Photo: Caitlin Currie, NZ Herald

Student leaders from each of the four houses at Whanganui High School planned a week of activities focused on making school a safe, happy and inclusive place.

For 'Compliment for a Cookie' and the 'Smile project', students wrote compliments and exchanged kind messages for free cookie or hot chocolate. "Spread the love" saw the students for a giant pink heart on the school field.

Daily presentations from Paul Miller, school community officer with the Whanganui Police talked about social media, staying safe on line, and where students can go for help. 

Read more at the NZ Herald(external link).

Reinforcing what’s right at Longford Intermediate

Photo: KAYLA HODGE, The Ensign

At Longford Intermediate students, teachers and members of Gore police came together to reinforce the message that bullying is not OK.

Throughout the week, students completed challenges led by students including creating anti-bullying posters, a rap about being kind to one another, a poem to encourage people to be themselves, and artwork about accepting diversity. As a prize, four winners from each task were taken to school in a police patrol car on Friday.

Read more at The Ensign(external link)

A chain of talent in Taupo

At Taupo Intermediate, Police School Community Officer Tash Marinkovich worked with students on a massive pink paper chain. Each student had to write something they are good at on a piece of paper, with formed a link in a chain, with each class contributing a section.

Photos: NZ Police

Ideas for year-round bullying prevention activities across the whole school

Bullying prevention is an ongoing focus. Use the Bullying-Free NZ resources to support work all year round. Here are some quick and simple ways to get your school talking about bullying at any time of the year.

Bullying-Free NZ Week 2019 resources


Bullying-Free NZ Week 2019 FREE Activity Pack

Full of ideas and activities for students and staff. Check it out!


Bullying-Free NZ Week 2019 DIY Poster

Use the template to create your own school poster for Bullying-Free NZ Week 2019.


Be Heard 2019: a media guide for schools

Help tell your community about your school’s bullying prevention activities.


Bullying-Free NZ Week 2019 promotional flyer

Use the one-page flyer to promote your Bullying-Free Week 2019 activities in your school community.

Pink Shirt Day

pink shirt day
Pink Shirt Day

Bullying-Free NZ Week ended with the Mental Health Foundation's Pink Shirt Day(external link).

Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying(external link), mobilising their whole-school, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Pink Shirt Day aims to create schools, workplaces and communities where all people feel safe, valued and respected.

Check out Pink Shirt Day

Visit Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa website(external link) and facebook (external link)for more information.