New Zealand Defence Force White Ribbon Torch

Portfolio

The Task

To design and manufacture a relay torch

Shining light on the issue of violence towards women

A relay through the length of New Zealand featuring personnel from the Army, Navy, Airforce, Cadets carrying a torch, commissioned for the event to act as a beacon shining light on the issue of violence towards women.


White Ribbon Day, 25 November, is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence towards women. White Ribbon Day celebrates the many men willing to show leadership and commitment to promoting safe, healthy relationships within families and encourages men to challenge each other on attitudes and behaviour that are abusive.

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Timothy (Tim) Keating, MNZM is a White Ribbon Ambassador. In his first year as ambassador he has taken steps to create a defence force that is more welcoming, engaging and a safer environment for women. The White ribbon campaign was seen as the perfect opportunity to promote and reinforce these values across all armed forces.


A relay through the length of New Zealand featuring personnel from the Army, Navy, Airforce, Cadets carrying a torch, commissioned for the event to act as a beacon shining light on the issue of violence towards women. Two groups of personal started the relay from the top of the North Island and base of the South Island, converging at the New Zealand Defence Force HQ in Wellington for the New Zealand Defence Force and Police White Ribbon challenge Marathon.


Throughout the project we worked closely together to develop the torch design. We began by understanding the changing culture of the armed forces, the goal and ambitions of a more inclusive defence force while maintaining their mana. The torch needed to represent both the inherit fierceness and compassion of the work our armed forces engage in.

The torch represents both masculine and feminine, Maori and Pakeha, all the while representing the values of the White Ribbon movement to shine a light on New Zealand's truly shocking family violence statistics. The 80% of New Zealand family violence offenses that go unreported are represented by the 80 kiwi insignia engraved on the torch handle.