Fifteen years ago White Ribbon Motorcycle rider Eru Whare was a "warrior" - a violent man whose behaviour removed him from his loved ones.
He admits it's taken some time to change but yesterday he rolled into Oamaru with the annual White Ribbon Motorcycle Ride to spread the message that violence is unacceptable.
The riders split into two groups to be greeted by students at St Kevin's College and Waitaki Boys' High School.
Mr Whare told the students at St Kevin's College that domestic violence was hidden in a range of places, such as rugby clubs, netball clubs, schools and in our normal communities.
"Be strong with your friends and family, create a good environment that people would look up to you, especially your peers," he said.
At St Kevin's College, the riders were greeted by a haka by the junior boys of the school - a first for their tour.
"We're challenging our men, especially, to look after our women and say that violence is Waitaki stands up against domestic violence is unacceptable," he said.
Oamaru police Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy said the first way to address family violence, which was a problem in Waitaki, was to highlight the issue.
"In Waitaki we have a number of family violence incidents reported.
"If we don't bring awareness to it, there's no problem seen. It's really to bring awareness so we can start to have those conversations and address the problem," Mr McCoy said.
"For the Otago Rural area, Waitaki has 50 per cent of the family violence statistics."
He said if students, and the community, kept hearing from people, such as the White Ribbon Riders, it would hopefully go a long way in reducing Waitaki's violence statistics.
"It is happening here in Waitaki. We have that attitude that it doesn't happen here; well it does. It's not one particular socio-economic group or race - it's happening right across the community," he said.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Oamaru men to stand up and show they're man enough to stop violence towards women," he said. "We want attitudes to change and our local men to lead this charge."
Mr McCoy said the tour was supported by Age Concern and Subway in Oamaru.
After the welcome, the riders enjoyed morning tea, made by St Kevin's College male students.