Countdown is proud to have gained accreditation from White Ribbon for its ongoing work to support team and family members impacted by family violence. To acknowledge the accreditation and to support the great work that both White Ribbon and Shine NZ does in the area of domestic and family violence, Countdown is donating $2,500 to White Ribbon and $2,500 to Shine NZ as part of Light It Orange awareness week (3 to 9 March), which aims to shine a light on domestic violence.

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs said as one of the first companies to introduce a Family Violence Policy, Countdown is pleased that its policy continues to provide very practical support for team members, as well as raise awareness of the issue across our business.

“We are extremely proud of the commitment we have made to address what is a very serious and pervasive issue in New Zealand. We have been able to provide access to additional paid leave for team members impacted by family violence, ensure free counselling is available to those who need it, and provide practical support such as changing rosters or transfers to accommodate changes of circumstance as needed,” said Kiri Hannifin.

“We continue to offer extensive training for new managers to assist them to understand the policy, including training on the signs of family violence and how to approach and talk to team members who may be impacted by it.

Countdown is one of the largest organisations in New Zealand, with more than 18,000 teams and their whanau, they have the ability to help and inform lots of people.

“We’re very serious about providing a supportive and safe workplace for all our team. Not only have we been able to make a real difference to some of our team members lives, but we’re also taking away the stigma associated with family violence which we hope makes our team feel more comfortable to ask for help."

Last month, 20 trainers from around New Zealand commenced training workshops for Countdown’s team in stores and at the Distribution Centres about the issue of family violence and how they can access the policy.

White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann said that Countdown had developed a comprehensive corporate response to family violence. Their policies on family violence and appropriate behaviour frame up all their actions.

“Countdown deserves to be recognised for their commitment to act, and to quickly implement what is an exemplary system of how a large corporation can effectively implement violence

prevention into their business,” said McCann. “We are proud to offer them White Ribbon Accreditation and hope other businesses follow their example and put in place policies and practices that will prevent violence.”