Vigil for Grace

Vigil for Grace

On Wednesday evening, thousands of New Zealanders came together across the country in a number of vigils in different cities for Grace Millane. The vigil in Federal Street, downtown Auckland also remembered all of the women killed in New Zealand in 2018. Upwards of 2000 people filled the block of Federal Street from Victoria St to Wellesley St, listening to speeches and joining in songs.

Ali Mau began by reading out the names of 13 women killed in New Zealand in 2018, also mentioning an additional two women whose names couldn’t be read out for legal reasons:

Anastasia Margaret Neve 
Amber Rose Rush 
Aroha Iolene Kerehoma
Zena Campbell
 Alicia Crawford
Ariana Eva Clara Mahu
Nicole Marie Tuxford
Yanyan Meng 
Demetrius Pairama 
Leigh Kauhoe Wallace
Lynace Parakuku
Keshni Mala Naicker

Grace Emmie-Rose Millane

Ali directed the audience to seek out a number of Shine staff and volunteers wearing high-visibility vests if they needed help or had questions. These Shine staff and volunteers had a number of conversations with people who approached them for advice or support.

The detective in charge of the Grace Millane murder investigation, Detective Inspector Scott Beard, and Senior Sergeant Vaughan Graham spoke of Grace and her family, and also highlighted that her murder was not an isolated case, as the NZ Police deal with men’s violence against women every day.

Shine in School Educator Shelley Hirst spoke last about New Zealand’s shameful record of violence against women and the urgent need for change. Shelley repeated Shine GM Jane Drumm’s words on Newstalk ZB that it will not be agencies like Shine or the Police that are really going to make these changes. It’s going to be all of us, in our own homes, in our relationships, how we relate to each other and other people when we leave our homes.

The vigil ended with a moving rendition of Amazing Grace sung by Lizzie Marvelly.

You can view a video of the full Vigil for Grace on Stuff.

“This is by no means an easy job, with the volunteers having to face very sensitive situations head on. Shine’s volunteers get a chance to make a real difference in the lives of people affected by domestic violence.”