Dizzee Rascal: Women's Refuge applauds Vodafone's move to pull sponsorship from Rhythm & Vines stage

Vodafone will remove its stage branding from Dizzee Rascal's Rhythm and Vines performance amid controversy over the rapper's domestic violence conviction.

Dizzee Rascal was found guilty of assaulting his ex-fiancée earlier this year, and is set to be the headlining act for Gisborne music festival Rhythm and Vines.

After a month-long campaign from social media activist group Beneath the Glass Ceiling, Vodafone planned to remove its branding from the stage when Dizzee Rascal performs.

In a statement to media, head of corporate affairs Conor Roberts said the company abhorred domestic violence.

"We are extremely disappointed with the decision to select Dizzee Rascal to headline the [festival]."

But he said Vodafone would continue to sponsor the event as a whole.

"We remain supportive of Rhythm & Vines and will continue our sponsorship of the many great musicians and acts that are appearing," Roberts said.

"We're committed to supporting the industry and local artists who have done it tough these past few years."

In a response to Vodafone on its Instagram page, Beneath the Glass Ceiling said Vodafone had not gone far enough.

"While we are grateful you have taken this on board, we're disappointed that you've taken this long to address the issue," a spokesperson wrote.

"We feel this is the bare minimum and an attempt to distance your brand without being a true ally."

Others have applauded the move.

Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said Vodafone made the right decision.

"I'm a little bit surprised, from a purely commercial perspective," she said of the move.

"But given their stance, and the work their company has done around domestic violence, it was probably the only thing they could do."

She said it was particularly troubling for New Zealand, where domestic violence statistics are among the worst in the world.

"The ideal outcome would be for immigration to have a look at their settings around allowing people like this into our country," she said.

"He's an angry man, and I don't think we need any more angry men in our country. We have enough of our own."

Allowing Dizzee Rascal to perform, minimised the impact of family violence and showed there were no consequences, Jury said.

"[I want] to make people understand that what they're doing when they support artists like this isn't harmless," she said.

"It's dangerous, and it's a slap in the face to women like his [ex-fiancée]."

Last month, in an interview for Stuff, Rhythm and Vines co-founder and director Hamish Pinkham said the artist had "done the crime, done the time and now it's time to do the grime", referring to the music genre that the British artist performs.

In a statement sent to media following the interview, Rhythm and Vines apologised for its co-founder's speech.

A spokesperson said the words used were inappropriate and chosen without thought when discussing the serious matter.

"Rhythm & Vines does not condone violence of any kind. We regret any distress these words may have caused."

Rhythm and Vines will run from Thursday into New Year's Eve.