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Join Rural Women New Zealand branches for the final three seminars in the Safe Relationships series.

The purpose of the seminars is to increase awareness and education to stop domestic violence in rural communities.

Lesley Elliott MNZM will be the guest speaker and the event will include discussion about what makes a safe relationship. 

Lesley established the Sophie Elliott Foundation after the tragic death of her daughter, Sophie by her former boyfriend. Lesley says, “I applaud this initiative by Rural Women New Zealand and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to rural groups. Domestic violence isn’t a problem just in towns and cities, every community and socio-economic group throughout the country is affected.

The Lotteries Community Fund is supporting the seminars with a commitment by Rural Women New Zealand members to safe relations and safe communities. 

For further information see http://areyouok.org.nz/

Seminars coming up:  

Balclutha - Saturday 20 February 2016 at 7pm.
Cross Recreation Centre, Glasgow Street, Balclutha 
Gold coin entry and light supper provided.
Jane 4182530
Raewyn 4159207
Jo 4182236
Hamilton - Monday 21 March 2016 at 7pm 

Venue to be confirmed.
Contact: Janet Williams, email janet.w123@xtra.co.nz

Nelson - Tuesday 22 March 2016
Venue to be confirmed.
Contact: Melva Robb email: melva.robb@ruralwomen.org.nz



Safe Relationships seminars

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Join Rural Women New Zealand branches for the final three seminars in the Safe Relationships series. Read More

The Centre for Public Health Research at Massey University is inviting 900 children aged 5-11 years from across New Zealand to take part in a health research study.

The research will look at how much New Zealand children are exposed to pesticides and whether this exposure has any effects on their brain and mental functions, and behaviours.

To participate in the study three postal questionnaires will need to be completed by a parent or caregiver on behalf of the child. The first questionnaire will ask about potential sources of pesticide exposure, as well as questions about the parent/caregiver diet, home environment, and family health. The other two questionnaires will ask about the child’s behaviours. There is also a second phase of the study which will involve selected participants being tested with brain exercises measuring their understanding, behaviours and emotions.

If you are interested in taking part, please read through the information sheet (download here) and contact the research coordinator Jean Feary Mckenzie on j.fearymckenzie@massey.ac.nz or free phone 0800 990 053. A parent consent form will also need to be completed (download here). 

The information in the questionnaires will be confidential to the research team and at no time will individual information or names be made public. Please note that you have the right to decline to participate, refuse to answer any particular questions and withdraw from the study at any time.

If you do not have children of the appropriate age to take part, please pass on this information to relatives or friends who are eligible and may be interested in the research study.

Pesticides Research Study calling for participants

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Centre for Public Health Research at Massey University is inviting 900 children aged 5-11 years from across New Zealand to take part in a health research study. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand offers congratulations to Lindy Nelson who has been named as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year 2016 Honours.

Lindy received the award for her service to agriculture and women. She is a long-time member of Rural Women NZ and featured as a guest speaker at our recent National Conference.

Lindy is married to a farmer, David, and together they manage a country sheep and beef operation. Lindy is an active participant in her community of Alfredon and is passionate about encouraging rural people to grow their potential.

Lindy has channelled her business skills into developing leadership programmes for women through the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT). The Trust aims to develop leadership, business and governance skills in rural women. Over 1300 women have completed an AWDT programme and many are members of RWNZ. Lindy is proud that graduates have progressed to working for some of New Zealand’s largest rural organisations.

Lindy sees the New Year’s Honour as an acknowledgement for women in the sector and she hopes it inspires others. She has won several awards over the past few years including being named “Business Woman of the Year” in 2013 by Next Magazine.

Rural Women NZ and Lindy are already busy working on programmes to offer to our membership and branches to foster future leaders for our organisation and council.

Rural recipients of New Year 2016 honours include:

Knights Companion of the Order of New Zealand
David Fagan ONZM of Te Kuiti for shearing services.     

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit
David Civil of Cambridge for services to the dairy industry.
Robert Davison of Wellington for services to the sheep and beef industries.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Brian Powell JP of Blenheim. For services to heritage preservation and the community.
Jonathon Kirk of Waimate for services to agriculture.

Congratulations to Lindy Nelson MNZM

Friday, January 08, 2016

Rural Women New Zealand offers congratulations to Lindy Nelson who has been named as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year 2016 Honours. Read More

Would you like to get dressed up in your beautiful wedding dress one more time?

Your bridesmaids can enter too! 


If you were married between February 2015 and March 2016, why not enter our Bride of the Year 2016 competition?

The event is to be held in Winton at the Central Southland College Hall (note change of venue!)

Date: Monday 21st March at 7:30pm. 

Entries close: Monday 14 March.

Tickets: door sales only $15 adults/ $5 under 15 years

Entry forms:

Bride of the Year entry form (PDF)

Bridesmaid of the Year entry form (PDF)

For further information contact Central Southland Provincial:
Mrs Jill Taylor ~ loravalley@farmside.co.nz ~ 03-2360940
Mrs Karen White ~ whites4@woosh.co.nz ~ 03-2258509


Bride of the Year 2016 - Central Southland Provincial

Friday, January 22, 2016

Would you like to get dressed up in your beautiful wedding dress one more time?  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand members can feel proud of their organisation’s achievements in its 90th year. 

You have been fundraising, baking and knitting for a variety of causes, including rescue helicopters, ambulance services, women’s refuges, rural firefighters, education providers and seasonal workers. Poppies were knitted and donated to the WW1 Centenary project and are on display at Waiouru Museum.

The work continues to improve the social and economic outcomes for rural women and their communities. This year many of you attended seminars raising awareness of the signs of family violence in rural communities. The New Zealand Parliament was lobbied to amend the Domestic Violence Act 1995 to explicitly allow the protection of animals. Campaigning continues on school bus speed restrictions, equity in health services, education and access to broadband.

This festive season, many farming families are under pressure due to financial strains resulting from adverse events such as drought, increased fire risk and low dairy pay-outs. Mental well-being and farm safety have been topics of discussion. Rural Women New Zealand also acknowledge the recent intense media coverage focused on farming practices.

Rural Women New Zealand's vision is to be a positive influence on the environment for rural women and their communities. I urge you to connect with your rural community and show your support for farming families who may be experiencing difficult times or need company over the festive season.

Photo: The 90th birthday cake was made by Melva Robb and cut by Jeanette, Kath and Peggy.


90th Anniversary end of year recap

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rural Women New Zealand members can feel proud of their organisation’s achievements in its 90th year.  Read More

Do you know of any young children who have been very ill with E.coli O157:H7?

How did they catch it? How soon after it was caught was it diagnosed? How bad was it for the child and their family? 

As a rural mother, National Councillor Fiona Gower recognises the need to keep children safe. She knows the dangers of quad bikes, tractors, water and animals as well as other hazards seen daily. But what of those that can’t be seen? Such as minute organisms hiding in mud and water and in animal urine and faeces. These are the bugs that if not dealt with can cause major illness and in some cases irreparable damage and even death. How do we protect our families from them?

Rural Women NZ members are aware of Leptospirosis thanks to fundraising and awareness campaigns. But what about Salmonella and Rotovirus? The latest of the organisms to be targeted by awareness campaigns and research is E. coli O157:H7.

What is E.coli O157?

E.coli O157:H7 (STEC or VTEC) is an intestinal pathogen that causes severe outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to severe bleeding from the bowel, to renal failure leading to transplants or dialysis. It has the most severe effect on children aged under 5 with 10% of cases hospitalised. There was one death in 2014.

The most common risk factors reported for VTEC/STEC infection cases in 2014 were contact with pets, farm animals and animal manure.

  • Kids on farms can be infected with E. coli O157:H7
  • Children under 5 years old most susceptible to serious illness.

This infection has been increasing since 1997 with 187 cases notified last year.

STEC infects cattle and sheep, however animals will appear healthy.

How to keep your children safe:

  • As a veterinarian, RWNZ National Councillor Liz Hancock stresses that hygiene awareness is really important with any of these bugs. Thorough hand washing when coming inside from farm and basic hygiene (leave dirty gumboots and overalls outside) will reduce the opportunity for infection.
  • Parents need to be aware of how to try to prevent their children picking up these bugs. At this time of the year it is important to encourage hand washing, with children spending time in calf sheds and pet day animals and plenty of mud and water around. There are lots of opportunity to pick up bugs by ingestion or through the eyes and nose or cuts and grazes.
  • If a child has diarrhoea and has been in contact with animals, ask a doctor to test for E. coli O157:H7. If your child is very unwell, ask them to check for all the diseases. It is better to push for the test and be negative, than miss it and your child end up in hospital with complications from the disease.
  • Doctors who look after rural patients need to be aware of these organisms and be prepared to test.

Rural Women NZ are interested in your E.coli O157:H7 stories (names and places will be changed to ensure confidentiality) please email Cecilia.desouza@ruralwomen.org.nz. 

Contact for enquiries:

Fiona Gower
National Vice President

Rural Women NZ
Ph: 027 428 3884
Email: fiona.gower@ruralwomen.org.nz  

Children and E.coli

Friday, February 05, 2016
 Read More