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About RWNZ

Rural Women New Zealand is a charitable, membership-based organisation which supports people in rural communities through opportunities, advocacy and connections.

Our members are diverse, but all of us share rural interests that connect and energise us.We are the leading representative body promoting and advocating on rural health, education, land and social issues. We provide information, support, practical learning and leadership opportunities.

Our members

We have groups throughout New Zealand. Some groups meet for networking and friendship, often supporting their local communities through events or fundraising. Others are focused on education and learning, and facilitate training days and workshops.

If you can’t make regular meetings, but still want to have your say and stay connected, then individual membership might be an option for you.


  • Charitable: We continue our traditional role of supporting rural communities.
  • Forward Thinking: We lead the development of strong rural environments for today and the future.
  • Flexible: We are creative, proactive and innovative.
  • Professional: We are reputable and use best practice.
  • Inclusive: We welcome diversity in all its forms.

RWNZ History

RWNZ was established in 1925 by women who wanted better social and economic conditions for rural people. For over 90 years we have been at the forefront of rural issues, working to grow dynamic communities in New Zealand.


Strong, Enduring Rural Environments


Download our Strategic Intent 2014-2017


Read All NewsRecent news

Rural Women New Zealand members are proactive when it comes to farm safety, especially regarding quad bike safety. For us it goes much further than wearing helmets.

If the quad bike is not maintained to a safe standard, the risk of injury or worse is increased, no matter how much training someone has had and that they are wearing the correct protective equipment.

It is the responsibility of all involved in the business to ensure that a quad or any machinery is safe to use. Before use, do a quick walk around a machine for a basic check of your quad, car, bike or tractor. This action could prevent an incident and save a lifetime of pain and suffering for the rider, their family and community.

For quads there is a useful check system TCLOC, which should be done regularly, preferably daily:

T Tyres, wheels, wheel nuts:

  • -Are tyres at the correct pressure? Find out the correct pressure.
  • -Do the tyres have sufficient tread? Are they damaged?
  • -Are rims in good condition?
  • -Are wheel nuts tightened correctly?

C Controls:

  • -Do all control levers work e.g. 4WD/2WD, foot brakes and hand brakes?
  • -Do you know what all controls do and how to use them?

L Lights and electrics:

  • -Are all lights and electrics in working order?
  • -Do all the switches do what they are supposed to?
  • -Where are the battery and fuses on the machine?

O Oils and liquids:

  • -Check oil, brake fluid, fuel levels in the machine.
  • -Do you know how to check these? Is there sufficient fuel in the tank?

C Chassis and suspension:

  • -Check the chassis condition - no rust or damaged framework.
  • -Check for suspicious leaks.
  • -Wash the machine regularly so dirt and muck does not build up covering faults.
  • -Do you understand how the suspension system in the machine works?

After a service it’s advisable to check that all work needed has been done. Provide a check list of your requirements to ensure the work is complete if necessary.

Simple checks and maintenance ensure machinery runs more safely and efficiently and helps prevent accident and injury

For more tips see: WorkSafe New Zealand’s quad bike safety information.


For further details please contact:

Fiona Gower

Vice President

Rural Women New Zealand

Ph: 027 428 3884

Email: Fiona.Gower@ruralwomen.org.nz

Quad bike safety

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Rural Women New Zealand members are proactive when it comes to farm safety, especially regarding quad bike safety. For us it goes much further than wearing helmets. Read More

Women Walk the World is an annual event, where women’s groups in many countries organise walks in their communities along local tracks and trails, to raise funds for the Associated Country Women of the World.

It’s a great way to come together, catch up with friends and have some fun and healthy exercise along the way.

The date for the event is Friday 29 April– ACWW Day - though walks can take place at other dates around that time if more convenient.

Here’s What You Do:

1.Decide on a walk for your group. It can range from a stroll around the park, a hike through the bush, an amble around a neighbourhood or along a walkway.
2.Invite others. This is a great way to reach out to new potential members, and include families and friends.
3.Go to the online registration form, fill it in and email enquiries@ruralwomen.org.nz or post to national office before your walk, so we know what walks are taking place and can promote them.
4.We have t shirts and pedometers for groups that register. Initially one set per group on a first-come, first-served basis. These will be sent on receipt of your registration form.
5.The idea is to raise funds. This could be done through sponsorship, a gold coin donation, or perhaps an afternoon tea or sausage sizzle afterwards. Here is a sponsorship form you can use.
6.Tally up the number of people who attend and the distance walked.
7.Take photos and send to national office so we can publicise your walks and use on our website and Facebook pages. Email enquiries@ruralwomen.org.nz.
8.Send your funds raised, and details of kilometres walked to national office.


Photos from Walk the world events to come!



More About The Work Of ACWW

ACWW connects and supports women and communities worldwide by:

• Working in partnership with member societies to offer mutual support
• Connecting at international level through UN representation
• Funding community development projects
• Supporting agricultural initiatives
Find out more about ACWW here.


Women Walk the World 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Women Walk the World is an annual event, where women’s groups in many countries organise walks in their communities along local tracks and trails, to raise funds for the Associated Country Women of the World. Read More

The government announced its budget on 26 May 2016. Rural Women New Zealand have a budget summary available (click here).

This budget summary was prepared for Rural Women New Zealand by Craig Matthews, freelance writer and editor.


Budget Summary 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016
 Read More

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) in collaboration with the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) wish all duck hunters a safe and successful shoot this season.

Duck hunting is a great opportunity to get the kids outdoors to teach safe firearms handling and behaviour around shotguns.

“This is an excellent environment to teach our children multiple safe practices around firearms, including wearing warm clothing and correct protective gear such as earmuffs,” says Wendy McGowan, RWNZ President. “Shotguns fire at a decibel rating of 170dB which causes instant hearing loss to all those standing close by. Earmuffs or earplugs may eliminate permanent damage.”

What we teach our children now, will set them up for a lifetime of enjoyment in this sport, if they can keep themselves and others safe."

According to Fish & Game NZ, there are more birds in some regions this year, and an extension to the season and increased bag limits in some areas. RWNZ and COLFO remind all firearms users to take heed of the seven basic principles of firearms safety this season. “Bring everyone home safely with a full bag of ducks." 



  • Check every firearm yourself.
  • Pass or accept only an open or unloaded firearm.


  • Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.


  • Load the magazine only when you reach your shooting area.
  • Load the chamber only when ready to shoot.
  • Completely unload before leaving the shooting area.


  • Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you.
  • Assume colour, shape, sound, and shape to be human until proven otherwise.


  • THINK! What may happen if you miss your target? What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?
  • Do not fire when you know others are in your firing zone.


  • When not in use, lock away the bolt, firearm and ammunition separately.
  • Never leave firearms in a vehicle that is unattended.


  • Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.

For further safety information refer to the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners.



Duck hunting season

Friday, May 06, 2016

 Read More

Each year classrooms teach health to children throughout New Zealand. This year they expect to teach more than 260,000 children from 1,500 schools.

In rural areas approximately 80% of children aged 6-13 years will participate in lessons with Harold the Giraffe this year, learning about what it means to be a good friend, how to have a healthy diet and how to keep themselves safe, to name just a few topics.

“We’re absolutely thrilled Rural Women New Zealand have chosen to support Life Education Trust as their national project this year. Rural Women New Zealand have been an important part of our history, spanning back 28 years, and the challenges for children growing up today are certainly no less than in 1988,” says John O’Connell, Chief Executive of Life Education Trust (NZ).

“We’re really looking forward to working together with Rural Women New Zealand and getting out to meet as many of you as possible, working together in partnership for the children of New Zealand.”


Rural Women New Zealand request all branches and groups fundraise for the Life Education Trust and send their monies to National Office of Rural Women New Zealand. The total raised will be given to Life Education Trust to share among their community trusts around New Zealand. 

National Project: Life Education Trust

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Each year classrooms teach health to children throughout New Zealand. This year they expect to teach more than 260,000 children from 1,500 schools. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand Conference competitions are open.  

ACWW Cora Wilding Competition: An English Rose


An English Rose - using any medium, for example felted, knitted, icing, ceramic, painting, or on something like a cushion, wall hanger etc. Can make a bud leaves to go with it.

To be sold at Conference by silent auction for Pennies for Friendship.



Wool Competition:


Four pictorial Peggy Squares. Can be knitted or crocheted 40 stitches and 80 rows of garter stitch. Double knitting wool on number 8 or 4mm knitting needles. Square to be 20cm.

Either 4 individual then stitched together as a block, or knitted or crocheted all four at once to make a block.




Marlborough Short Story and Olive Burdekin advanced writers:

Must start with “It all began when….” You can use your own topic and title 1000-1500 words for Marlborough Short Story and 1500- 2000 for Olive Burdekin. Please send your stories to Helen Godsiff Ferndale, RD2 Picton 7372 by the 31st August 2016.



Val Tarrant Bell open to all entrants.

Tutaenui Bell for first time participants.

Topic is “I may be gone for some time….” Time is 3-5 minutes.




Lady Blundell Trophy- to be confirmed.


Conference competitions 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rural Women New Zealand Conference competitions are open.   Read More