welcome back, !

recent news

Update from NZ Post

New Zealand Post recently presented at our National Conference in Hawera on how declining mail volumes and increasing fixed costs are affecting their ability to sustain their current business model.

They have made a commitment to closely engage with Rural Women New Zealand to ensure the rural community is kept informed, with the aim of ensuring there is a viable, sustainable network for the future. 

Below is an update from New Zealand Post on the current situation.

• In the past decade the volume of mail carried by New Zealand Post has fallen by 20%. That drop in volume is continuing, with nearly 40 million fewer mail items posted in the past year alone. We estimate that mail volumes will halve by 2018.
• The costs of maintaining a postal delivery network have increased in the past decade with a 20% growth in the number of addresses New Zealand Post is required to deliver to at least five or six days per week.

Those two trends – declining volumes and increasing fixed costs - will continue as people increasingly choose to share information and documents electronically through using email, TXT, Twitter, Facebook, and Skype, to name a few. The planned rollout of high-speed broadband will further advance these trends, as a growing number of people take advantage of the convenience of digital messaging channels. 

New Zealand Post has various initiatives underway to ensure a sustainable postal services network in the future. These include redesigning our mail processing and delivery networks, developing digital options through which our customers can choose how they receive their items, and we’re planning for a network that is flexible so we can quickly adapt to meet the rapidly changing needs of people.

We’re designing and planning this work now to make sure we do what’s right for customers and the business from two to three years and beyond. However, we believe the lead–in times to achieve the change are years rather than months. 

To help achieve these necessary changes we are seeking amendments to the Deed of Understanding with the Crown, which hasn’t had any substantial updates since 1998. We expect the Government to call for public submissions on a discussion document on the Deed this year. 

As part of amending the Deed, we are seeking flexibility around delivery frequency and the shape of the postal outlet network. We know we have to adapt the delivery network to match the way people are using physical mail, and the current six-day delivery to more than 95 percent of delivery points simply won’t work in the years to come without both significant and frequent price increases – or seeking a subsidy from the Government. Neither option would be sustainable and would merely stave off the inevitable for a short period.

We need to be ready to adjust delivery frequency which we know has a significant lead-in time. We need the flexibility in our agreement with the Government now, so we can change in the future. Waiting and doing nothing means we would lack the ability to provide certainty around price and service. 

The 1998 Deed also requires New Zealand Post to maintain a retail network of at least 880 postal outlets, of which 240 must include ‘agency services’. While valid at the time, the reality these days is that there is a multitude of other ways to access ‘agency services’ outside of a ‘shop’ environment with technology enabling a wide range of retail outlets to provide agency services. It might also be appropriate to examine the presumption (in the 1998 Deed) that New Zealand Post should be tied to the provision of agency services – which are increasingly able to be met efficiently using digital means and through the private sector. New Zealand Post wants to provide services through a wider range of points of presence rather than be locked into a set number of ‘bricks and mortar’ locations. 

An important point to note here – and one which will become an issue as the media is bound to speculate on possible scenarios – we’re not talking about sudden or impulsive changes. We’re looking to ensure sustainability for the next decade and this year needs to see our “first steps” in establishing the policy framework so we can make necessary steps in the future. There will be no ‘sudden moves’ and we are committed to keeping you informed. 

If you have any questions or feedback please contact either Noeline Holt, RWNZ EO or John Tulloch, NZ Post External Communications Manager, 04 496 4924 (landline); 027 429 9249 (mobile) or john.tulloch@nzpost.co.nz

Read All NewsRecent news

Wonder how many groups taking part in Women Walk the World events around the globe were accompanied by an animal?

Near Whanganui, Harley the pet goat followed 13 Fordell-Mangamahu members all the way on their 12 kilometre trek over hilly terrain during their Women Walk the World day out.

Setting off from a farmhouse at 190 metres above sea level, the members and Harley climbed up to 434 metres over four hours, traversing typical hill country land.  They took their lunch with them and enjoyed the wonderful 360 degree views in perfect autumn weather. Not to be left out, three dogs also joined the hikers and Harley on their adventure.

The walk was one of 30 that Rural Women NZ members took part in, combining a social day in the fresh air with fundraising for the ACWW cause. In total we raised $1,931.76.  

Our Forest Reserve branch members in the far north chose to do a coastal walk at Mangawhai heads.  “Starting  at the Sandbar Cafe they climbed the stairs to the clifftop walkway.  “This walk mirrored the Troubadour’s Walk one of the walks in the hugely popular Mangawhai Walking Weekend held in March.  We enjoyed the stupendous view of the Estuary and out to sea the Hen and Chicken Islands and Little Barrier on the horizon before wending our way down a track through bush on the headland to the Estuary again.  An amble along the shore then a stiff climb up to the residential streets of Mangwhai Heads and back to the Sandbar for a drink and informal meeting.  A total of $100 was raised from a gold coin donation for the walk and an extra special trading table.  A fun day for a good cause.

North Auckland Provincial members and some husbands and friends gathered at Butler’s Point Whaling Museum at Hi Hi beach, Mangonui, to look around the museum and walk through the beautiful old gardens of the homestead, built in 1876, including 170 year old magnolia trees, says Marilyn Hutchings, provincial president.
Our smallest branches weren’t going to be left out either.  Three members from Colville in north Coromandel set off on a fine morning, riding their bikes a short distance before walking up and over the hill to Waitete Bay, where they plunged into the sea for a refreshing swim and ate lunch before retracing their footsteps back to Colville, a 16 kilometre walk in total.

Omokoroa Rural Women met at Salisbury Wharf at Mt Maunganui and after an enjoyable lunch walked along the beautiful boardwalk at Pilot Bay.

A larger group of 32 members explored the newly-opened Clutha Gold Trail in the South Island, which offers a unique heritage experience. The trail showcases the area’s history, including the earliest Maori moa hunters, Chinese gold miners and European-style farming. The walkers, from our Beaumont-Tuapeka group, rounded out their day’s activities with raffles to raise funds for ACWW and a well-deserved cup of tea.

Other walks were held in Taranaki, at Lake Mangamahoe, Dargaville during the regional conference, Thomson’s Bush on the banks of the Waihopai River near Invercargill, at Puketi coastal garden, at Butler’s Museum Kaikohe; at the Waitahora Valley by members of the Mangatoro branch; and at Mount Maunganui, where members of Te Puke-Rotoehu branch stepped out.  Cromwell branch members walked around Lake Hayes and lunched together in Arrowtown after their 10K hike.  Rukuhia and Tirau branch members walked around Lake Cameron, and Rerewhakaaiti members took a stroll around a retirement village gardens. Others groups that took part included Franklin, Oropi, Hampden, North Otago Provincial, Henley, Pokuru, Naike, Auroa, Muhuinoa East, Scotts Ferry, Mahikapawa and Omokoroa branches.  You all earned yourselves a cuppa and a big pat on the back!

Once again, Rural Women New Zealand’s Women Walk the World challenge was a great success and our members are looking forward to taking part again next year.

National council has agreed to donate $1000 from Women Walk the World to our Solomon Islands appeal.  The rest will go to ACWW’s Pennies for Friendship fund. To date we have raised $1931.76.  

Women Walk the World 2014

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Wonder how many groups taking part in Women Walk the World events around the globe were accompanied by an animal? Read More

Rural Women NZ's letter box sticker competition is helping show our support for violence-free families.

The competition is being run in partnership with the national It’s Not OK Campaign.

People can show they support violence-free families by posting a sticker on their letter box encouraging us all to make our communities safer. 

Then enter our competition by sending in a photo of your letter box with the sticker on it, just like the one sent in here by one of member Wendy Knight.

Did you know ...

In New Zealand 39% of women in rural areas and 33% in urban areas will experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime
Half of all murders and 58% of violent crime in New Zealand is family violence
Police are called to a family violence incident every six minutes but estimate only 20% of incidents are ever reported.

Family violence can be hard to detect in rural communities where houses are far apart and victims can be more easily isolated from family and friends than in built up areas.

“It can be easy to say ‘It’s not my business’ if we are worried that violence might be happening to someone we know.  But family violence is a crime and should be reported,” says national president, Wendy McGowan.

“As members of Rural Women NZ we can take leadership on this issue.  We can use our profile in our communities to bring this serious social issue out into the open.”

“Friends and family are usually the first people to see the signs of violence in the home and we encourage people to offer help – safely – if they are concerned.

“We say it’s better to be wrong than sorry, so act on your gut instinct.  We don’t recommend intervening in a violent situation, but do recommend asking for help or advice or reaching out at a quiet time.”

Violence is not just physical, it’s psychological, sexual, financial and emotional. Below are some signs that violence is happening in a family relationship.

A victim may be:

fearful, nervous
isolated, doesn't want you coming round
worried about their partner's reaction

A child may be:

silent and withdrawn
unusually well behaved

A perpetrator may be:

controlling their partner and children
making all the decisions
jealous and possessive
controlling finance

The It’s not OK website has more information for family and friends.

The Rural Women NZ letterbox sticker and awareness campaign will run throughout 2014. Contact national office if you'd like a supply of stickers for your community.

Rural Women New Zealand members have organised some great events for Adult Learners Week in September.

Tamahere (Waikato) - chainsaw day

Awana (Great Barrier) - prostate and health issues day

Moa Flat (Otago) - workshop on Iriens

Beaumont-Tuapeka (Southland) - whanau fun day of workshops

Central Taranaki - education changes in primary schools; how parents and grandparents can help

Southland Interprovincial - IT skills day

Rukuhia (Waikato) - IT skills day

Onewhero (Auckland) - communications and leadership day

Pakawau - first aid refresher course

For more information contact Mary Gavigan, ACE Aotearoa

Adult Learners' Week events

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rural Women New Zealand members have organised some great events for Adult Learners Week in September. Read More

Doubtless Bay Branch has undertaken a fantastic project helping Peria School in 2014 to help achieve its vision of expanding its sustainable culture to generating its own electricity. This will hopefully free up funds to expand its curriculum to include more science equipment, formal music and art tuition, and heating its pool so it can be used by the whole community year round.


On Monday, 23rd June, Peria School in the far north became the very first North Island school to be solar powered. The switch on was officiated by Dr Russell Norman who was most impressed by the communities can-do attitude that facilitated this achievement without government assistance. 


Featured in the photo above are Doubtless Bay Branch members Joan Petherick, Pat Shephard, Lois Garton and Gail Garton with Dr. Russell Norman. Featured below right is Dr. Russell Norman addressing the students, staff and guests at the 1872 Peria school with the new solar panels.


You can read more on the project from the NZ Herald here.

Doubtless Bay local project 2014

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Doubtless Bay Branch has undertaken a fantastic project helping Peria School in 2014 to help achieve its vision of expanding its sustainable culture to generating its own electricity. This will hopefully free up funds to expand its curriculum to include more science equipment, formal music and art tuition, and heating its pool so it can be used by the whole community year round. Read More

Northland has been dealt a severe blow from adverse weather over the last couple of weeks and we know some of you wish to help those who've suffered losses, even from afar.

As we know from past events, it isn’t just now that assistance will be needed and appreciated.  It is later once the clean-up is finished that the effect of the stress may show itself.  It’s well documented that such adverse events lead to a spike in family violence, while some people may suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder later.

Northland is an area with a large number of lower socio-economic communities that are less well-resourced financially to cope when disaster strikes.

We aim to assist people under stress in the region now, and to help reduce the impacts further down the track, by:

• sharing information about support available, including the “It’s OK to Ask for Help” campaign
• promoting and supporting Mental Health 101 courses (or similar) being specifically organised for the region
• working with other agencies to find out where help is needed
• organising community get-togethers, morning teas, bbqs etc to de-stress and share information
• raising funds to distribute to those with specific needs

Northland appeal:  If you’d like to donate to our Rural Women NZ Northland Appeal, please deposit funds into Bank Account 06 0493 0317603 00 (Kaurilands RWNZ) or post cheques to Rural Women NZ, PO Box 12-021, Thorndon, Wellington (donations are tax deductible). 

Our Regional Management Team will work with local agencies and support groups in the area to identify where the funds are needed most.

If any members are in need of help, or you know of somebody in need of support, please get in touch with our Top of the North regional councillor, Fiona Gower


With the calving season upon us, we thought this lovely recipe for Cowshed Buns from Lorna Bayly at our Stratford Branch, was a perfect one to share.


You might just need another quick and easy recipe to whip up over the weekend! You can find more recipes like this in our new book, A Good Baking Day.


Cowshed Buns


250 g butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 dssp golden syrup

2 eggs

1 cup sultanas

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder



Preheat oven to 170 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all ingredients well and place spoonfuls onto the baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


*photo is from recipe on baby world uk

Cowshed Buns

Friday, July 04, 2014

With the calving season upon us, we thought this lovely recipe for Cowshed Buns from Lorna Bayly at our Stratford Branch, was a perfect one to share.  Read More