The vegetable gardens at South Westland Area School are set for a big boost, thanks to the school winning a $2,000 gardening grant from Rural Women New Zealand and Meridian Energy this week.
Rural Women New Zealand national councillor, Pam Thomlinson, will present the jumbo-sized cheque on behalf of Meridian at a special ceremony to be held at the school on Tuesday 11 December at 9am.
South Westland Area School was one of fifty-two hopeful South Island rural primary schools that applied for the two grants on offer.
The other successful application came from Lyttelton Harbour Basin Schools – a grouping of eight schools that collaborate on gardening projects.
Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said “We are pleased to be able to support children in learning where their food comes from, and how easy it is to grow when you have the right equipment and materials.
“We are also giving the school a copy of our publication “A Good Harvest – Recipes from the Gardens of Rural Women New Zealand” with tips on growing fruit and vegetables, and lots of great recipes for using the produce once it’s grown.”
Meridian is also gifting a copy of the publication to the fifty unsuccessful schools.
South Westland Area School currently has several small garden plots that are managed by different class levels throughout the school.
However, they struggle with high rainfall, and having to take covers on and off their plots for weeding and planting.
The $2,000 gardening grant will be used to buy a tunnel house with irrigation to extend and optimise the growing season.
The vegetable gardens at South Westland Area School are set for a big boost, thanks to the school winning a $2,000 gardening grant from Rural Women New Zealand and Meridian Energy this week. Read More
Children at six North Island rural schools will be encouraged to get their hands dirty as they develop vegetable gardens and orchards after being selected as the lucky winners of $2000 gardening grants.
Rural Women New Zealand and Farmlands will present the cheques to the schools over the coming week.
National president, Liz Evans, says “This is the third time that Rural Women New Zealand and Farmlands have collaborated to distribute the proceeds of the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights, which are held around the North Island during October.
“The resurgence of interest in eating fresh food and getting back to basics was reflected in the number of applications we received, with 113 rural primary schools applying for grants.”
The money will be used to buy equipment, seedlings or plants to start a vegetable garden or orchard, or further develop one already in place.
The schools will also receive gardening equipment from McGregor’s Gardening, a gardening starter kit from Yates, fertiliser from Agrisea NZ Ltd and a copy of ‘A Good Harvest – recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand’ so the children can put all their produce to good use.
Children at six North Island rural schools will be encouraged to get their hands dirty as they develop vegetable gardens and orchards after being selected as the lucky winners of $2000 gardening grants. Read More
To celebrate the International Day of Rural Women on 15 October, we presented a second car to Rainbow Place, which will be used by its nurses and therapists to travel to families coping with grief and loss due to serious illness or the death of a loved one.
“We presented the first car to Rainbow Place this time last year, thanks to fundraising by Rural Women and a generous bequest from one of our treasured members, Chica Gilmer,” says Rukuhia branch spokesperson, Janet Williams.
Now Chica Gilmer’s estate has made available further funds to present a second car to Rainbow Place, the children and young people’s service of Hospice Waikato.
“Children expecting a visit from a Rainbow Place nurse or therapist can look forward to seeing the cheeky bright red cars, sporting the number plates ‘Chica’ and ‘Gilmer’,” says Janet Williams.
The second car will also mean shorter waiting times for families to see a therapist or nurse, who travel hundreds of kilometers each month throughout the Waikato, King Country,Thames and Coromandel, supporting children and young people.
Both cars have been supplied at by Jim Wright Nissan, who has come up with a generous deal on the new Nissan Micra vehicles.
Penny Parsons, Manager of Rainbow Place, says “The Rainbow Place team are so grateful. We just want to say a huge thank you, not only on behalf of the staff, but also on behalf of the children, young people and their families who we now visit, and those we will be visiting in the future. It is the support of our local community that enables us to carry on doing our work with children young people and their families going through ‘tough stuff’.”
Pictured here are Janet Williams and Jim Wright of Jim Wright Nissan who supplied the car.
To celebrate the International Day of Rural Women on 15 October, we presented a second car to Rainbow Place, which will be used by its nurses and therapists to travel to families coping with grief and loss due to serious illness or the death of a loved one. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand is encouraging youngsters to experience the magic of growing vegetables and fruit by giving away grants to North and South Island rural primary schools to set up or further develop gardens and orchards.
Rural Women New Zealand has partnered with Meridian and Farmlands, which are funding $2,000 cash grants for schools to buy equipment, seedlings or plants.
Rural Women New Zealand is encouraging youngsters to experience the magic of growing vegetables and fruit by giving away grants to North and South Island rural primary schools to set up or further develop gardens and orchards. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand, in partnership with Meridian has two Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to two South Island primary schools.
$2,000 cash to be used to buy equipment, seedlings or plants to start a vegetable or fruit garden, or further develop one already in place.
Rural Women New Zealand, in partnership with Meridian has two Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to two South Island primary schools. Read More
On 19 June our national president, Liz Evans, and Wellington Zonta president, Jen McKinlay-Birkin, hosted an evening celebrating Mai Chen’s new Public Law Toolbox.
Mai – a prominent constitutional lawyer - spoke about the book, which looks inside the New Zealand system of government and tells people in detail how it works, without jargon and complex language. The book is a great resource for any organisation that needs to deal with our policy and decision makers.
Over 40 people attended the evening in our Wellington boardroom, and it was also an opportunity to promote our latest cookbook, A Good Harvest, with tastings of relishes, pickles and chutneys to go with a wonderful variety of cheeses.
On 19 June our national president, Liz Evans, and Wellington Zonta president, Jen McKinlay-Birkin, hosted an evening celebrating Mai Chen’s new Public Law Toolbox. Read More
Interested in donating your time, expertise, imagination and materials to make arty dishcloths for a fundraising project for Women's Refuge NZ? They will be part of an exhibition at the NZ Sculpture on Shore in Auckland.
Hundreds of handmade-knitted/crocheted arty dishcloths strung across the landscape on washing line. Celebrating the handmade, recycling, community and delight in the ordinary, and along the way referencing Tibetan peace flags dispersing peace, compassion and strength to all.
Women’s Refuge NZ are asking for volunteers to donate their time, expertise and the materials to make dishcloths for this project. The aim is to have hundreds for sale at $10 each. All proceeds will go to the Women’s Refuges around NZ.
Interested in donating your time, expertise, imagination and materials to make arty dishcloths for a fundraising project for Women's Refuge NZ? They will be part of an exhibition at the NZ Sculpture on Shore in Auckland. Read More
Rural Women NZ, in partnership with Farmlands has six Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to six North Island rural primary schools.
$2,000 cash raised from the Farmlands Ladies Nights 2012. This money is to be used to buy equipment, seedlings or plants to start a vegetable or fruit garden, or further develop one already in place.
A copy of A Good Harvest - Recipes from the Gardens of Rural Women New Zealand.
Rural Women NZ, in partnership with Farmlands has six Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to six North Island rural primary schools. Read More
Do you, or does somebody you know, have time to help an agriculture trainee become a successful New Zealand farmer?
AgITO has begun a nationwide initiative to train volunteer mentors to help agriculture trainees complete their qualifications. Many trainees struggle to complete their training for a host of reasons – some have literacy and/or numeracy issues and many have mindset and confidence issues, especially if they did not do well in a school setting.
To be a mentor you don’t need to be a grammar or mathematics expert, the most important skill is empathy and the most important contribution you make is your time. The mentoring process works best when the mentor and mentee meet regularly – about an hour a week.
They’ll train you to do the best job you can – volunteer mentors attend a two day course run by AgITO, usually over a weekend. Once trained, mentors have any costs involved in being a mentor reimbursed.
If you’re keen to be involved or find out more, please contact :
Mike Styles, LLN Adviser
04 381 7827 or 027 445 7225
Do you, or does somebody you know, have time to help an agriculture trainee become a successful New Zealand farmer? Read More
Two years ago the Southland Life Education Community Trust approached our four Southland Provincials, asking for assistance to replace their educator’s car, as the current one needed major repairs.
The Provincials were pleased to help and recently presented the Trust with a much newer model, complete with the Rural Women New Zealand logo.
The money came from the proceeds of timber milling at the Dipton forest, which was planted by the RWNZ Southland Provincials in the 1950s and has recently started to make a good return from timber.
The RWNZ groups in the area have been strong supporters of the Southland Life Education Community Trust since 1989, including members serving as trustees. The Southland Life Education Trust will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at St John’s Girls School in Invercargill in May.
Two years ago the Southland Life Education Community Trust approached our four Southland Provincials, asking for assistance to replace their educator’s car, as the current one needed major repairs. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand is delighted to announce the winners of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013, following an award ceremony at the opening of the Rural Women NZ national conference in Christchurch yesterday evening.
Liz Evans says “These awards, now in their fifth year, offer an opportunity for rural businesswomen to shine. Our aim is to showcase and celebrate rural enterprise, and this year the judges had 20 strong entries to choose from.”
The Supreme Winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 is Diane Coleman of Treeline Native Nursery, based at Ngongotaha, near Rotorua. Diane also won the Love of the Land category, sponsored by Agrisea Limited. (www.treelinenursery.co.nz).
Treeline Native Nursery, which Diane started 17 years ago, grows and supplies NZ native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes, growing 300,000 plants a year that are sold to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.
Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said Diane Coleman was chosen as the Supreme Winner out of a strong field of contenders, saying she displayed “skill, calm confidence in the progress of her business and a clear awareness of her market.”
“When demand for products slowed with the 2010 economic downturn, Diane adapted to conditions, made some innovative decisions and was able to maintain production levels.
“Added to this, the business is rural-based, employs several rural women and gives back to the community with fund-raising support.”
Other winners on the night were Jan Harper, of Bluespur Butchery in Lawrence, who won the Telecom-sponsored Help! I Need Somebody category.
As one of New Zealand’s first female butchers, Jan, who’s been in the industry since 1977, said it was a ‘dream come true’ when she opened her own business, Bluespur Butchery, in 2009. As well as selling meat to the public, a big part of the business is processing for farmers and hunters.
A very successful exporter of animal by-products from Waipukurau took away the Making it in Rural category, sponsored by Fly Buys Ltd. Angela Payne runs Agri-lab Co-Products Ltd (www.agri-lab.com). Utilising animal parts that previously may have ended up in the offal-pit, the company specialises in placenta, glands, membranes, tendons and glandulars, with 90 percent of the product exported. This is shipped all over the world as raw products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets.
Kylie Stewart of Rangitikei Farmstay was announced as the winner of the Stay, Play, Rural Award, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd. Her 1500 acre farm has been in the family since 1901 and Kylie has breathed new life into many of the old buildings to create attractive accommodation for up to 19 guests at a time who come from all over the world to get a taste of New Zealand rural life with farm tours, horse treks, clay bird shooting and shearing and mustering demonstrations on offer. (www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz).
The judging panel also decided this year to give a special Rural Women NZ Encourgement Award. This went to Lee Lamb, a young farming woman who lives in Waikaia, Southland.
As her children grew, and unable to find New Zealand farm-themed books to read to them, Lee decided to write and illustrate her own. A self-taught writer and painter, Lee was also determined to have her books printed in New Zealand. She now has four titles: On the Farm Shearing, On the Farm Autumn Muster, On the Farm Milking Time and On the Farm Harvest.
In congratulating all the winners, Liz Evans said, “Running a successful business anywhere in today’s competitive economy is not easy. It takes time, commitment, money and a passion to succeed. And, of course, you have to have the initial idea to get started.
“And, in the rural context, the start-up and ability to keep going can produce even more challenges. The logisitics of running a business away from a centralised urban area can throw up hurdles such as access to prompt transport and communication – not to mention extra costs of freight and postage. All our winners have jumped those hurdles.”
Watch: Diane speak about being the Supreme Winner. Video produced by
Rural Women New Zealand is delighted to announce the winners of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013, following an award ceremony at the opening of the Rural Women NZ national conference in Christchurch yesterday evening. Read More
Applications close 1 July for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship
Health professionals with an interest in the rural sector have just three weeks to apply for this year’s the Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship, with a closing date of 1 July.
“This $3000 scholarship will be awarded to a health professional to help further his or her studies,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Liz Evans.
“Given our rural focus, we are particularly keen to support someone who has an interest in providing health or disability services in rural communities.”
Preference will be given to applicants who are studying at post-graduate level.
Last year the scholarship went to a rural practice nurse, Lynette Downie (pictured above) from Murupara, for post graduate study in Women’s Health through Otago University.
Applications close 1 July for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship Read More
Rural Women NZ members are being encouraged to stand for local government and District Health Boards in the local body elections being held in September.
We ran a workshop on this at our national conference in Christchurch in May, with presenters Geoff Evans, who is a Marlborough District Councillor, and John Ayling, the chair of Access Homehealth Ltd.
Nominations for the elections open in July and run for a month (exact dates dependent on legislation currently before Parliament -for details call 0800 922 822).
One of those who is going to put her hand up is Dr Olive Webb (pictured left).
A long standing member of Rural Women New Zealand, Dr Webb (ONZM) is contesting the mayoralty of Selwyn.
Dr Webb comes from farming stock. She grew up in the King Country and Waikato and has lived in Selwyn for 40 years. Dr Webb has had thirteen years on the Canterbury District Health Board, coupled with six years on the board of Rural Women NZ’s Access Homehealth Ltd.
Key issues for Dr Webb include community engagement, fiscal responsibility, water quality, and enhancing the smaller towns of the Selwyn district.
Dr Webb is a registered clinical psychologist and director of the Institute of Applied Human Services where she consults and coaches various organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She specialises in developing strategies and interventions that enable people with disabilities and people who are vulnerable to live ordinary lives. She has a proven track record in business success and is no stranger to implementing change in a large scale organisations.
Rural Women NZ members are being encouraged to stand for local government and District Health Boards in the local body elections being held in September. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’ this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light.
We have been advocating for safer speeds around rural schools for several years, and are thrilled that variable speed limits are to be extended to 23 rural schools, following the success of a trial at seven rural schools in 2012, says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans.
“We’re also delighted that a trial of active, flashing, 20km/h signage is to go ahead on a fleet of school buses in Ashburton early this year, with funding approved just before Christmas.
“Our rural children are often placed in very vulnerable situations getting to and from school, and we welcome both these initiatives to raise driver awareness and slow down traffic,” says Mrs Evans. “We will be actively promoting both these to our nationwide network of members.”
In the first trial, the NZ Transport Agency says the variable speed limits have resulted in an improvement in driver behaviour and reduction in speeds around the rural schools that took part, and the trial will be extended to 23 sites by the end of 2013.
The variable speed limit is set at 70km/h past schools in 100km/h zones, and 60km/h for schools in 80km/h areas.
The speeds are displayed on electronic signs, which allow the speed limit to be changed locally at agreed times.
Mrs Evans says it’s encouraging to see innovative technological solutions being used to solve safety concerns.
“Technology is also the answer when it comes to reminding drivers about the 20km/h speed limit past school buses, and it’s exciting that the Road Safety Trust has approved funding for a trial of active signage on school buses.”
The four stage trial with a bus company in Ashburton is expected to get underway in the next few weeks.
Bright 20km/h signs with flashing lights will be illuminated to alert drivers to the speed limit in both directions when passing a school bus that has stopped for children to get on and off.
The additional schools are:
• Amisfield School, Waikato
• Ararimu School, Papakura
• Dairy Flat School, Dairy Flat
• Elstow-Waihou Combined School, Matamata Piako
• Kaimai School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Loburn School, Waimakariri
• Newstead School, Waikato
• Opoutere School, Thames Coromandel
• Pahoia School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Puni School, Waiuku
• Pyes Pa Road School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Swannanoa School, Waimakariri
• Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha School, Matamata Piako
• Tirohia School, Hauraki
• Waikuka School, Waimakariri
• Westmere School, Wanganui
Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’ this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light. Read More
The deadline to have your say on the NZ Constitutional Review has been extended to 31 July due to growing interest in this topic.
Rural Women New Zealand is encouraging its members to get involved in the current review of how the country is run and what’s important for our future.
In the first half of 2013, the Constitutional Advisory Panel, which is an independent advisory group to the Government, is seeking submissions on New Zealand’s constitution.
Specific topics for discussion include:
the pros and cons of having our constitution written down in a single document,
the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution, and
electoral issues such as the length of the Parliamentary term.
Panel Co-Chair Emeritus Professor John Burrows spoke at our national conference in Christchurch recently, and encouraged people to become informed and take the opportunity to make a submission.
There was a concern that interest groups could flood the panel with submissions and overtake the process, so Prof Burrows said it was essential for individuals to get involved and to have their say.
This is an opportunity for people to tell the panel how they see New Zealand and its future.
The Panel is due to report back to the Government by the end of 2013. Its recommendations will be based on submissions received.
Public submissions are due by 31 July 2013 and can be made online at www.ourconstitution.org.nz by email or post. People can find a wealth of information and meeting resources on the website or by phoning 0508 411 411.
The deadline to have your say on the NZ Constitutional Review has been extended to 31 July due to growing interest in this topic. Read More
Crime Survey Results: Drink driving and speeding a serious concern
Drink driving and speeding are key areas of concern for rural people according to an online rural crime survey conducted by Rural Women New Zealand.
“Over 80 percent of people told us that speeding was a problem in their community and 75 percent said drink driving was also a problem,” says Liz Evans, Rural Women New Zealand’s national president.
While urban people are getting the message not to drink and drive, in rural communities there are persistent offenders who are still ignoring the law, with serious consequences.
At the Rural Women New Zealand national conference in Christchurch last weekend, John Perham of Crimestoppers and Asst Commissioner: Road Policing, Dave Cliff ONZM, (pictured above) said rural people need to move from being by-standers in the crime prevention process to being active participants in helping police in every way we can to make our rural communities safe.
Often rural people will know who is regularly driving drunk, but there is a reluctance to dob in friends and neighbours.
John Perham said people can give information about offenders to Crimestoppers anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111. Police can then act on the tip off and ensure these people are apprehended and prosecuted.
John Perham said in most years 80 people are killed drink driving. But the numbers of people whose lives are affected is much higher: For every 100 drink drivers killed, 50 passengers and 20 others are killed, and 1,000 are seriously injured.
Seventy percent of the Rural Women NZ rural crime survey respondents also said that theft of fuel was a problem, while just over half saw theft of vehicles or of items from a vehicle as an issue.
Asst Commissioner Dave Cliff said in terms of machinery theft, such as quad bikes, it raises the question 'where were the keys?' "Let's engage in a little bit of self-protection."
Dave Cliff also told Rural Women NZ members that police now see family violence as ‘incredibly important and the most important area when it comes to crime prevention’ because when children are exposed to violence in the home on an ongoing basis, boys in particular become less likely to be empathetic and more likely to become offenders themselves. Whereas when girls are exposed to ongoing domestic violence they come to believe it is perfectly normal, and later, thathaving a partner who is violent is normal.
Stock theft is also a problem, but police will only be able to get to the bottom of it when they start to get evidential material. Dave Cliff urged people in rural communities to report stock theft.
"John Perham, Crimestoppers chairman, assured us that rural people should have no worries about confidentiality when using the 0800 number. The call centre is in the UK so even those of us who think we have distinctive and identifiable voices will remain anonymous," Liz Evans said.