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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

 

Applications are now open for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship 2014.


“This $3000 scholarship will be awarded to a health professional to help further his or her studies,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Wendy McGowan.


We encourage health professionals, especially those studying at a post-graduate level, to apply before the closing date of 1 July.


“Given our rural focus, we are particularly keen to support someone who has an interest in providing health or disability services in rural communities.”


Last year the scholarship went to Otago paramedic, Annabel Taylor, who has furthered her studies with a postgraduate diploma in specialty care.


Click here for more information and applications forms

Rural Women/Access Homehealth Scholarship open

Monday, April 28, 2014

Applications are now open for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship 2014. Read More

Kiera and Noeline from national office were up at the crack of dawn to take part in the Pat Farry Fun Run/ Walk around Wellington Waterfront in mid- March, supported by friends from The Walking Access Commission, Landcorp and Chorus.


The late Dr Pat Farry was a passionate advocate for rural health. A Trust set up in his name continues his work by providing educational scholarships, which have benefited nine medical students since 2010, who will go on to become rural GPs.


The Trust’s annual Fun Run/Walk supports this scholarship. It is held at the same time as the Rural General Practice Network Conference. National councillors sponsored our staff on the Fun Run/Walk this year.


If you'd like to support the team and the Trust, you can make a donation  via the Givealittle website, or post a cheque to national office.


Pictured above are Penny Mudford, NZ Walking Access Commission board member, Kiera Jacobson, the McKenzie family from Landcorp and Craig Young from Chorus.


Taking part in the Pat Farry Trust Fun Run and Walk

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kiera and Noeline from national office were up at the crack of dawn to take part in the Pat Farry Fun Run/ Walk around Wellington Waterfront in mid- March, supported by friends from The Walking Access Commission, Landcorp and Chorus. Read More

More than 100 people a week walk the Cable Bay Walkway, which was set up in 1984 by the Stuart family, who granted access across their farm near Nelson.

Now Rural Women NZ member Barbara Stuart and her husband Ian have been recognised for their significant contribution towards improving public access to New Zealand’s outdoors.

They were recently honoured as public access champions at the inaugural NZ Walking Access Commission Awards in Wellington.

NZ Walking Access Commission Chairman John Forbes said “Their monumental efforts over many years have helped create the access we enjoy today and will no doubt play a major role in ensuring future generations continue to enjoy the same.”

The Stuarts were one of the first private landowners to create a formal public walkway across their farm when Ian’s father established the Cable Bay Walkway 30 years ago.

“Ian and Barbara have continued that spirit of goodwill and embody the values many of us grew up with. Their belief in stewardship and willingness to share the section of our country that they inhabit is something to be admired,” Mr Forbes said.

Other 2013 award winners are Wellington and Dunedin legal advisor and author Brian Hayes and Dunedin public access advocate Alan McMillan.

Rural Women NZ has had a close association with the NZ Walking Access Commission since it was set up five years ago, initially as a foundation stakeholder group from the rural landowner perspective.

We also support the Commission’s project to supply signs for landholders to mark public access routes when crossing private property. For more on the Walking Access Signage project, visit the website.

Pictured above from left, Sam Stuart, Barbara Stuart, and John Forbes. Pictured below is Barbara Stuart at Cable Bay and the signage for public access (click on the image below to enlarge).


Public access champion recognised

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

More than 100 people a week walk the Cable Bay Walkway, which was set up in 1984 by the Stuart family, who granted access across their farm near Nelson. Read More

In a bid to get drivers to slow down, thirty school buses in mid-Canterbury have been fitted with illuminated flashing 20km/h signs - the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus.


The active signs were launched in Ashburton this week as part of a national trial that aims to get motorists to slow down when passing a school bus that’s stopped to let children on or off.  Click here for pictures and videos.


Our national president, Liz Evans, says 23 school children have been killed in New Zealand during the last 25 years when crossing the road to or from school buses, and another 47 have been seriously injured.


“A perception survey our members helped to carry out in Ashburton in July found that 35 per cent of drivers did not even know that 20km/h was the legal speed limit, and very few slow right down.  It would be much the same around the country.”


Data collected during the trial has shown that most motorists are speeding past school buses, with bus drivers reporting less than one in 20 drivers slowing down past a school bus.


The trial is being run by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ Ltd) with funding from the Road Safety Trust (NZ Transport Agency), and supported by the local police, Ashburton District Council and Rural Women New Zealand.

 

The Either way it’s 20k awareness campaign has been running in Ashburton for the last two months.

 

This week illuminated 20km/h signs with flashing beacons have been fitted to the buses operated by Ashburton bus company, Pearsons Coachlines. The company has the contract for 27 school bus runs from the Rangitata to Rakaia, bringing children to schools within Ashburton and outlying rural areas.


Pearsons Coachlines Depot Manager, Mark Cook, says while driving school buses he has seen a lot of close calls, “a lot of which never get reported”.  He’s also witnessed motorists passing stationary school buses on long, straight roads at speeds in excess of 100km/h.


“We were very motivated when the opportunity arose to join with Rural Women New Zealand, with a vision to improve the safety of our children around school buses.

 

“The results so far have been extremely positive and now combined with the new 20km/h signs on the buses, I am sure that the current trial will prove to be successful.”


The signs will operate on Pearsons’ buses until at least June 2014. Bus drivers have already seen a change in driver behaviour, with a notable decrease in the speed at which motorists pass stationary school buses when the signs are operational.


Motorists will have a couple of weeks grace before the police begin to actively enforce the 20km/h speed limit past stationary school buses, says Sergeant Stephen Burgerhout of the Police’s Mid/South Canterbury Highway Patrol.

 

“As there has been a comprehensive educational campaign, I will be highly disappointed to see many offences.”


Rural Women New Zealand strongly hopes that at the end of the trial the NZ Transport Agency will approve the active 20K signs so that they can legally be installed on school buses around the country.

 


Trial of 20K signs on school buses aims to save children's lives

Friday, August 30, 2013

In a bid to get drivers to slow down, thirty school buses in mid-Canterbury have been fitted with illuminated flashing 20km/h signs - the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus. Read More


Small rural communities are getting serious about streams and finding strength in numbers as they rise to the challenge of cleaning up waterways.

Read about the work being done in the Aorere catchment of Golden Bay under the guidance of RWNZ member and Landcare Trust Co-ordinator for Nelson and Marlborough, Barbara Stuart.

Barbara is full of praise for the support of Rural Women NZ members in the region.  

"The Rai Valley Rural Women are absolute Trojans in working on water quality and we've had great support from Bainham as well."

Barbara's role is to support private landowners in sustainable land management, working with communities where water quality problems have been shown to exist.

"Our job is to help farmers deal with that.  We like our farmers to be the leaders, so they commissioned their own scientific reports and together they all sat around and decided how to deal with it.  It's a bottom up approach, working with land owners and land care groups to help them to resolve their own industry issues."

The three key messages being promoted by the Trust are that livestock needs to be kept out of water through fencing systems; there needs to be sufficient effluent storage capacity, with councils pushing for two to three months, and the effluent should be spread on the land at low rates when the soil can take it up to capture the nutrients, thus saving the farmer money."

Rural Women NZ is a trustee of the Landcare Trust

In May 2013, Landcare Trust CEO, Nick Edgar, took part in a workshop in Burlington, Vermont called, Managing Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution: A New Zealand - Vermont Initiative to Share Experiences. Read the thank you note from NZ Ambassador to the U.S. by downloading it here.

Cleaning up Waterways with the Landcare Trust

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Small rural communities are getting serious about streams and finding strength in numbers as they rise to the challenge of cleaning up waterways. 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.

 

 

Constitutional Review - Rural Women encouraged to have your say

Monday, June 03, 2013

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

Long Island model searchLong Island, with Rural Women New Zealand, is searching for the next plus size model. Whether blonde, brunette, tall, short, size 14 or 30, send your head shot to tracy.thompson@longisland.co.nz by 20 May 2013 to be entered to be the next top Plus Size Model for Long Island.


The winner will be flown to a Long Island photoshoot in Christchurch. She will have professional hair and makeup done by a stylist and be featured on the cover of the next catalogue. Winner will also receive a $400 Long Island wardrobe!


The winner will be announced at the Rural Women New Zealand National Conference on Saturday 25 May 2013. Good luck!

Long Island Model Search

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Long Island model searchLong Island, with Rural Women New Zealand, is searching for the next plus size model. Whether blonde, brunette, tall, short, size 14 or 30, send your head shot to tracy.thompson@longisland.co.nz by 20 May 2013 to be entered to be the next top Plus Size Model for Long Island. Read More

Complete this survey and BE IN TO WIN!

www.surveymonkey.com/s/Trees_on_Farms

So … you’ve got a new lifestyle block and want to plant some trees … you’d like to get into a bit of farm forestry … or you want to put in some shade trees or shelter belts on your farm …

But what to plant? How to look after the trees once their planted?  And where to go to find out the best information?

Rural Women New Zealand is supporting a new project: ‘Trees on Farms: making better use of information resources’, which is being funded by the MPI Sustainable Farming Fund, the NZ Farm Forestry Association and Scion Research.

The first thing the project team would like to know is:  What are the best ways of letting people know about planting and managing trees?  
They’ve put together a short survey, and to encourage you to complete it, will put you in the draw for petrol vouchers, a copy of ‘Native Trees of New Zealand and their story’ by John Wardle,  and our own very popular cookbooks ‘A Good Spread’ and ‘A Good Harvest.’
Once they know how people would like to receive the information, the project team will turn their focus to putting together a database of the best information sources for planting and managing trees.
Leading farm foresters, forestry consultants and researchers are all contributing, to make sure that the database is a storehouse of current knowledge and best practice.  Sounds useful …

Thanks for completing the survey!  Here’s the link again:  

www.surveymonkey.com/s/Trees_on_Farms

Trees on Farms - what to plant and how to find out

Monday, December 10, 2012

Complete this survey and BE IN TO WIN! 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.

A lovely new car for Rainbow Place

Monday, October 15, 2012

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

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:

fearful
silent and withdrawn
aggressive
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

NZ Future Farms ConferenceThe way farms are managed is changing.  Today’s farms require more capital, expertise, and governance to remain competitive into the future.  

Join us at the NZ Future Farms Conference, being held at Te Papa Wellington from 20-21 October to focus on the many ways of boosting farm performance and improving farm management.

Delegates are expected from corporate farming, legal, financial, farms services, and small hold farming backgrounds.

Bex WarburtonSouthland Rural Women NZ member, Becs Warburton, (left) will represent Rural Women NZ as a panellist at the Future Farms conference on 21 October. Becs was one of our Growing Dynamic Leaders course participants earlier this year, and runs her own business helping farmers to develop their financial and business literacy skills. Before moving to Southland earlier this year she was a member of our Rangitikei Women in Farming Group.

Free conference places available for smallholding (family) farmers - here's how to apply:

Please make your applications in writing to reception@conferenz.co.nz by 5pm, 24 September 2014.  All applicants will be notified in writing by 1 October 2014.  Please note that the offer is valid for the conference only.

Link to conference brochure

Link to Future Farms Conference website

Future Farms Conference - Te Papa - 20-21 October

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NZ Future Farms ConferenceThe way farms are managed is changing.  Today’s farms require more capital, expertise, and governance to remain competitive into the future.    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

 

Entries are now open for the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award, in association with the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists. 

We welcome entries from journalists in the print and broadcast media. Pictured here are last year's very deserving winners, Sarah Perriam and Tony Glynn of Rural TV, with Jackie Edkins of Rural Women NZ.

The award recognises the important contribution women make in rural communities, either through their role in the farming sector, or to the general rural environment.

Entry form and information

Entries must be of two articles /programmes based on the theme of “rural women making a difference”.  This could be in the sense of community involvement, on farm or in another rural-based business or activity.
 
Any New Zealand-based journalist or communicator is eligible to enter the award.  

Entries close Friday, 12 September.  


Guild of Agricultural Journalists Awards Open

Friday, August 01, 2014

Entries are now open for the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award, in association with the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists.  Read More