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Rural Women Outlook

Read about our latest activities in Rural Women Outlook


Rural women outlook

In this section you will find our Rural Women Outlook. This is now published twice a year.

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Bulletin Aotearoa

Thank you for your ongoing support of Bulletin Aotearoa, which has been a key Rural Women NZ publication over the past eight years, helping to keep communities well informed.

Unfortunately we have been unable to meet our subscription target, and it is with regret that we have to advise that we will not be producing any further issues of Bulletin Aotearoa. You can find useful information on beehive.govt.nz, and parliament.nz.

Our grateful thanks go to our sponsors who so generously supported us.

   

 

Read All NewsRecent news

Rural Women members have been helping to present $2000 jumbo-sized cheques to eleven rural schools who were lucky enough to win the Farmlands Garden Grants competition.

Pictured here are pupils from Wharepapa South School, who received their winnings from the secretary of the local Rural Women branch, Jacqui Wellington.

The popular grants are a joint Rural Women New Zealand/Farmlands venture, aimed at helping schools develop vegetable gardens and orchards.

This is the fourth year we've given out the gardening grants with funds from the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights.

“It’s a great way to help schools teach children how easy it is to grow food and what makes a healthy diet. In past years the gardening grants have been used by schools to build tunnel houses, composting systems, buy plants and fruit trees and gardening equipment.”

This year 52 North Island schools and 38 South Island schools applied for the grants. The entries were colourful and enthusiastic, and in some cases included videos created by the children showing what they hoped to achieve in their gardens.

The lucky winners are:

Otamarakau School, Bay of Plenty
Paparoa Primary School, Northland
Te Horo School, Kapiti
Wharepapa South School, Waikato
Norfolk School, Taranaki
Patoka School, Hawke’s Bay
Lauriston School, Canterbury
Seddon School, Marlborough
Clutha Valley Primary School, Otago
Lake Brunner School, West Coast
Waianiwa School, Southland


The schools also received fertiliser from Agrisea NZ Ltd and a copy of ‘A Good Harvest – recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand'.

Farmlands’ Chief Executive, Brent Esler, says the company is proud to continue its support of Rural Women New Zealand and the rural school garden grants.

“As a rural co-operative it just makes sense for us to support schools that make up the hubs of the rural communities we service.”




Farmlands Garden Grants 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rural Women members have been helping to present $2000 jumbo-sized cheques to eleven rural schools who were lucky enough to win the Farmlands Garden Grants competition. Read More

A new guide for good management practices for farmers has been launched by the primary industries.

The new definitions were developed in collaboration with Environment Canterbury, AgResearch, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research. It is a key part of the Matrix of Good Management (MGM) project which is being developed for the Canterbury region.

Federated Farmers’ environment spokesperson Ian Mackenzie who is a member of the cross-sector governance group for the Canterbury MGM project, says the New Zealand public’s concern about water quality and environmental stewardship has made it imperative for farmers to show they are getting land, plant and nutrient management right.

He says this has been defined by a range of primary sector industry groups as “good management practice” in a summary that is “the first of its kind”. “This document goes beyond a list of practices that are good for water quality and outlines a suite of good management practices that all farmers, regardless of sector, are expected to achieve.

“As a first step to get all farmers up to a high standard of environmental awareness, we needed to agree as a sector what good management practice looks like. We have to involve farmers in that process to help us define that in very practical terms. We are now well on the way to getting industry-wide agreement on what ‘good’ looks like in terms of farming that protects water quality.”

Mr Mackenzie says the good management practices detailed in the new document are a comprehensive list of the outcomes that all farmers, wherever they are in New Zealand, could reasonably be expected to achieve.

“The summary has been prepared over the past 18 months with discussions at farmer workshops and with individual farmers, rural professionals and industry representatives. We’ve tested this with different groups including leading farmers to make sure it’s practical and doable. We want to get some consistency in everyone’s approach to this multi-dimensional topic.

“It’s tough for farmers if they keep getting mixed or confused messages from different bodies. We hope this document will give farmers some certainty on what they need to concentrate on to lift environmental performance. The public can also see the kind of responsible farming practices that are needed to protect water quality,” he says. “This will be an evolving suite of tools and practical measures that the industry can develop as we learn new practices and science.”

Two examples of the good management practices listed in the new guide include:

  • Locate and manage farm tracks, gateways, water troughs, self-feeding areas, stock camps, wallows and other sources of run-off to minimise risks to water quality.
  • Manage the amount and timing of fertiliser inputs, taking account of all sources of nutrients, to match plant requirements and minimise risk of losses.

Mr Mackenzie says the summary has been approved by a cross-sector governance stakeholder group, which includes senior representatives from industry, government and the community.

“The details on how exactly the good management practices will be used and reflected in council plans and policies are still being worked through with everyone. However their successful uptake will need to be underpinned by industry extension programmes for farmers and supported by farm environment plans,” he says.

To view the summary of good management practices, visit www.ecan.govt.nz

http://ecan.govt.nz/get-involved/mgmproject/Pages/matrix-good-management.aspx

Primary industry associations: DairyNZ, Horticulture New Zealand, Foundation for Arable Research, New Zealand Pork, Beef and Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers, IrrigationNZ and Deer Industry NZ.

Good Management Practices Guide launched relating to Water Quality

Friday, May 29, 2015

A new guide for good management practices for farmers has been launched by the primary industries. Read More

To celebrate the 90th anniversary in 2015 of the founding of Rural Women New Zealand we are launching the 90 for 90 Challenge to our members.

The aim of the 90 for 90 Challenge is for ninety Rural Women New Zealand groups or members to make 90 donations during 2015, in recognition of the 90 years we have been working for rural communities.

This may be $90 charitable donations to a cause or a person, preferably with a rural aspect, or 90 handcrafted items donated to a relevant organisation.

Resources:

90 for 90 Flyer - further information about this project

90 for 90 Information Sheet - to accompany all donations

90 for 90 Donation Form - single (for monetary donations)

90 for 90 Donation Form - double (for monetary donations)

Detailed history of our organisation (printable format)

Detailed history of our organisation (low resolution - suitable for dial up connections)

Highlights of our activities over the last 90 years:

1927 - WD Emergency Housekeeper and bush nurse schemes set up
1927-present - advocating for fair travel reimbursement for homecare workers
Early campaigns for better transport, boarding allowances, water reticulation and phone services
1939-45 - Support for soldiers at war - from spinning and knitting to fundraising for a Spitfire!
1930s - Establishment of the Dipton forest with logging proceeds distributed for charitable purposes in Southland.
Rest Homes set up to give women a break away from the toil of farm work
1970s and 1980s - Fundraising for Leptospirosis research by Massey University
Rest Homes sold and proceeds used to fund educational and other bursaries
Leadership training through Wellington Experience and Growing Dynamic Leaders
2006 - Leptospirosis fundraising re-established 
2007 onwards - Speed Past School Buses advocacy
2009  - Let’s Get Plastered for Breast Cancer - fundraising and awareness campaign
2009 onwards - Enterprising Rural Women Awards 
Annual Garden Grants for rural schools - run in partnership with Farmlands
Publication of three cookbooks with Random House containing members’ recipes
Advocacy for better broadband and mobile coverage for rural
2011 - Aftersocks fundraiser following Canterbury earthquakes
2011 - Postman Pat on the Back Awards
2012 - Y Front Up to Prostate Cancer - fundraising and awareness campaign
2014 - Leading celebrations for the International Year of Family Farming

90 for 90 Challenge

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

To celebrate the 90th anniversary in 2015 of the founding of Rural Women New Zealand we are launching the 90 for 90 Challenge to our members. Read More

Taranaki RWNZ committee group volunteers have been assembling packages of supplies required by families Isolated by the recent flooding.

Following the flooding on Sunday 21 June, Civil Defence phoned the local Rural Women's group. They said that helicopters were out checking the flood damage and people who were cut off. Emergency parcels were going to be needed, so the Rural Women's group obtained emergency funds and signaled their willingness to be involved.

On Tuesday morning RWNZ member Margaret Vickers was at Stratford New World Supermarket with a Rural Support Trust member purchasing goods funded by the RWNZ emergency grant and also picking up supplies donated by New World.  These items had to be boxed up and at Stratford Airport by 10am for the four helicopters going out to Eastern Hill Country (back of Stratford) and as far south as Waitotara.

If you require assistance please contact the Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254 www.rural-support.org.nz

Work and Income NZ financial assistance for this event: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/about-work-and-income/news/2015/flood-factsheet.html

Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 www.depression.org.nz
It is Ok to Ask for Help 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz

RWNZ supporting the storm recovery effort

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Taranaki RWNZ committee group volunteers have been assembling packages of supplies required by families Isolated by the recent flooding. Read More

"Not so long ago, Afghan farmers collected the thick winter undercoat their goats shed every spring and threw it on the fire to heat their homes and cook their food.
Some have since learned that the super-soft fluff that comes off in clumps as the weather warms up, once cleaned, refined and spun into yarn is cashmere."

Afghan cashmere has found customers as far away as the United States, Britain and Europe. It's changed life for goat herders like Mohammad Amin. He has 120 goats grazing the open spaces around an industrial park on the outskirts of the western city of Herat. At this time of year, most of the female goats have kids and shed the cashmere, which Amin pulls off in huge handfuls.

With an extended family of 13, he has a guaranteed income from the best of the cashmere he harvests as traders, processors, donors and international businesses are cottoning on to Afghanistan's potential as a major producer.

"Buyers come to us and buy the good quality cashmere, the rest we take to the market and sell," Amin said.

Each animal yields up to 250 grams of cashmere, Amin said. Each season he can earn more than $1,100 USD in a country where the annual national average is less than $700 USD.

Only about 30-40 percent of Afghanistan's 7 million goats are combed for cashmere, according to estimates by the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development, even though up to 95 percent of the animals could become part of the production chain. Most of the raw product is bought by traders who sell it to Chinese buyers to produce clothing.

Afghanistan is the world's third biggest producer of cashmere, its 1,000 metric tons a year, worth $30 million, accounts for 7 percent of the global market though it lags far behind China's 70 percent and Mongolia's 15 percent.

The Afghan government, recognizing potential, recently came up with a "cashmere action plan," aiming to target the highest end of the global luxury market" where a designer-label cashmere sweater can cost $1,000 USD.

But it's a long haul. Afghanistan remains a country in conflict after almost 40 years of war and few foreign investors are prepared to face such an insecure and uncertain environment, even if it's to exploit world-class oil and mineral resources, or agricultural products such as pomegranates, saffron and cashmere. Long-term, it could be a self-sustaining industry in Afghanistan, one that will create jobs, including work for women, generally marginalized in this society.

Cashmere is not a wool but a hair, which accounts for its unique characteristics compared to sheep's wool, soft and fine in texture, light and strong at the same time. In the near-sterile conditions at a processing plant, the grimy, matted raw goat coat is washed and the long hair is separated from the cashmere.

The cashmere is repeatedly refined, becoming increasingly gossamer-like as it is transformed into the highest quality, pristine, aerated fluff. It is then baled and sent to Europe, ready to be spun into yarn that can be dyed and knitted or woven into fabric, carpets and clothing.

A small spinning operation in Kabul called Qaria has had success with a three-month pilot program spinning the cashmere into yarn and dying it using plant-based colorants sourced locally, such as saffron and indigo.

Briton James Blewett, a partner in Qaria, says they have orders for the yarn from America, Britain and Europe, where it is gaining popularity in knitting shops. Qaria yarn sold out within hours at a recent wool trade fair in Britain, he said.

Blewett said the company's first hand-knitted garments could be on sale later this year, carrying with them hopes of cashmere excellence with a label bearing a stylized goat's head, with the words "Afghan Made."

Story courtesy of Lynne O'Donnell, Associated Press – April 2015.

Where to house the new community olive press was the big topic of conversation when Gendie Somerville-Ryan, President of Awana Rural Women on Great Barrier Island, met Carol and Trevor Rendle of Barrier Olive Growers Ltd for coffee. Awana Rural Women, a branch of Rural Women NZ, owns its own premises – a hall and a garage. The garage was undergoing a major upgrade and would make the perfect place for the olive press. All it took was a cup of coffee and a chat and the olive press had a new home.

“Awana Rural Women activities encourage community cooperation and development and what better way to demonstrate this than to help promote economic growth through horticulture,” said Mrs Somerville-Ryan. “Our facilities are centrally located, of a high standard and well-known around Great Barrier Island. Housing the olive press is very much in line with our philosophy of helping the community to help itself through education, personal development and building community capacity. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The community olive press was officially opened by Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Great Barrier (and Auckland Central) on Friday the 10th of April 2015. Hon Ms Kaye acknowledged the perseverance and hard work of everyone involved in getting this project not only off the ground but up and running. “The reason this cooperative approach has worked on the Barrier is that so many people contribute. The olive press is important for economic reasons – it gives people another option to stay on the Island,” said Hon Nikki Kaye. “Awana Rural Women have been the backbone of the community and it is fitting they have been part of this project.”

A recent survey showed that there were over 600 olive trees already fruiting on Great Barrier Island but developing an industry from the olives is impractical when the fruit has to be shipped off Island for pressing. Barrier Olive Growers has purchased the press and growers will be able to press their fruit for a nominal charge – hopefully kick-starting an olive oil “export” industry for the Barrier.

Awana Rural Women can see a great future for Barrier olive oil, from an olive oil festival to an olive picking and pressing experience. However, the first step is to get the 2015 vintage harvested and pressed – and enjoyed by those on the Barrier and beyond.

 


Maggie Barry, Gendie Somerville-Ryan, Trevor Rendle, Hon. Nikki Kaye and board members of Great Barrier Island

 

Rural Women and Olive Oil - What a Great Mix!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Where to house the new community olive press was the big topic of conversation when Gendie Somerville-Ryan, President of Awana Rural Women on Great Barrier Island, met Carol and Trevor Rendle of Barrier Olive Growers Ltd for coffee. Awana Rural Women, a branch of Rural Women NZ, owns its own premises – a hall and a garage. The garage was undergoing a major upgrade and would make the perfect place for the olive press. All it took was a cup of coffee and a chat and the olive press had a new home.  Read More