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Eleven women from around New Zealand arrive in Wellington today for the start of a three day leadership course co-ordinated by Rural Women NZ and sponsored by Landcorp.

The women, all Rural Women NZ members, are active in their communities and are now looking to grow their communications skills, enhance their networks, and learn more of th

e work of our organisation at a national level.

“The women will explore what makes an effective leader, how to influence others and the importance of networks both within the organisation and in the broader rural sector,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan.

Leading this first section of the programme will be Agri-Women’s Development Trust founder, Lindy Nelson, who is also the 2013 Next Business Woman of the Year.

“The women all bring strong skills to the table, and we hope this leadership programme will give them a greater understanding of the role Rural Women NZ plays at national level for the good of rural communities, and how they can be part of that,” says Mrs McGowan.

On the second day, participants will meet members of both the Labour and National parties’ Women’s Caucus, and will have the opportunity to observe Parliament in action.

Vanisa Dhiru, chief executive of Volunteering New Zealand will share her insights into ways to inspire volunteers, while David Chrisp, general manager North Island for Access Homehealth Ltd, will be encouraging the participants to take an active role in the community through the home healthcare sector.

During 2014 Rural Women NZ is partnering with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to bring the It’s OK to Ask for Help campaign to rural communities with a letterbox sticker campaign.  Wellington-based MSD staff, Sheryl Hann and Stephanie Edmond, will present on the need to change the way New Zealanders act and think about family violence.

As broadband becomes more widely available in rural communities, online communications and connectivity are becoming increasingly accessible. David Farrar, Kiwiblog founder, will talk about the possibilities social media presents for rural.

Landcorp will kindly host the group for lunch on the final day of the leadership course, with the opportunity for the women to network with the new CEO, Steven Carden, and other staff.


sponsored by           

partnering with         


Dr Judy McGregor, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner with the Human Rights Commission, will be speaking on worker discrimination in the aged care sector at a breakfast meeting in Dunedin on 30 November, and members of the public are warmly invited to come along.

Earlier this year, Dr McGregor worked ‘under cover’ as a trainee carer in a residential aged care facility to gain insight into the many aspects of aged care.
The result was her in-depth report “Caring Counts”, which is a call to action over the injustices and inequalities faced by workers in the aged care sector.
She says, “The value we place on older people in New Zealand is linked to the value we place on those who care for them.
“The sense of crisis that surrounds aged care is partly a reflection of our collective knowledge that we are not being fair and that a large group of workers is being discriminated against.
“Inaction on pay equality and inadequate compensation are breaches of fundamental human rights. Given their significance, these breaches cannot be justified by affordability arguments.”
Dr McGregor will be speaking in the William Cargill Room, Cargills Hotel, George Street, Dunedin at 7.45am on Friday 30 November.
Rural Women NZ national councillor, Margaret Pittaway, says “This is a wonderful opportunity to hear Dr McGregor speak, and all are welcome.”
Coffee and muffins will be served and there is no entry charge.
Enquiries to Margaret Pittaway, National Councillor, Rural Women New Zealand.  Email:   [email protected] or call (03) 445 1201. 

Dunedin invitation to hear Dr Judy McGregor speak on aged care injustices 16-Nov-2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dr Judy McGregor, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner with the Human Rights Commission, will be speaking on worker discrimination in the aged care sector at a breakfast meeting in Dunedin on 30 November, and members of the public are warmly invited to come along.  Read More

Rosemary The Sheep had triplets! “Hi, I'm Rosemary, on 28 July 2011 I had triplet lambs. My owners thought I was pretty clever! Farmer Anne's friends have named my lambs Sage, Thyme and Mint. You will be surprised to see how much they have grown!


Follow me on Facebook to see what my life is like on the farm in the hill country of the Tararua District in New Zealand.”

www.facebook.com/rosemarythesheep

Rosemary the Sheep is a new project designed to tell the story of what life is like in rural New Zealand.

Triplet lambs Sage, Thyme and Mint

We will follow Rosemary through lambing, weaning, docking, shearing, drenching, dipping and more. The aim is to get urban children and adults excited about what rural New Zealand has to offer and to teach everyone something new about the life of a sheep in New Zealand.

New! Introducing Rosemary 25-Aug-2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rosemary The Sheep had triplets! “Hi, I'm Rosemary, on 28 July 2011 I had triplet lambs. My owners thought I was pretty clever! Farmer Anne's friends have named my lambs Sage, Thyme and Mint. You will be surprised to see how much they have grown!


Follow me on Facebook to see what my life is like on the farm in the hill country of the Tararua District in New Zealand.” Read More

Wow!  In the first week since our launch, 100,000 people visited our aftersocks™ website and thousands of comments were posted on our aftersocks™ Facebook page, congratulating us on this wonderful fundraiser to support the Christchurch Mayoral Fund.  We increased our sock order with the NZ Sock Company in Ashburton several times over, and still we’ll be struggling to meet demand as aftersocks™ goes global.

When you get your pair of aftersocks™ don’t forget to send in photos of the awesome places you’ve worn them by for our ‘Quaking in Your aftersocks™’ photo competition.  Upload your photos and tag yourself on Facebook, to be in to win one of several photographic prize packs that have been donated by photographers across the country.  aftersocks™ can be purchased through www.aftersocks.co.nz.

On a more sobering note, feedback from Christchurch is that with the ongoing earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks, stress levels are now very high leading to abuse, depression, violence and bullying.

After the September 3rd earthquake members raised $10,000 to support people affected by the earthquake.  Following the February 22 earthquake this amount swelled to $20,000 with a generous donation from the Queensland Country Women’s Association of $8469.  The South Australia Country Women’s Association International Committee also gifted $1,000 for knitting wool for garments to be sent to Christchurch.  We thank both groups for their fantastic support.  We are working through the process of how this funding will be put to best use.

Rock Those Socks 03-Aug-2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Wow!  In the first week since our launch, 100,000 people visited our aftersocks™ website and thousands of comments were posted on our aftersocks™ Facebook page, congratulating us on this wonderful fundraiser to support the Christchurch Mayoral Fund.  We increased our sock order with the NZ Sock Company in Ashburton several times over, and still we’ll be struggling to meet demand as aftersocks™ goes global. Read More



When ‘Farmy Army’ members rolled up their sleeves to clean up the liquefaction in Christchurch after the June earthquake, RWNZ member Helen Heddell also launched into action to organise the catering crews to ensure no-one was working on an empty stomach.

By the end of the week she’d co-ordinated the cooking of 1200 hot dinners, been up at dawn to cook breakfast for the volunteers and arranged packed lunches for the hundreds of workers as they left for another long day shovelling silt.

Helen says ‘don’t ask how my feet are!’ but otherwise she’s very happy with the support she and caterer Nicki Geddes have had for the huge logistical exercise.

She says lessons learnt from the clean up in February helped.  “We have simplified it right down,”

For a week Helen’s day began at 7am at the Canterbury Showgrounds cooking omelettes, bacon and muffins for those who camped overnight.

20 women then turned up each day to help with whatever was required.  They began by making packed lunches for the Student Volunteers and the Farmy Army, who set out with wheelbarrows, diggers and bobcats to clean up the grey liquefaction that covered many of the city’s streets and gardens.

“Rural women have been very supportive,” says Helen, with many city folk pitching in as well. “We had 12 women from Oamaru and a group from Hawke’s Bay turned up out of the woodwork.”

The amount of baking that came in was ‘phenomenal’.  “It is amazing, we have four wheel drives turning up every half hour full of it.”  Two transport companies and one stock firm collected baking from as far afield as Southland. 

Mid-afternoon, preparation for the evening meal began, with hearty food on the menu. 

Helen arranged sponsorship of the meat from the meat companies and processors, as she did for the February clean up.  “They have been fantastic.  People have just been so good.”

Cooking up a storm to feed the Farmy Army 03-Aug-2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011



When ‘Farmy Army’ members rolled up their sleeves to clean up the liquefaction in Christchurch after the June earthquake, RWNZ member Helen Heddell also launched into action to organise the catering crews to ensure no-one was working on an empty stomach. Read More

There has been a heart-warming response to our Communities Knitting Together project to support Cantabrians after the earthquakes, with donations pouring in from members and friends all over the country. 

Thousands of warm knitted items have been distributed to those in need.

Canterbury councillor, Kerry Maw, has delivered several mini-van loads of beautifully-knitted warm items to community, church and school contacts who’ve been giving them out as quickly as they’ve arrived.

“Some of the women had tears in their eyes, they were so overwhelmed,” says Kerry.

Groups who’ve helped distribute the knitting include Birthright, the Salvation Army, the Aranui Community Trust and the Dallington Hub Community Group.  “They have been blown away by the support,” says Kerry.

The mountains of knitting included hats, scarves, jerseys, booties and slippers, as well as knee rugs and peggy square blankets.

The project has united communities, just as Kerry hoped it would.

“I knew there would be a really good response, but I was surprised at just how much people got into it!” 

Alongside Rural Women New Zealand knitters, items have been received from spinners and weavers clubs, Lions and community craft groups.

Cathy from the Aranui Community Trust says the items have been given directly to families in need through their nurses and earthquake co-ordinators, as well as through church groups that the Trust links in with.

“Families are over the moon because it’s really cold here.”

All the items Aranui’s received from our Communities Knitting Together project have been given out, and more can still be used says Cathy.  She says hundreds of beanies and babies bonnets have been distributed.  “Jerseys go as fast as they come in.”

While our Communities Knitting Together project has now finished, if anyone would like to continue knitting for those in need in Christchurch, we have a list of community groups where items can be sent directly.  Please contact national office for details.

[In a box]  Margaret Townsend of Piako-Waikato East provincial promoted the Communities Knitting Together project by word of mouth and through her local community newspaper and was amazed at the number of items she received.

A mammoth one hundred and eight boxes were filled with knitting, blankets and warm clothing that arrived from neighbours, friends, family and the wider community.  A local carrier transported the knitting and clothing to Canterbury free of charge.  Many of the donations simply arrived on Margaret’s doorstep, but she also drove to places she’s never been before to pick up knitting, she says.  “I am sure [the great response] was because we were Rural Women.  It was absolutely brilliant.”

[In a box]  In Tauranga, members decided to support Glassons’ project to sell black and red scarves as a Canterbury earthquake fundraiser.  “We have so far knitted 25 red and black scarves,” says Mary McTavish.  “As well as this we have been busy knitting supporting the “Communities Knitting Together” campaign.  We delivered to the local Red Cross offices in Tauranga 280 items of hand knitting including teddy bears, beanies, hats, scarves, slippers and children’s jumpers.”  Great work Tauranga members!


Knitting Communities Together 03-Aug-2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

There has been a heart-warming response to our Communities Knitting Together project to support Cantabrians after the earthquakes, with donations pouring in from members and friends all over the country.   Read More



Making cheese is something the Harper women have done for generations, originally bringing their skills to New Zealand from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, the home of English stilton cheese. 

It’s been a recipe for success, which culminated in Lisa Harper taking away the Supreme Winner trophy at the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2011 during our national conference in Auckland in May.

Lisa learned cheese making from her grandmother and mother.  Growing up it was just another regular household task, "It's like vacuuming.  Cheese and I have grown up together!”

Lisa spent her childhood on the family farm at the head of the Mahau Sounds in Marlborough, and received her education through The Correspondence School, before setting off to Wellington to do a science degree. 

She began her working life travelling the country as a research scientist, but returned to the farm eight years ago to help out ‘for a few months’.  It became a labour of love, and Lisa has transformed the flagging fortunes of the sheep farm by developing cheese making into a business to compliment the farm stay accommodation she and her mother run.

Lisa says she loves feeding people, and her farm guests were often fascinated by the cheeses she served at dinner and wanted to see how it was made.  Quick to see a new business opportunity, Lisa now runs cheese making classes that even-out the seasonal cash flow, attracting guests to Sherrington Grange all year round.

Lisa’s also a regular at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, where people are treated to tastings of her cheese.  “I get to feed people for three hours. It's like a weekly date."

Lisa describes her range of cheeses as mild, medium, and "deadly", depending on how long they age for.

“I consider myself a cheese ager, not a cheese maker, because my job is to make sure the cheese ages properly and develops to what it's supposed to."

Back on the farm the cheese making process continues through the week. “We lovingly coax fresh milk into cheese in our tiny farm dairy from recipes more than two centuries old,” says Lisa.  “Each cheese is hand-crafted using traditional methods which have been discarded by modern dairy factories in the quest for efficiency.

“We choose to make only limited quantities of cheese, using the old ways, because we believe it creates a better product - this is the way cheese was before mechanisation and standardisation became the norm. Sherrington cheeses look, smell and taste the way they were meant to.”

Like many of our entrants this year, Lisa was encouraged to enter the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award by one of our members, and giving recognition to rural women entrepreneurs achieving extraordinary things is a key reason for our running the Award.

Lisa’s win has received extensive publicity on TV, in provincial and farming newspapers and trade journals, as well as from overseas publications such as the USA goat industry magazine, and is an excellent way of promoting our organisation.

Runners up in the Award were North Island winners Nestling Limited, run by sisters Bernadine Guilleux and Maria-Fe Rohrlach.  Their Rotorua-based business makes baby slings and pouches from merino wool and organic cotton.  The judges were particularly impressed with the business’ use of New Zealand raw materials, as well as their online marketing strategies which connect them in a very personal way with their customers.

We thank our Award co-sponsors, Access Homehealth Ltd and Telecom for their support.

For more information on our winners go to www.sherringtongrange.co.nz and www.nestling.co.nz

The Taste of Success 02-Aug-2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011



Making cheese is something the Harper women have done for generations, originally bringing their skills to New Zealand from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, the home of English stilton cheese.   Read More

Read All NewsRecent news


(Pictured above: Minister Damien O'Çonnor meeting with RWNZ Chief Executive Officer Penelope England, National President Fiona Gower, National Chair Penny Mudford and Manager of Government, Public Sector and Academic Relationships Angela McLeod.)

 

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release supporting the recent announcement to reintegrate rural proofing into policy development. Please read the media release below. 

 

RURAL PROOFING IS BACK ON THE TABLE

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is pleased to see rural proofing is back on the table and being included in the Government’s policy work.

“Understanding the impact that Government policies, service delivery and business behaviour have on our rural communities is not only vital to the success of the rural economy, it builds and maintains our rural social fabric,” says RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ has been calling for rural impact analyses to be carried out in both the public and private sector because decisions have, and are being made that have a detrimental effect on rural communities.

“As a member of the advisory group that supported the development of the Government’s new Rural Proofing Guide for Policy Development and Service Delivery Planning, RWNZ is encouraged by the final document.

“RWNZ will continue to work alongside the Government, its agencies and entities to ensure successful implementation of the Rural Proofing Guide.

“The Government’s new rural proofing policy guidelines will go a long way to alleviating poor policy development and service delivery, and RWNZ is looking forward to seeing better outcomes for rural communities,” says Ms Gower.

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For further information, please contact National Office:

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

Rural Proofing Back On the Table

Thursday, June 14, 2018


 Read More

 

Rural Women New Zealand would like to congratulate Alison Van Wyk for her appointment as CEO of Access Community Health. 

 


 

Alison has a background in nursing and possesses sales, marketing and management experience within the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare supply chain markets both within New Zealand and internationally. Instrumental in establishing professional programmes of clinical care and advice in pharmacy and the reclassification of medicines for Green Cross Health, Alison has taken a leadership role in advocacy for pharmacy and government relations within the health industry.

Alison commenced her new role effective 18 June 2018.


 

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement this morning that the Government are giving a funding boost to help improve child and family wellbeing. 

 

Read the relevant media here.

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND BACKS GOVERNMENT SUPPORTING FAMILIES

The announcement this morning that the Government will be giving family violence services a boost of $76.2 million is a step in the right direction for our women and families, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“New Zealand’s rate of violence against women and children is unacceptable – it is great to see the Government increasing support services for women, families, and communities in need," says RWNZ National Chair, Penny Mudford.

The Government also announced that additional funding in 2019/2020 would enable services to expand into areas where there is currently no support.

“Women and children living in rural New Zealand have particular challenges and can be vulnerable to physical and psychological abuse due to their geographic and social isolation.

“For some, living rurally means they are some distance from their families and whānau and do not have the support that the wider family can provide.

“Family violence victims in rural New Zealand do not have the same level of access to psychological and legal support as urban women and children do, due to living rurally.

“RWNZ hope that this boost announced by the Government will be used to empower our rural communities by giving women and children who are victims of violence the help and support they so badly need,” says Ms Mudford.

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Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.

Please read the media release below.

CENSUS DATA COLLECTION INTEGRITY QUESTIONED

This year’s census is in danger of not providing the data needed to make good decisions, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Whilst we understand and support the excitement of capturing our census data online, our concern is that many people still do not have access to internet while others might not have the capability or capacity to do so,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“The timing of the delivery of access code letters, which indicate that New Zealanders can opt for paper forms presents challenges for our rural communities, given that delivery of mail is taking longer and might only be delivered three days a week.

“The chances of a rural household without internet or with unreliable internet, receiving census paper forms in time for Tuesday, 6 March is slim, and that is concerning.

“RWNZ is doing everything possible to ensure our networks are aware of the new way of doing the Census although surely more thought should have gone in to how the valuable information about the lives and status of New Zealanders would be collected.

“Maybe this year, there could have been a concerted effort to use both electronic collection and paper collection to ensure integrity of the data,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

Please contact the National Office for more information.

 

 

National Office

Rural Women New Zealand

 

[email protected]

04 473 5524


 

 

(image source: www.census.govt.nz)

Census Data Collection Integrity Questioned

Monday, February 26, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding.

Read the announcement here.  

 

 

ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to see that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will cease operating if it does not receive government funding next week.

 

“RWNZ supports the work already done by RHAANZ in bringing together various rural groups and rural health providers to develop initiatives for rural communities,” says RWNZ Board Member and Health Portfolio Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Remarkable work has been done to deliver the Rural Health Road Map which sets out a plan and priorities for achieving healthily rural communities.

“Being geographically isolated, often with significant distance to the nearest town or health centre means that rural communities have an immediate need of affordable and reliable access to all health services.

“The Government has committed to rural proofing government policy, and RHAANZ has a vital part to play in this development – without the continuation of RHAANZ, and the work it does, rural communities will go backwards.

“There is no other place where issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural communities are considered concurrently, and the loss of achievements met and efforts made by RHAANZ will be detrimental for our rural people.

RWNZ urges the Government to recognise the good work that has been done by RHAANZ and to support its continuation," says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

Another setback for health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release regarding our involvement to help support communities affected by the M.bovis outbreak. With 38 farms currently infected, and others under movement control, we encourage farmers to contact their local Rural Support Trust and visit MPI’s website for advice and support.

 

Read more about this here.

Read the media release below.

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND OFFERS FULL SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT

 

  Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has offered their full support to the Government for communities that are affected by the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) outbreak. This announcement was made in a meeting earlier this week with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity Damien O’Connor, and Waikato dairy farmers, then reiterated with industry leaders.

 

“Our rural communities are really hurting in this unprecedented biosecurity outbreak – it is vital they are supported throughout this response, no matter what future plan is decided next week,” says RWNZ National President Fiona Gower.

“From what I saw on Monday and what we are hearing from our members and others in the industry, it is clear that the response to M. bovis is upsetting and we are pleased to have been able to offer our support.

“Since 1925, RWNZ members have been the glue that holds rural communities together and nearly 100 years later we continue by working with Rural Support Trusts, visiting farming families, and offering funding for adverse events.

“The decision to offer our full support comes from recent meetings with industry leaders and the Minister, and from our many years’ experience supporting rural communities.

“We are pleased that RWNZ can continue our tradition of charitable giving and we look forward to working with the Government and industry to ensure rural communities are fully supported through the M. bovis outbreak,” says Ms Gower.

Ends