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Rural Women New Zealand National Board

Rural Women New Zealand National Board 

 

Rural Women New Zealand is an Incorporated Society and is registered with the Charities Commission. The elected National Board consists of the National President, National Finance Chair and four Board members. Its role as the governance body of the organisation is to establish and monitor the long-term direction of the organisation.

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for managing the day to day affairs of the organisation, the achievement of board-approved strategic goals, annual plans and objectives.

Fiona Gower – National President

Fiona is a graduate of the Agri-Women's Development Trust Escalator programme and has served on our National Council since 2013.

Fiona was a Kellogg rural leadership scholar in 2009, and holds a diploma from Lincoln University in wool technology. She is presently on the Onewhero-Tuakau Community Board and the Waikato Conservation Board. Fiona is Secretary of the Onewhero Swimming Club and a member of the Port Waikato BeachCare committee.

Fiona and her family live on a farm at Port Waikato and when not fulfilling her community commitments and running after her school aged children, she is a casual worker on the farm.

Email: [email protected]

 

Penny Mudford – National Chair

Penny Mudford is an independent director and arbitrator. She is a Fellow of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, and a member of the New Zealand Global Women and Arbitral Women International. Penny has held leadership roles in various sectors and is a supporter of women's leadership.

Penny has held director positions on a number of boards in both the public and private sectors. She has written and presented papers in New Zealand and Australia on specialist topics and is author of the chapter Rural Arbitrations in Green and Hunt's Arbitration Law and Practice and the chapter Dispute Resolution in Retirement Villages for the book Elder Law in New Zealand, both published by Thompson Reuters. Penny is a former chief Executive of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute and of the Institute of Financial Advisors.

From 1981 to 2001, Penny was a working dairy farmer, raised a family on a rural property in Manawatu and participated on dairy industry committees and rural organisations. During this time, she held positions with Manawatu-Rangitikei Federated Farmers and elected Provincial President in 1999. Penny was a supplier representative for Tui Milk Products and Kiwi Cooperative Dairies prior to the establishment of Fonterra in 2001. Penny completed the Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme in 1995.

Email: [email protected]


Rachael Dean – National Finance Chair  

Rachael Dean, BCom.; C.I.A.; C.A.; has held multiple roles including Provincial President, in Rural Women New Zealand since returning to New Zealand in 2004. In these roles, she has successfully combined her experience in rural communities - which began in the South Island High Country - with senior corporate financial and governance roles both in New Zealand and overseas.   

Rachael has served on numerous public bodies, including Southland Area Health Board, Waikato Chamber of Commerce, Sport Waikato, Invercargill City Council, Diving New Zealand, Northamptonshire County Health Partnership, and Wellingborough Borough Council, England; and has chaired several committees.

Rachael maintains her interest in international affairs and in the past two years took a study trip to the UAE to learn more about their culture, education, business, law, and finance; and in 2015 attended a symposium in Brussels on Lead in Ammunition.

Rachael is the author of a New Zealand history book, From the Other End of the World. She is also a keen shooter, shooting FTR, Service rifle and pistol, and is a member of several of her local clubs.

Email: [email protected]

 

Janet Williams – Board Member, North Island 

Janet Williams was one of the fifty Zonta “Woman of Achievement” recipients in 2016. Janet’s leadership involvement in Rural Women New Zealand started at branch level, Provincial, Regional Management Team and selected as one of the four Rural Women New Zealand members in the Task Force for the last constitutional review. Janet represents Rural Women New Zealand on the Waikato Federated Farmers Board and Hamilton National Council of Women.

Janet is a Justice of the Peace, Judicial Justice and Court Panel Manager of the four Courts in the Waikato. Janet has a regulatory role as a member of the Waikato District Licensing Committee. Janet’s involvement in local community leadership roles include the Pirongia Ward, Koromatua Memorial Hall, Hamilton Life Education Trust, Toastmasters and Lions.

Janet lives just out of Hamilton farming beef and sheep, after being the proud owner of the highest genetic Jersey Stud in New Zealand.

Email: [email protected]
 


Margaret Pittaway – Board member, South Island 

Margaret joined Rural Women New Zealand in 1996 and was elected to the National Council in 2011. She was the founding member of the Central Otago Women in Agribusiness Group, past President of the Cromwell Branch and Central Otago Provincial. As a retired nurse her key specialties are in rural health and social issues. 

Email: [email protected]


Sue Higgins - Board Member, South island 

Sue Higgins is actively involved in administering her family owned farming and contracting businesses in Nelson.

Sue represented Rural Women New Zealand as a director for Access Homehealth Ltd from 2011 – 2013 and before that was a student member of the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Academic Board.

Having a keen interest in local community and agribusiness matters, Sue is an executive member of Nelson Federated Farmers, a former secretary of the Top of the South Rural Support Trust and past deputy chair of the local Chamber of Commerce business focus group. This followed on from local school and sports committees whilst raising three children.

Sue’s health care experience has included advocacy of a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner and many years as a volunteer for Hospice where the positive experience of meeting clients’ needs and desires through home based health care and support was reinforced. Sue completed her Bachelor of Business as an adult student in 2009 and the Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme in 2012 which resulted in a presentation to the agriculture caucus in the Beehive.

Email: [email protected]

 

Penelope England - Chief Executive Officer

Penelope joined RWNZ from the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme Inc. where she set up the role as the Participant Liaison Manager after the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.

Prior to that role, Penelope worked as the Communications, Marketing and Membership Manager of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning.

For the past few years, she has worked in the not for profit (NFP) sector and for membership-based organisations. Each NFP role held has required effective communication with stakeholders at all levels, from members and practitioners to professional industry bodies and government officials.

Penelope is a current appointed board member of the Wellington SPCA and is an advocate for animal welfare. She is passionate about the arts, including visual arts, classical music and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Email: [email protected]


National Office
Level 5, Technology One House, 86-96 Victoria Street, Wellington 6011
Ph: 04 473 5524  


Read All NewsRecent news

(Pictured: Sticksn'Stones Chairperson Ashleigh Smith with RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower in the UN General Assembly at the CSW62 Opening on Monday). 

 The opening of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) was held on Monday, 12 March 2018 at the United Nations in New York. The Commission's priority theme for this year is 'Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls'. The work of the Commission is to review the progress made by governments to improve the lives of women and girls in rural areas.

CSW62 is being held in the UN General Assembly and 175 member and observer states are represented. Along with the member states there are 10,000 delegates from 400 Non-Government Organisations (NGO) attending numerous events as part of the CSW62's activities.

The day commenced with the session being opened by the CSW Chair Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason from Ireland. She is also Ireland's Permanent Representative at the UN. Her address was followed by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. Other speakers included the Chair of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a Representative of the Youth, and a Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

National Chair, Penny Mudford also attended the opening in her role as Civil Society Representative on the New Zealand Government delegation. Both Fiona and Penny attended the opening inside the General Assembly where only government delegations and selected NGO delegates are eligible to attend. It was a great privilege that RWNZ was represented in person at the opening of CSW62.

CSW62 runs until Friday, 23 March 2018 where it is expected to culminate in an Outcome Document which will capture the agreed outcomes in relation to rural women and girls for governments to implement resulting from the work done at this session of the Commission.

New Zealand also held a side event led by Dr Jackie Blue, NZ Human Rights Commission responsible for Womens Rights. The panel comprised Minister for Women Hon Julie Anne Genter, Renee Graham (Ministry for Women Chief Executive), Fiona Gower, Jo Finer (Fonterra), plus representatives from Argentina and Australia. The panel spoke on the topic of Case Studies of Economic Empowerment of Rural Women in New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina. The session was full with over 100 delegates from all around the world attending the panel session. There was keen interest in our message.

National Chair, Penny Mudford. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSW62 Well Underway

Thursday, March 15, 2018

(Pictured: Sticksn'Stones Chairperson Ashleigh Smith with RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower in the UN General Assembly at the CSW62 Opening on Monday).   Read More

Thursday, 8 March marked this year's International Women's Day. As this year also celebrates 125 years since women in New Zealand won the the right to vote, the day was marked with significance.

Wednesday, 7 March was the launch of the Suffrage125 celebrations which was held at Government House and was attended by RWNZ Board Chair, Penny Mudford, Chief Executive Officer, Penelope England and Office Manager, Felicity Bunny. The launch was hosted by the Governor General, and RWNZ Patron Dame Patsy Reddy. The event was MC'd by journalist, Mihingarangi Forbes, and guest speakers included Minister for Women, Hon Julie Anne Genter and 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year, Rez Gardi.

The following day, Thursday, 8 March marked International Women's Day celebrations. RWNZ attended a breakfast at Parliament hosted by Zonta Wellington and the UN Women. RWNZ Chief Executive Officer Penelope England, and Communications, Marketing & Events Assistant, Catherine Stabb both attended the event.

Discussion topics at the event included recognition of the milestones made by women in New Zealand and the challenges that we still face. Rt Hon Helen Clark spoke of her successes, the obstacles she has faced and the how her rural background contributed to her personal strength, saying "rural people have to be very resilient".

Watch Rt Hon Helen Clark's Q&A with National Council of Women CEO Dr Gill Greer at the breakfast through the link here.

 

(Pictured below: Executive Officer Women’s Institute - Colleen Dryden, National Board Chair - Penny Mudford ONZM, National President Women’s Institute – Kay Hart, RWNZ Chief Executive Officer – Penelope England at the Suffrage125 launch at Government House.)

 


 

 

International Womens Day & Suffrage125

Friday, March 23, 2018

Thursday, 8 March marked this year's International Women's Day. As this year also celebrates 125 years since women in New Zealand won the the right to vote, the day was marked with significance.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has released a media release today following RWNZ's oral submission on the Trusts Bill. 

 

Please read the media release below. 

 

RURAL WOMEN NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN DECISION MAKING

 

 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) influenced positive change for rural families and communities recently, through their oral submission to Parliament on the Trusts Bill.

“RWNZ submitted that both a rural impact and gender impact analysis be conducted on the legislation and intersectionality so that the Bill does not discriminate against women in any way,” says RWNZ National Chair, Penny Mudford.

“RWNZ research indicates that women can be shut out of a share of the family farm through old trusts that fail to acknowledge them in the family as beneficiaries.

“This can lead to women being discriminated against in the dissolution of a relationship where a trust is used to exclude them from a share in the family farm or farm business.

"These situations should not be happening in 2018 and we urge the government to uphold the international instruments and outcome statements when updating legislation such as with the Trusts Bill currently before the Justice Select Committee.

"In particular, the agreed conclusions that came out of the United Nations 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which were held in New York in March 2018, make it abundantly clear that government's policies and legislation should not disproportionately disadvantage women and girls living in the rural sector.

"Since trusts are a common type of farm ownership structure in New Zealand we need to be sure they are not being used to disadvantage those who would otherwise be entitled to a share of the farm asset through relationship property or inheritance if the asset was not held in trust," says Ms Mudford.

Ends

 

If you wish to read our oral submission, you can find it here

 


 

Rural women need to be involved in decision making.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has released a media release today following RWNZ's oral submission on the Trusts Bill.  Read More

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 (RWNZ) are saddened to hear of the death of a nine-year-old boy whilst riding a quad bike in rural Waikato last night and our thoughts are extended to friends and family.

 

“It is very sad, but it need not have occurred. We need to prevent families and friends from the heartbreak of losing a loved one in such tragic circumstances,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

 

“RWNZ are concerned on two levels, one is children riding age appropriate quad bikes unsupervised and the other is children under the age of 16 riding adult-sized quad bikes.

 

“Last nights’ incident is an unfortunate but timely reminder of manufacturers recommendations that children under the age of 16 should not be riding adult-sized quad bikes.

 

“Children do not have the weight, strength or judgement to be operating these vehicles.

 

“Or if young children are riding age appropriate quad bikes, they need to be wearing a helmet and be supervised at all times.

 

“RWNZ encourage that anyone planning to use any form of machinery on farms receive training, and learn safe practices.

 

“It is heart breaking to receive news like this,” says Ms. Gower.

 

To find the media to which we have responded, follow the link here

 

 

 

Please contact us for further information

[email protected]


 

(photo source: www.nzherald.co.nz)

 

Another Preventable Rural Tragedy

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to hear of the death of a nine-year-old boy whilst riding a quad bike in rural Waikato last night and our thoughts are extended to friends and family. Read More