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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  


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WINNERS OF THE NZ GUILD OF AGRICULTURAL JOURNALISTS AND COMMUNICATORS ANNOUNCED

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) presented two awards at the 60th New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators Awards (Guild's).

“RWNZ believes that the Guild’s are an important opportunity to recognise the talent which connects and strengthens New Zealand’s rural communities,” says National Chair, Penny Mudford.

“As an organisation, we sponsored two awards at this year’s Guilds – the Rural Connectivity Award and the RWNZ Journalism Award.

“RWNZ established the Rural Connectivity Award to recognise the importance of connectivity to rural communities and agri-businesses in rural areas, celebrating journalism that helps raise awareness about the issues and benefits of rural connectivity.

“This year, Gerald Piddock of Stuff NZ wins the Rural Connectivity Award for his work on how strengthening connections in rural communities is a way of supporting and attracting new farmers to the industry.

“The Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award was established to recognise the important contribution women make (and have always made) in the rural community, either through their role in the farming sector or to the general rural environment, in its broadest interpretation.

“Carol Stiles of Radio New Zealand’s Country Life Programme, wins the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2018 for her work on broadcasts which highlighted how one women’s dream of sheep farming came to fruition and another who is changing the lives of retired farm dogs.

“RWNZ is proud to be involved with the Guild’s and look forward to hearing and seeing more from the entrants and winners who grow, connect and support our rural communities,” says Ms Mudford.

Ends

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Rural Women New Zealand

National Office

[email protected]

 

 

 

Rural Women New Zealand released a media release calling for a review of school bus eligibility criteria. 

 

 

RURAL SCHOOL BUS SERVICE REVIEW NEEDED

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is calling for a review of the school bus eligibility criteria, particularly in the rural areas.

“The safest way for children to get to school in rural New Zealand is by bus, however, the current eligibility criteria for the service means that children are being put in dangerous situations,” says Education Portfolio Convenor and Board Member, Sue Higgins.

“If children live within two kilometres of a rural school they are not eligible for the local bus service where there is one, and are forced to walk or cycle on roads with no shoulders, often used by logging trucks, stock trucks and milk tankers, making it treacherous for our children.

“RWNZ understands that parents are responsible for ensuring their children go to school, however, the rural bus is vital for farming families who have both a busy working life and distance, for those who live further away, to contend with.

“A review of the criteria applied to children’s eligibility for their local rural school bus service is needed – school by school.

“It’s time the Government showed leadership on keeping our rural children safe on their journey to and from school,” says Mrs Higgins.

Ends

 

For further information, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

 

Rural school bus service review needed.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand released a media release calling for a review of school bus eligibility criteria.  Read More

 Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement that Lumsden will lose its birthing unit. 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

16 August 2018
For immediate release

 

RURAL MATERNITY CARE IN CRISIS

The downgrading of maternity care in rural Otago and Southland will be catastrophic says Rural Women New Zealand(RWNZ).

“On top of the news that Lumsden’s birthing unit has been downgraded to a pre- and post-natal care unit, RWNZ understands that Wanaka has lost its bid to have a primary birthing unit and this does not bode well for rural communities,” says Board Member and Health Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Whilst RWNZ is somewhat pleased that Lumsden will retain care facilities for any woman with pre- and post-natal needs, women ready to give birth will need to travel at least 50 kilometres to the nearest delivery suite.

“Wanaka is expecting 200 births this coming year and there will be no primary birthing unit, and like Lumsden, will become a hub.

“The Otago-Southland region has a huge hinterland with many young parents who are choosing to have families and raise them in this wonderful part of the world and are at risk due to distance from the maternity care they are entitled to.

"No consideration has been given to those parents who have needed the services provided at Lumsden and already travelling up to two hours, now having an extra 50 kilometres added.

“When assessing maternity needs there is always two lives to consider, the mother and the child, and its outrageous that at the time in their lives when they should be close to their families they are not able to be, due to poor decision-making.

“It is not acceptable that pregnant women in rural areas of the South Island are now miles away from anywhere that can support them to have safe births, something a rural impact analysis would have highlighted.

“It’s time the Government and DHB ensured rural communities have the same access to maternity care as urban communities expect,” says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

For more information, please contact National Office.

[email protected]

04 473 5524

 

 

 

 

 

Rural maternity care in crisis

Thursday, August 16, 2018

 Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement that Lumsden will lose its birthing unit.  Read More

Please read below our media release about Suffrage125 celebrations with RWNZ across the country. 

 

NEW ZEALAND’S FARMING WOMEN CELEBRATING 125 YEARS ON

Rural women across the country have been celebrating the 125th year of universal suffrage in a variety of events says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“The 125th celebration of the day women finally won the right to vote is such a big milestone in New Zealand’s history that commemoration events will to be held over several days,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ Suffrage Day celebrations ranged from sharing family stories about collecting signatures on the petition, marches through rural towns, to our involvement in the ‘What Women Want’ project.

“Other events include capsule openings, celebrations alongside other community groups, and screenings of women-centric movies including ‘She Shears’.

“Our social media campaign in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industries showcasing New Zealand’s primary sector women is my personal highlight of the Suffrage 125 commemorations.

“Many of our Members will be celebrating right up until 28 November, which is the date of the first election in which women could vote in 1893,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

New Zealand's farming women celebrating 125 years on

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Please read below our media release about Suffrage125 celebrations with RWNZ across the country. 

 

NEW ZEALAND’S FARMING WOMEN CELEBRATING 125 YEARS ON

Rural women across the country have been celebrating the 125th year of universal suffrage in a variety of events says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“The 125th celebration of the day women finally won the right to vote is such a big milestone in New Zealand’s history that commemoration events will to be held over several days,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ Suffrage Day celebrations ranged from sharing family stories about collecting signatures on the petition, marches through rural towns, to our involvement in the ‘What Women Want’ project.

“Other events include capsule openings, celebrations alongside other community groups, and screenings of women-centric movies including ‘She Shears’.

“Our social media campaign in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industries showcasing New Zealand’s primary sector women is my personal highlight of the Suffrage 125 commemorations.

“Many of our Members will be celebrating right up until 28 November, which is the date of the first election in which women could vote in 1893,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

 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

 

 

NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

 

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards will be held on the evening of Tuesday, 20 November 2018 in Wellington in the Banquet Hall at Parliament.

A review of the Enterprising Rural Women Awards has been completed by the RWNZ Board with feedback from members and participants, external advice, and the awards partners.

The awards have been renamed the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards and NZI is the Premier Partner. The categories have been broadened, the application process has been updated and the judging criteria strengthened.

 

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards give an outstanding opportunity to showcase your business. The event attracts extensive media coverage and promotional opportunities. All winners will receive a membership of Rural Women New Zealand for one year. All category winners will each receive $1000 in prize money and a trophy, and the Supreme Winner will receive a further $1000 in prize money.

 

“Winning the Supreme Award was such an amazing result. I am proud of my achievements and honoured to be surrounded by such inspiring, talented and strong women,”

- Debra Cruickshank of Tannacrieff Wines, Supreme winner 2017.

 

 

You can download the entry forms below, which contain information regarding entry criteria and conditions of entry. The PDF version can be downloaded, printed, filled out and scanned or posted to National Office. The Word.doc available can be electronically filled out using Microsoft Word and sent as an attachment to National Office. Please send entry forms to [email protected].

First stage entry forms (13, June – 1, August) PDF

First stage entry forms (13, June – 1, August) Word.doc


The categories for the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards 2018 are:

  • Emerging business: Awarded to a business starting out in its journey and achieving exceptional results. Open to businesses that have been running from 2 – 5 years.
  • Love of the Land: Harnessing the potential of New Zealand’s land, environment or products of the land, to create a successful business enterprise.
  • Creative Arts: A business specialising in the creative arts working in a rural environment or using rural materials.
  • Innovation: An enterprise that challenges the status quo to bring something new and innovative to the market or utilising rural resources in an innovative way.
  • Rural Champion: A person or business who champions the rural sector or a rural enterprise – an outstanding contributor who goes above and beyond the normal in their support rural enterprise. Open to anybody.
 

A Supreme winner will be chosen from all category finalists, who has shown excellence and outstanding achievement across all entry criteria.

 

Please find following the relevant dates for entries:

  • Wednesday, 13 June - Launch of awards at National Fieldays, entries open
  • Wednesday, 1 August - Entries close, first round judging starts
  • Friday, 31 August - First round judging complete
  • Saturday, 1 September - First stage finalists contacted and second round entries open
  • Sunday, 30 September - Second stage entries close
  • Monday, 1 October - Second stage judging begins.
  • Tuesday, 20 November - NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards (winners announced).

Please read the media release launching the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards here:

If you are interested in supporting the awards as a category partner, please contact [email protected].

NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

  Read More