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Enterprising Rural Women Awards


Supreme winner announced for the 2017 Enterprising Rural Women Awards 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is proud to announce the NZI Supreme winner of the Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2017, Debra Cruickshank of Tannacrieff Wines. Debra is pictured with Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.

“A truly inspiring story” is how the Awards judges captured Debra’s business success. RWNZ’s National President Fiona Gower was on the judging panel, she said “We were impressed with Debra’s demonstration of a love for what she does and a focus on family, heritage and her roots.

“Debra displays a superb work ethic, skill and innovative thinking, which has provided a great foundation from which to leverage and grow the Tannacrieff Wines brand.”

Over 180 people attended the Awards ceremony with friends, family and colleagues supporting the four finalists vying for the Supreme Enterprising Rural Women Award. The announcement was made during the RWNZ National Conference at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill.

Minister for Women Hon Julie Anne Genter attended the Awards ceremony and said, “Rural women have always led the way for New Zealand, and today is no different. Congratulations to the winner, Debra Cruickshank, and all the finalists for the NZI Supreme Enterprising Rural Women Award.”

This year’s awards are supported by industry partners: Agrisea New Zealand, NZI and SWAZI New Zealand. The judging panel for the awards is Fiona Gower, RWNZ National President, Donna Williams, NZI GM Customer Experience and Marketing, Jill Bradley, Director Agrisea New Zealand and Warwick Bean, Sales Manager SWAZI New Zealand.

Congratulations to the category winners for the 2017 Enterprising Rural Women Awards:

Agrisea New Zealand Love of the Land winner:

Kiri Elworthy and Jenny Bargh - Tora Coastal Walk, Martinborough

Download a photo of Kiri Elworthy
Download a photo of Jenny Bargh

Set in Wairarapa, the three-day, fully catered walk has earned rave reviews from walkers of all ages and from all over the world. Walkers experience the stunning natural landscape – hill-country farms, native bush, flowing streams and hilltop ridges offering 360-degree views, including the rugged Tora Coast.

Tora won the inaugural Enterprising Rural Women Awards Supreme prize in 2009, and RWNZ is pleased to see them back in the running for the Supreme award after eight years.

Award partner and judge Jill Bradley, Director of Agrisea New Zealand says, “It has been a privilege to be involved in the 2017 Enterprising Rural Women Awards supporting sustainability and business excellence in rural areas. We congratulate all of the finalists as each one demonstrated courage, creativity and determination.’’

NZI Innovative Enterprising Rural Women Award winner:

Kylie Davidson and Emma Hammond - Hammond and Davidson Accountants, Riversdale


Download a photo of Kylie Davidson and Emma Hammond

Kylie Davidson and Emma Hammond set up a Chartered Accounting business called Hammond Davidson Ltd in March 2011 in Riversdale.  Starting with only a handful of farming clients, the business has now grown substantially. The majority of their client base are farmers/farming support businesses or are contractors to the farming sector.

Hammond Davidson have a family-friendly workplace for staff, all of whom are female, and they offer a flexible working environment, which they say is valuable to everyone, as they are all working mothers.

Award partner and judge Donna Williams, GM Customer Experience and Marketing, NZI says: “We know that women are a primary force in the rural community and play a vital role in the financial management of farms. That’s why we’re delighted to be a partner of this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know the finalists and hear their inspiring stories. All have outstanding leadership skills, creative flair and business acumen and we are looking forward to seeing what these fantastic women do next.”


Homeopathic Farm Support Emerging Enterprising Rural Women Award winner:

Jo Kempton - Happy Belly Ferments, Greytown 


Download a photo of Jo Kempton

Happy Belly Ferments is a beverage company based out of the small rural town of Greytown in the Wairarapa. The business is run by sole trader owner/operator Jo Kempton. The business produces two products; Water Kefir and Kombucha. Both are fermented probiotic drinks which appeal to a wide range of customers.

The business has been in operation for two years, beginning as an interest in making a healthy immune boosting tonic for family and friends. Jo has recently boosted production facilities and began selling direct to retail outlets including Farro Fresh in Auckland and Moore Wilson's in the Wellington and Wairarapa region.

Award partner and judge Fiona Gower, RWNZ National President says, “The diverse range of these business is incredible, with the finalists showing true enterprise, solid work ethic, and sound business knowledge to get their businesses off the ground and making a real success of them.”


SWAZI New Zealand Entrepreneurial Enterprising Rural Women Award winner and NZI Supreme award winner:

Debra Cruickshank - Tannacrieff Wines, Cromwell


Download a photo of Debra Cruickshank

At DC Wines, Debra has created Central Otago’s niche market for not only port but also provided a solution for the fast-growing boutique vineyards wanting to create wine from their very own vineyard.

Debra’s wine journey started at Bannockburn winemaker, Akarua. Debra worked in the vineyard and winery for eight years, learning the ropes with practical on-job training and completing formal qualifications.

Debra went on to manage a wine lab in Australia before returning to Bannockburn to start her own wine business, DC Wines. The Tannacrieff Wines brand is 100% female owned and operated. Debra has the support of family who help at harvest or during bottling, however, it’s mostly a solo operation.

Award partner and judge Warwick Bean, Sales Manager of SWAZI says, “The finalists demonstrate how they can develop from concept to instigation to successful business model. They illustrate the Kiwi ethos of the ‘No8 wire’ philosophy, in finding an opportunity and then a way to make everything work successfully.”

The judges would also like to highly commend two applicants for the awards:

Marion Day, author, for her publications Cuzzie and Bro, Cor Blimey Mate and her upcoming series of children’s books.

Sophie Siers, author, for her series of illustrated children books, Allis the Little Tractor.


Picture caption (left to right) Judging Panel 2017: Donna Williams - GM Customer Experience and Marketing, Fiona Gower - RWNZ National President, Jill Bradley - Director at Agrisea NZ and Warwick Bean - Sales Manager, SWAZI NZ.


Many thanks to our 2017 partners:





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

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It is exciting to have a busy year of activities for the 125th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage, and celebrating the diverse women who have been championing social change in New Zealand?


125 years ago New Zealand women were vigorously campaigning to achieve the right to vote and would finally win that right in September of 1893. Now, as we remember, celebrate and look to the future, the Ministry for Women, Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine is proud to be coordinating activities and events which will mark this significant milestone. These celebrations will recognise New Zealanders from diverse cultural backgrounds that have contributed to progressing women’s rights.


Organisations throughout New Zealand – and the world – are preparing to lead events. There will be range of events for people to take part in and contribute in their way to the celebrations.


The Suffrage 125 Events Page and supporting pages can be found on the Ministry for Women's website and acts as a hub for all Suffrage 125 celebrations. These are across the country and provide a launchpad for pointing traffic to the home locations for each of the submitted activities. 


To show your interest, please submit your events to be included on the page. They will be sharing events on their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter) so be sure to keep up to date with what's going on. 



Hold a Suffrage 125 event

As part of our work, we are connecting national and regional activities celebrating the anniversary under the umbrella key phrase of “Suffrage 125”. We invite all New Zealanders to get involved by hosting Suffrage-related events, sharing those with us and being part of a nationwide celebration of our history and our future.

If you are planning an event or activity related to Suffrage 125 you can:

  • submit a Suffrage 125-related activity on our event page
  • share your Suffrage 125 event details and other information on our Facebook page (/Suffrage125) or use the hashtag #Suffrage125
  • use the Suffrage 125 symbol to help promote your event
  • connect with other organisations in your region or city celebrating Suffrage 125.



If you have not already, like the Suffrage 125 Facebook page where you can follow for updates and post your events. 


Bring on the 2018 Suffrage celebrations!


(Image source: www.nzhistory.govt.nz)

Women's Suffrage 125 Years

Friday, February 02, 2018

It is exciting to have a busy year of activities for the 125th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage, and celebrating the diverse women who have been championing social change in New Zealand?
 Read More

Rural Support Trust representatives are working closely with farmers to monitor well-being and directing them to relief assistance for flooding and other adverse events.

The Rural Support Trust advise farmers to ensure stock and domestic animals have food, water, and shelter where necessary, and are secure. Ensure that all stock injuries are promptly attended too, after human needs are met.

If your farm or rural property or stock has been affected by an adverse event and you need assistance, contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) with information on the impacts on your farm, or requests for help.

The Rural Women New Zealand Adverse Events and Relief Fund is available to individuals, communities and groups, with a particular emphasis on rural women and children. The fund provides financial assistance to persons or groups, where there is an identified urgent need due to recent adverse events such as drought, fires, floods or earthquakes.

Click here to read more about applying for the fund.

Contact details for support agencies:

The Rural Support Trust (RST organise community events and one-on-one mentoring, as well as targeted support services in emergency situations)  
http://www.rural-support.org.nz Ph: 0800 787 254.

DairyNZ: Sharemilkers support http://www.dairynz.co.nz/farm/tactics/support-for-sharemilkers/

Federated Farmers http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/ Ph: 0800 327 646 or drought feedline 0800 376 844.

Doug Avery’s Resilient Farmer http://www.resilientfarmer.co.nz/

Farmstrong http://www.farmstrong.co.nz

If you just want to talk, or know someone who is at risk, there are a range of support options available, including counselling services:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling

Youthline: 0800 376 633 or free text 234 - Provides 24 hour telephone and text counselling services for young people

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling.

Women's Refuge: 0800 REFUGE (733 843) a 24/7 crisis and support line provide advice and information.

Shakti New Zealand 0800SHAKTI (0800 742 584) If you are in a situation of domestic violence call our 24-hour crisis line, and multi-lingual staff will provide information.

Tautoko: 0508 828 865 - provides support, information and resources to people at risk of suicide, and their family, whānau and friends.

What'sup: 0800 942 8787 (0800 What’s Up) is a counselling helpline for children and young people, aged 5-18. Phone Mon-Fri 1-10pm, Sat-Sun 3-10pm.

Kidsline: 0800 543 754, it is a 24/7 helpline for children and teens, run by specially trained youth volunteers.

Thelowdown.co.nz - Free Text 5626, watch videos or contact for support. 

depression.org.nz National Depression Initiative (for adults), 0800 111 757 - 24 hour service 

Ministry for Children Oranga Tamariki If you're worried about a child or family that you know, there are ways you can help, contact Child, Youth and Family.

For information about suicide prevention, see http://www.spinz.org.nz .

If it is an emergency, or you feel yourself, or someone you know is at risk, please call 111.

Rural community support services

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Rural Support Trust representatives are working closely with farmers to monitor well-being and directing them to relief assistance for flooding and other adverse events. Read More

Today -Thursday, 8 March celebrates International Women’s Day. A breakfast at Parliament this morning saw 400 women the attend to hear the Governor General, the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, the Minister for Women, Hon Julie Anne Genter, and Rt Hon Helen Clark, who had a 40-minute discussion with Dr Gill Greer.

The event was jointly organised by the UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Zonta Club of Wellington.

Topics of discussion at the breakfast included the direction of women in leadership, celebrating the progress that has been made in New Zealand, the impact of social movements including the #metoo campaign and how movements such these which start off small on social media, can eventuate into a real drive for change.

RWNZ was lucky enough be present at the event and meet such inspirational leaders. We look forward to participating in more events celebrating the successes of women and discussing our future direction in finding full equality.

(Pictured: The Right Honourable Helen Clark with RWNZ Communications, Marketing and Events Assistant Catherine Stabb)

International Women's Day 2018

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Today -Thursday, 8 March celebrates International Women’s Day. A breakfast at Parliament this morning saw 400 women the attend to hear the Governor General, the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, the Minister for Women, Hon Julie Anne Genter, and Rt Hon Helen Clark, who had a 40-minute discussion with Dr Gill Greer. Read More



RWNZ have released a press release calling for changes to be made to improve the safety of children, especially those living in rural areas. 


As schools return this week, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is reminding drivers about their legal responsibilities and renewing their call for mandatory signage and flashing lights on school buses.


“RWNZ urges the new Government to implement mandatory 20km/h signs and flashing lights on school buses, especially given recent trials have proven both are vital to reducing the speed of traffic passing school buses,” says National President, Fiona Gower.


“Rural children are especially vulnerable when drivers speed past school buses, and children have been involved in a number of serious and fatal incidents.


“We are back into the swing of the school year, and drivers must remember to follow the Road Code and slow down to 20km/h when passing a school bus that has stopped to pick-up or drop-off children.


“As advocates of safer rural roads, RWNZ also asks drivers to watch out for children cycling or walking to school, particularly along highways and main roads, and always remember to slow down to the speed limits indicated in school zones.


“It is time to up the game with keeping our rural children safe – let's just do it,” says Ms Gower.'


For further information, please contact:


[email protected]



Rural Women Renew Call For Bus Signs

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

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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