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Rural Women New Zealand National Office will be closed from 5:30 PM Friday, 15 December until 8:30 AM Monday, 15 January 2018.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018. Have a relaxing holiday with friends, family and your local community.

Thank you for your support of our organisation and your commitment to growing dynamic communities. 


Christmas and New Year can be particularly stressful times on farm. If you feel like you, or someone you know needs some extra help, support

or assistance over the holidays, or anytime, there are a number of support agencies and helplines you can refer to:


The Rural Support Trust -
0800 787 254 or www.rural-support.org.nz 

Dairy NZ - Sharemilkers support - www.dairynz.co.nz/farm/tactics/support-for-sharemilkers

Federated Farmers - 0800 327 646 OR www.fedfarm.org.nz - drought feedline 0800 376 844

www.depression.org.nz OR 0800 111 757

Lifeline 0800 543 354

Youthline 0800 376 633 or free text 234

Samaritans 0800 726 666

Women's Refuge 0800 REFUGE (733 843)

Shakti New Zealand 0800 SHAKTI (0800 742 584) (24 hour crisis line with multi-lingual counsellors)

Farmstrong www.farmstrong.co.nz 

Doug Avery's Resilient Farmer - www.resilientfarmer.co.nz

SPCA - www.rspca.org.nz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Office Hours Support Agency Contacts

Wednesday, December 13, 2017



Rural Women New Zealand National Office will be closed from 5:30 PM Friday, 15 December until 8:30 AM Monday, 15 January 2018. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand National President, Fiona Gower presented at the annual meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society meeting in Palmerston North in late November.

Her speech is below: “I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I was so ill that I thought I would die.”

“We had to leave the farm, our friends, the kid’s schools and their friends. We bought a house in town facing some fields but it was never the same. We never recovered financially.”

These are just two quotes from Rural Women New Zealand members when asked to tell their stories about their experience of leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is a disease with widespread consequences. What is astounding is the emotional pain that remains long after the physical illness has passed.

Rural Women New Zealand too has been involved in the leptospirosis fight, having run two very successful campaigns, the first in the 80’s which raised over $150,000 for research in to leptospirosis in the dairy and pig industry by Massey University. This led to a huge drop in cases as the value of vaccinating stock became well known and implemented.

In 2007-2008 the second fundraising and awareness campaign was undertaken, raising over $107,000 to be used in the research by Massey into leptospirosis, in particular freezing workers. The awareness raised in groups such as farmers, rural workers and medical professionals was priceless.

This long term partnership between Massey University and RWNZ representing science and community is incredibly valuable, as it allows the strengths of each to support the work of the other.

It hasn’t just been the funding and the research, it is the long term partnership that has been the strength, that we can turn to each other for support or backing or information sharing. RWNZ is a member of FLAG – Farmers Leptospirosis Action Group and has attended other Leptospirosis forums. I had the privilege of addressing the NZ Veterinary Association in 2012 on the effects of Leptospirosis on rural families and communities and the importanceof disease prevention to them.

By working together, we can prevent more cases occurring and having families saying to us: “Our family had to be split up as we were unable to care for the kids. They were strangers by the time we could get them back again. It is really affecting our relationship. Whatever the cost to inoculate, it costs nothing compared to your life.”

Awareness of the disease which has been raised, and where further work can be done, how to prevent stock getting infected, and importantly what practices rural workers can put into place to lower the risk of them contracting leptospirosis. This is something that community organisations such as Rural Women New Zealand can collaborate on, to raise further awareness to all groups such as rural workers, employers and health professionals. As one rural doctor said after our awareness campaign: “I have never tested much for leptospirosis, but now I will take it more seriously”. We also know that those who have become aware of the disease are more likely to pressure for the test if they are ill.

The recent very wet weather and floods have shown up cases in those involved in the clean-up, contracting the disease from the infected water and mud. We have been working with Rural Support Trusts to ensure the message is disseminated about staying safe at these times is disseminated is vital.

Like that famous phrase says, “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen,” we have seen the results from the combined research and awareness campaigns. Let’s keep it up so less of our stock is infected, meaning better returns for our farmers and less of our rural workers and families contracting leptospirosis, leading to healthier, happy families staying on the land and keeping having strong rural communities.

Pictured is Jackie Benschop of Massey University, RWNZ Board Member Janet Williams and National President Fiona Gower.

Leptospirosis Society Presentation

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rural Women New Zealand National President, Fiona Gower presented at the annual meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society meeting in Palmerston North in late November. Read More

A special thank you to all delegates for making an effort to attend the 2017 Rural Women New Zealand National Conference and AGM in Invercargill.

It was a great success, the friendship, fellowship, and participation, which were much appreciated. The speakers were selected for your interest and enjoyment. The Board representatives organised the heath, social and rural environment workshops, which were well supported by delegates.

A special thank you must go to the committee for their astute quality and dedication to provide all delegates with something to remember about the 2017 conference in Invercargill, which made it so enjoyable.

Mary, Val, Virginia, Heather, Dorothy, Sally, Ann, Jeanette, Pat, Iris, Rhonda, Moira, Eunice, Yvonne and Pasty, you made the conference what it was. It was amazing and an enjoyable time, including great weather even though we were inside. The food was to die for and the friendly atmosphere that we all look forward to at these functions.

A very special thank you to Ian Smith for the wonderful partner’s/spouses tours, with amazing Southland scenery and farmland, that many tourists have never seen before. I am sure the lunches and snacks that were provided were very much appreciated.

Elaine Sloan
Convenor National Conference Committee, Invercargill

 

National Conference 2017 Wrap-up

Friday, December 08, 2017

A special thank you to all delegates for making an effort to attend the 2017 Rural Women New Zealand National Conference and AGM in Invercargill. Read More

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