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RWNZ has made a submission on an application to the Minister for the Environment for a water conservation order on the Ngaruroro River and Clive River, pursuant to Section 201(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991.

RWNZ opposes aspects of the application for the water conservation order that propose to limit the take of water from the lower River, in particular below Whanawhana. Consistent with other applications submitted (eg: Irrigation NZ, HB Fruitgrowers, and Horticulture NZ) we oppose the application applying to connected groundwater of the Ngaruroro River and consider that the applicants have not defined the nature or extent of the groundwater they propose to be covered by the order. 

Should the Tribunal determine that the application is appropriate for the lower River, we oppose the range of controls and prohibitions suggested within the draft order for the stretch below Whanawhana Cableway. We propose that an alternative range of controls, limits and restrictions be considered that are enabling of food, fibre and wine production values.

We consider that food, wine and fibre production are values that are integral to the cultural identity and economic wellbeing of the local communities and any revised water conservation order should consider the protection of those values because they are outstanding, both nationally and regionally.

We note that the applicants have failed to consider the needs of rural families and communities who derive their livelihood from primary and secondary production. The region is a food producing region and many rural families and communities are dependent on and involved in the primary or secondary production industries and their service industries in some way.

It is apparent to us that the applicants have not given due consideration to the downstream consequences of reducing the ability for producers of food, fibre and wine to have access to the necessary water to grow their crops. We need to ensure that crops are viable and the irrigation of crops is fundamental to that viability, especially in low rainfall seasons.  

RWNZ recognises that it is sometimes difficult to balance the environmental interests and the interests of recreation users and growers and producers. We submit that the interests of people who make a living from the land and the communities that derive their living from the production and manufacture of primary produce must be fairly factored into the equation.

Should the application be approved as submitted it would have the effect of disadvantaging the economic welfare of both the producers of wine and food and the other local businesses that gain their income from the revenue generated by the producers.

Click here to download the Submission.

 

Submission on water conservation order on Ngaruroro River and Clive River

Monday, August 28, 2017

RWNZ has made a submission on an application to the Minister for the Environment for a water conservation order on the Ngaruroro River and Clive River, pursuant to Section 201(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991. Read More

The Justice and Electoral Committee is seeking feedback on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2).

Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) submission supports the intent of the Bill, especially in regards to the protection of landlords and tenants from the harmful effects of methamphetamine contamination. However, there are ways in which the Bill could improve to provide greater protections for landlords and tenants.

RWNZ recognises that the manufacture of methamphetamine is a widespread, clandestine issue in New Zealand. In our submission, RWNZ noted that the lack of police resources in rural areas can make them a target location for methamphetamine manufacture because there is less risk of getting caught. RWNZ also referenced a case study that shows how harmful methamphetamine contamination in homes can be to the health of tenants, especially children.

In order to provide greater protection for tenants, RWNZ suggested that landlords must be held liable to test for methamphetamine contamination before a tenant moves in if requested by the incoming tenant. In regards to the high cost of methamphetamine testing, RWNZ recommended that the Bill be amended to state that tenants responsible for the methamphetamine contamination should be responsible for all costs involved with the damage that are not covered by a landlord’s insurance. This removes an undue burden on landlords, who should not be held liable to pay the costs incurred by methamphetamine contamination.

"Tenants must be made responsible for the damage they cause to the landlord's property,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand. “This includes the cost of remediating contamination caused by tenants who use or manufacture methamphetamine.”

Click here to read the Submission

 

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No2) Submission

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Justice and Electoral Committee is seeking feedback on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2).  Read More

 Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award

Rural Women New Zealand are offering a new award this year: Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award. The award has been established to recognise the importance of connectivity to rural communities and agri-businesses in rural areas. The award celebrates journalism that helps raise awareness about the issues and benefits of rural connectivity.

Examples of subjects that could be included as entries:

- Online learning and education materials for students

- Farm management programmes / apps

- Farm safety management

- Health management

- Maintaining connections with family, friends and community

- Business capabilities and growth

- Accessing research and development programmes

- Rural broadband initiatives and infrastructure

Entries in the RWNZ Rural Connectivity Award 2017 must be of two articles, radio broadcasts or television programmes broadly based on the theme of rural connectivity.

Entries closed Tuesday 12 September.

Any New Zealand-based journalist or communicator is eligible to enter the award. The winner will receive $750 in prize money. 

Click here to download an entry form.

 

 

Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2017

Entries have closed for the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2017, which will be presented at the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists annual awards dinner in Wellington on 13 October.

The Rural Women New Zealand award encourages journalists to report on the achievements of women living and working in rural communities.

Entries in the RWNZ Journalism Award 2017 must be of two articles, radio broadcasts or television programmes broadly based on the theme of “rural women making a difference.” This could be in the sense of community involvement, on farm, or in another rural-based business or activity.

“RWNZ is proud to sponsor this Award for journalism features celebrating the achievements of rural women, through enterprise or volunteering in roles that support their rural community,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.

Nadine Porter was the winner of the 2016 Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award. Nadine's winning articles featured research on rural women and isolation, and the role of social media and were published in the Ashburton Guardian Farming.

Entries closed Wednesday 6 September 2017. Any New Zealand-based journalist or communicator is eligible to enter the award. The winner will receive $750 in prize money.

Click here to download an entry form.


 

 

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback on the draft Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko (DT|HM) curriculum.

Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) submission supports the curriculum and its intent to prepare New Zealand’s students for the increasingly digital world. However, RWNZ is concerned about the curriculum being applied in rural areas, where there is not equitable access to digital technologies.

The three core issues with implementing the DT|HM curriculum that RWNZ has focused on in the submission are the lack of sufficient funding for rural schools, training for teachers, and access to reliable internet connectivity. RWNZ noted that although access to reliable broadband has improved in rural schools, not all rural homes and communities are sufficiently equipped. Therefore, rural students that do not have access to reliable internet would be unable to complete the required coursework outside of school hours.

“It is vital that all students in New Zealand have access to all learning opportunities,” says RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower. “They shouldn't be missing these opportunities because of funding or training restrictions or because of where they live. There needs to be equity for all, so no children are left behind in the learning of what is now considered an important part of the curriculum.”

In the submission, RWNZ has requested that the curriculum include a strategic plan that will ensure all schools are provided with adequate resources so that learning outcomes can be consistent across the country. This plan should include a training budget to be used for professional learning and development in the use of digital technologies for teachers; ensuring access to reliable internet connectivity both at school and in homes; and providing all schools and students with the same technology and other resources needed to implement the curriculum.

Click here to download the Submission.

 

Equity of access, funding and training concerns for draft Digital Technologies curriculum

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback on the draft Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko (DT|HM) curriculum.  Read More

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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