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RECENT NEWS

RBI ROLL OUT ENCOURAGING YET CELL COVERAGE INADEQUATE

Whilst, yesterday’s announcement by the Government about additional rural broadband and mobile coverage is good news for rural communities, we need more says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“It’s encouraging to read that the outcome of the tenders will take coverage to nearly 100% of population coverage however, rural communities need geographic coverage,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“Currently approximately only 50% of New Zealand’s geography is covered and this is where our rural families live and work – they need better coverage.

“Our rural communities need better mobile coverage and rural broadband so that rural families and businesses can contact emergency services from anywhere on their properties, retain staff, take full advantage of technology in running farms, for social inclusion and education.

“Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) particularly rural-based providers are vital to ensuring internet to every rural premise and it is great that this is very nearly achieved.

‘RWNZ understands that it is more expensive to increase cellphone coverage due to New Zealand’s geography, however, by involving all the WISPs with their local knowledge, territorial authorities who have a role in keeping sight lines clear and the Rural Connectivity Group, this can be achieved.

“Essentially, we applaud the Government and Crown Infrastructure Partners for the vital work connecting rural communities to the world wide web – let’s see progress in cellular coverage,” says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

RBI ROLL OUT ENCOURAGING YET CELL COVERAGE INADEQUATE

Thursday, December 20, 2018

RBI ROLL OUT ENCOURAGING YET CELL COVERAGE INADEQUATE

Whilst, yesterday’s announcement by the Government about additional rural broadband and mobile coverage is good news for rural communities, we need more says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“It’s encouraging to read that the outcome of the tenders will take coverage to nearly 100% of population coverage however, rural communities need geographic coverage,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“Currently approximately only 50% of New Zealand’s geography is covered and this is where our rural families live and work – they need better coverage.

“Our rural communities need better mobile coverage and rural broadband so that rural families and businesses can contact emergency services from anywhere on their properties, retain staff, take full advantage of technology in running farms, for social inclusion and education.

“Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) particularly rural-based providers are vital to ensuring internet to every rural premise and it is great that this is very nearly achieved.

‘RWNZ understands that it is more expensive to increase cellphone coverage due to New Zealand’s geography, however, by involving all the WISPs with their local knowledge, territorial authorities who have a role in keeping sight lines clear and the Rural Connectivity Group, this can be achieved.

“Essentially, we applaud the Government and Crown Infrastructure Partners for the vital work connecting rural communities to the world wide web – let’s see progress in cellular coverage,” says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

 Read More

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM AT PROPOSAL FOR MIGRANT WORKERS

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) welcomes the announcement by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway of proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visas.

“The acute shortage of farm workers has resulted in a reliance on migrant workers, however any proposals must address the impact on migrant families including access to affordable health, accommodation, education and support services,” said National President Fiona Gower.

“The introduction of regional skills shortage lists, along with new incentives and support for employers, will go some way to alleviating the chronic lack of rural workers throughout New Zealand.

“It is vital that any changes to the employer-assisted work visa programme include reinstatement of the right for temporary migrant workers to bring their partners and dependent children with them for the duration of their visa period and provide for their safety and wellbeing once they arrive.

“It is essential that all migrant farm workers and their families have access to the same amenities and services afforded to all New Zealanders,” says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM AT PROPOSAL FOR MIGRANT WORKERS

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM AT PROPOSAL FOR MIGRANT WORKERS

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) welcomes the announcement by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway of proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visas.

“The acute shortage of farm workers has resulted in a reliance on migrant workers, however any proposals must address the impact on migrant families including access to affordable health, accommodation, education and support services,” said National President Fiona Gower.

“The introduction of regional skills shortage lists, along with new incentives and support for employers, will go some way to alleviating the chronic lack of rural workers throughout New Zealand.

“It is vital that any changes to the employer-assisted work visa programme include reinstatement of the right for temporary migrant workers to bring their partners and dependent children with them for the duration of their visa period and provide for their safety and wellbeing once they arrive.

“It is essential that all migrant farm workers and their families have access to the same amenities and services afforded to all New Zealanders,” says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

 Read More

POSSIBLE MBOVIS ERADICATION GOOD NEWS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES

Government’s announcement that Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) is close to eradication is welcome news for New Zealand’s rural communities says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“We are breathing a sigh of relief on behalf of our rural communities with the news that 51 properties are now cleared of M.bovis, 32 properties still to clear and no new outbreaks,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“These last six months have been hard on rural communities, particularly those where infected properties were identified.

“RWNZ is pleased that the spring has not heralded any new infections and that farming families can go in to Christmas with an air of cautious relief.

“Whilst there have been some challenges with financial support for affected farmers and the psychological toll of having to cull healthy livestock, rural communities have been supportive of each other and the need for tighter on-farm biosecurity measures.

“New Zealand is not out of the woods yet and until the remaining 32 properties are cleared, we must continue to be vigilant.

“RWNZ is looking forward to the day when the number zero is listed in MPI’s weekly M.bovis Stakeholder Update,’ says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

POSSIBLE MBOVIS ERADICATION GOOD NEWS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

POSSIBLE MBOVIS ERADICATION GOOD NEWS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES

Government’s announcement that Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) is close to eradication is welcome news for New Zealand’s rural communities says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“We are breathing a sigh of relief on behalf of our rural communities with the news that 51 properties are now cleared of M.bovis, 32 properties still to clear and no new outbreaks,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“These last six months have been hard on rural communities, particularly those where infected properties were identified.

“RWNZ is pleased that the spring has not heralded any new infections and that farming families can go in to Christmas with an air of cautious relief.

“Whilst there have been some challenges with financial support for affected farmers and the psychological toll of having to cull healthy livestock, rural communities have been supportive of each other and the need for tighter on-farm biosecurity measures.

“New Zealand is not out of the woods yet and until the remaining 32 properties are cleared, we must continue to be vigilant.

“RWNZ is looking forward to the day when the number zero is listed in MPI’s weekly M.bovis Stakeholder Update,’ says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

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The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand recently produced the Rural Health Road Map 2018. Read and download a copy here.

Rural Health Road Map

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand recently produced the Rural Health Road Map 2018. Read and download a copy hereRead More

MEDIA RELEASE

GOVERNMENT TAKES A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES

The Government’s announcement that it will crack down on livestock rustling is a step in the right direction however, more needs to be done to protect rural communities, says Rural Women New Zealand.

“The announcement from the Minister of Justice, Hon Andrew Little that he has introduced a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) which makes changes to the Crimes Amendment Bill to crack down on rustling is only one tool in the crime prevention toolbox,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“Livestock rustling is the bane of every rural community and we are pleased the Government has heard our calls for support.

“However, recent news about the reduction in hours in some regional police stations means that crime will continue to be an issue for rural communities.

“If this Government was really serious about rural crime prevention and resolution they would ensure sufficient numbers of rural police, ensure police stations which service rural New Zealand are open when they are most needed, and ensure every rural family has the technology they need to contact emergency services.

“RWNZ applauds the proposed SOP, however our rural communities will not be safe until they have 24/7 police support and better access to technology,” says Ms Gower.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact National Office on 04 473 5524

 


 

RURAL WOMAN LEADER ELECTED CHAIR OF LANDCARE TRUST

 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is delighted that National President Fiona Gower has been elected Chair of the New Zealand Landcare Trust.

RWNZ has been a trustee organisation since the Trust’s inception over twenty years ago and continues to support its work in promoting sustainable land and water quality locally through its Members.

“Fiona is well-suited for the role of Chair of NZ Landcare Trust – she has been RWNZ’s representative on the Trust since 2016, has a deep understanding of farming and is very passionate about sustainable land use and improving water quality,” says National Chair, Penny Mudford.

“RWNZ works to build and support rural leaders and to provide opportunities for leadership development and growth.

“Fiona's experience as RWNZ National President, Board Member, and a former co-ordinator of the rural environment portfolio provides a great foundation for her new role at NZ Landcare Trust.

“We are delighted that Fiona was elected as Chair of New Zealand Landcare Trust and we will continue to support her,” says Ms Mudford.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Penny Mudford ONZM on 027 246 1936

 

MEDIA RELEASE

RURAL COMMUNITIES MISS OUT IN MENTAL HEALTH INQUIRY REPORT

It’s disappointing there are no recommendations to support rural communities in the Government’s Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry Report (the Report) says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“New Zealand’s rural communities are suffering more than most from the lack of access to mental health and addiction services, which the Report does not address,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ lodged a submission to the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry and while some of our concerns are noted in the body of the report, there are no recommendations that will alleviate our concerns.

“The use of tele-health services could help solve isolation by distance if there was access to adequate and affordable connectivity - unfortunately this is not the case in much of rural New Zealand.

“A far better solution is to train those living and working in rural communities to identify and support those suffering, as well as education and support programmes to lower the incidence of mental illness, suicides and family violence.

“RWNZ would also like to see a rural impact assessment carried out on all the recommendations before they’re implemented – it’s the least the Government can do to support rural communities,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Fiona Gower on 027 428 3884

RURAL COMMUNITIES MISS OUT IN MENTAL HEALTH INQUIRY

Monday, December 10, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

RURAL COMMUNITIES MISS OUT IN MENTAL HEALTH INQUIRY REPORT

It’s disappointing there are no recommendations to support rural communities in the Government’s Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry Report (the Report) says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“New Zealand’s rural communities are suffering more than most from the lack of access to mental health and addiction services, which the Report does not address,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ lodged a submission to the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry and while some of our concerns are noted in the body of the report, there are no recommendations that will alleviate our concerns.

“The use of tele-health services could help solve isolation by distance if there was access to adequate and affordable connectivity - unfortunately this is not the case in much of rural New Zealand.

“A far better solution is to train those living and working in rural communities to identify and support those suffering, as well as education and support programmes to lower the incidence of mental illness, suicides and family violence.

“RWNZ would also like to see a rural impact assessment carried out on all the recommendations before they’re implemented – it’s the least the Government can do to support rural communities,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Fiona Gower on 027 428 3884

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Read All NewsRecent news


The Family Violence Act 2018 must protect victims’ privacy and accessibility to support services, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Sharing and disclosing information between government sectors, such as health and education, may place the privacy of family violence victims at risk," says RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower.

“Although RWNZ supports the Government’s efforts to create an effective preventative response to family violence through information sharing, we do not support a system that puts people at risk and leaves victims feeling vulnerable and unable to seek help because they are afraid of confidentiality breaches.”

“However, for many rural families, there are no “on the ground agencies” to provide services desperately needed and this remains our fundamental concern.”

“Rural victims of family violence often cannot leave their situations easily and this isolation and lack of support is significant as 39% of rural women will experience violence, compared to 33% of urban women, as cited in our submission on the Family Violence Legislation Bill in July 2017,” 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]


 

 

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.

 

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 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