welcome back, !

 

RECENT NEWS

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 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.


 

The Government has announced the decision of phased eradication of Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis). The announcement was made yesterday afternoon, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister Damien O'Connor, alongside RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower and representatives from Federated Farmers, Beef and Lamb NZ, and Dairy NZ (pictured above).

RWNZ encourages anyone needing assistance to contact the Rural Support Trust and recommends following updates from MPI. It is important to support others in your community through this eradication phase.

Read below our media release following yesterday's announcement. 

 

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND WILL SUPPORT COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) will continue to support communities following the Government’s decision on phased eradication of Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) from New Zealand.

“RWNZ is collaborating with the Government, MPI, Rural Support Trust, and industry leaders to support our rural communities, families, women and children given today's decision," says RWNZ National President Fiona Gower.

“The decision to phase eradication of M.bovis has been made by Cabinet after consultation by Minister O'Connor with industry leaders.

“RWNZ is committed to ensuring there is wrap-around welfare support for those affected – we understand that high stress in times of crisis can lead to a breakdown of our social rural fabric.

“Strategic, regular, and thoughtful communications between decision makers, support networks, and communities is vital.

"By working together, we can do this," says Ms Gower.


 

Rural Support Trust Chairperson, Neil Bateup says that Rural Support Trust and RWNZ will be working together to support our rural communities.

"Rural Support Trust is available 24/7 for free, confidential support on 0800 787 254. The welfare of farmers, their families and staff are of upmost importance to all of us. Do not be afraid to reach out if you need us," he says.

 

For a full list of support services visit our here

Read the Prime Minister and Minister's full media release here for further information regarding the decision.

Read Fiona's media statement here.

 

 

Mycoplasma bovis announcement

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

 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

(Pictured: RWNZ Board Member and Health convenor, Margaret Pittaway)

 Rural Women New Zealand are concerned with New Zealand's midwifery shortage, particularly for rural women. Please read our media release below in response to the current media regarding this issue. Board Member and Health convenor, Margaret Pittaway, has been working hard to ensure our concerns for this issue are heard. 

You can find the relevant media here.

 

 

125 YEARS SINCE THE VOTE AND RURAL WOMEN STILL STRUGGLE

It’s ironic that in the 125th year of suffrage, New Zealand women are struggling to gain and retain health services, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“New Zealand is still hailed as a world leader because New Zealand women won their right to vote in 1893, the first nation in the world, however, we are behind in maternity care,” says Board Member and Health convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“RWNZ has been observing the developing dilemma for midwives and those they care for, with increasing concern.

“Rural midwives are simply not receiving a living wage due to the expectation they travel many more miles to visit patients than their urban counterparts.

“RWNZ holds grave fears for the wellbeing and safety of rural mums-to-be – decisions on maternal care are putting the mother’s life and the life and intellect of new born babies at risk.

“On top of this, is the insidious progression in the closure of small community hospitals and maternity units in the belief that centralisation of essential services is the best method.

“RWNZ firmly believes that not only is it vital to retain community hospitals for the wellbeing of our new mothers and families, but is vital for the sustainability of rural communities.

“The Government needs to empower rural communities by urgently addressing the crisis in rural health services, particularly resignations as midwives seek better and more attractive opportunities,” says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

 

 

125 Years Since the Vote and Rural Women Still Struggle

Thursday, March 22, 2018

(Pictured: RWNZ Board Member and Health convenor, Margaret Pittaway)  Read More

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

In March 2017, the Productivity Commission released a report recommending a number of changes to the way the Government funds and delivers Tertiary Education in New Zealand. RWNZ asked members for their feedback on the Productivity Commission’s Report, to inform on our submission to the Commission.
It was disappointing to see that the otherwise excellent report of the Productivity Commission largely bypassed the rural sector, as it is a unique sector with its own challenges.
Without these issues being specifically highlighted in the report, it is unlikely they will be directly addressed in any actions taken by government as a result of the report. Not only are the challenges faced by rural people of all ages seeking tertiary education likely to not be improved, their ability to access tertiary education could be reduced due to unforeseen consequences of changes made, albeit with the best intentions, that have not been rural-proofed. It was largely evident from the outset, and in the wording of the Scope, that the rural sector was not identified as a “priority group.” Where the report provided graphical and statistical information, the categories were either gender based, age based or with Māori/Pasifika, and in some cases Asian, identified as unique categories. Again, it has been identified that the rural sector is not being recognised.
Also concerning, is the perception that in general access to affordable, fast, reliable broadband has been assumed to be available to all learners. If so, then those on the wrong side of the “digital divide” will be further disadvantaged. The 527-page report from the Commission focused heavily on the way education is funded and the constraints and barriers resulting from that. The
benefits of access to quality tertiary education and the wide range of courses, included ACE funded courses, which categorised tertiary education, were also well covered in the report.

RWNZ’s submission with respect to the low number of students graduating with degrees in agricultural based subjects and the mismatch with the demand for skilled workers in primary production,
was also commented on in the report. The recommendations generally were ones that should have a positive impact on access to education, although how much, if at all, the rural sector would
benefit is unknown. This information needs to be specially addressed. In conclusion, RWNZ welcomes the report, and believes some very sensible recommendations were made. It is hoped that some of the proposals that are being considered will first be rural proofed so that impact can be measured. RWNZ would be happy to input into this process.

The Productivity Commission report is here: New models of tertiary education – the final report on the Commission’s tertiary education inquiry.

Background: 

In November 2015, the Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to, and take advantage of, trends in technology, internationalisation, demographics, tuition costs and demand for skills. We were also asked to identify potential barriers to innovation. 

The Commission’s report and its package of recommendations seek to give providers the scope to innovate in the delivery of tertiary education, and incentives to do so.
Key recommendations include:

  • better quality control and self-accreditation for strong performers;
  • strengthening the role of student demand in allocating funding to providers;
  • making it easier for students to transfer between courses;
  • abolishing University Entrance;
  • better careers education for young people;
  • enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets;
  • making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and
  • facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers.

Rural Women New Zealand published a submission for the Commission to consider in November 2016. Click here to download the Submission

SUBJECT Firearms Community Advisory Forum
DATE Thursday 18 August 2016
TIME 0930 –1210
VENUE Level 15 Conference Rooms 3 &4
ATTENDEES Catherine Petrey, Geoffrey Dunn,Chris Jamieson,Paul Gatland,Rob Ngamoki,Julia Penney,Ray Vine,Alastair (Roly)Williams, Poh Boey, Paul Clark,Helen Morgan,Nicole McKee, Matthew Gibson,John Herbert,Trevor Dyke,Andrew Edgcombe,John Howat,Trent Smith, Rachael Dean
APOLOGIES Chris Scahill, Kirsty Marshall, Debbie Wakker, MFAT
 
MINUTES
ITEM 1 – Welcome and introduction
The Chair welcomed the Forum’s members and introduced two new members, Rachael Dean from Rural Women NZ and Trent Smith from NZ Retail. Members were advised of safety procedures and evacuation protocol. The Chair stated that the forum would be conducted under the Chatham House Rules – members are free to use the information received during the course of the meeting, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speakers, may be revealed. The aim of the meeting is to open up lines of communication, and as a result, create a culture of trust.

 

ITEM 2 – Action Points from last Meeting
1. Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill
This Bill is currently before the Select Committee, which is reviewing the Departmental Report. The proposed amendments enhance rangers’ ability to detect and investigate offences against the Wildlife Act. Police investigated whether a consequential amendment to the Arms Act was required so that rangers could seize firearms in the course of their duty under the Bill. The Department of Conservation’s view is that there is no need for a special provision in the Bill as section 73 of the Arms Act specifies that “any person who seizes any article, being a firearm, airgun, pistol, imitation firearm, restricted weapon, ammunition, or explosive, in the exercise of a power conferred on him by any Act may have possession of that article so long as he is acting in the exercise of that power and in connection with his official duties”. Police’s legal team also confirmed that this should cover rangers taking possession of firearms in the course of their duty.
2. Permit date recorded on import permits to be date of issue (not date of application)
Police reported that this has been actioned and will now apply to all future applications for import permits.

 

3. Official Information Act Database
A Police action point is to record all OIA requests on firearm issues and the response to these on our website. This is a work in progress. Police will follow the example of other government agencies and redact the names of the requesters. It was noted that Police deals with far more official information requests than other agencies.
ITEM 3 – Cross-agency Firearms Working Group Update and Next Steps
The Working Group last met at the end of July and is working with Customs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and the Department of Internal Affairs. Customs is reviewing internal processes and the Group is still following up on MFAT (processes between Police and MFAT) and the Department of Internal Affairs (leveraging the use of RealMe). Currently the Working Group is looking for Analysts to develop options. The Group will be looking for stakeholder input.
There was a presentation on the ‘Firearms Administration and Management’ project, where it was suggested that New Zealand’s firearms system is not making the best use of technology. Police is committed to ensuring that the community receives Better Public Services. Since New Zealand’s primary firearms legislation was introduced in 1983, areas of inefficiency have clearly emerged. Opportunities exist to make better use of modern technology, ensure consistency of service across the country, and improve information about firearms in New Zealand. It was theorised that if Police were able to make better use of technology, it will benefit both Police and the wider firearms community. It is envisaged that the Better Business Case framework will ensure clearer thinking and prevent failure in the future.

 

The Firearms Business Case will combine the development of the:
•Strategic case
•Economic case
•Commercial case
•Financial case, and
•Management case.
Multiple government bodies will be involved, including Police, Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). As an example, the commercial case relates to procurement, so it will look to MBIE’s expertise, while the financial case would be consulted with Treasury. This consultation is crucial to ensuring the best understanding of ideas. Some members were wary that advice might not be sourced from people with the appropriate skill set, as they believed was the case with the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill. One member indicated that the Bill gave a blank cheque in what could be charged, as it included terms and phrases such as ‘costs’, ‘indirect costs’ and ‘potential costs of services that are not to be provided directly to the person who pays the fee or charge’. The member indicated that these terms are very broad and give little scope to audit those being charged.
Police is currently consolidating the strategic case and has:
•Completed the Investment logic mapping workshops
•Visited Police Districts to hear from the Firearms team members who provide services; and
•Begun preparing the ground work for the economic case – working on options for early 2017 (not including legislation).
There will be consultation on the economic case, before it is signed off by a Deputy Commissioner. Some members suggested that the underlying direction of the project might overly rely on good
internet access and that this might be problematic for rural communities. The presenter suggested
that internet access is just one aspect to the approach. For this reason, one member proposed that rural communities should have the opportunity to ‘rural-proof’ any options by ensuring they can contribute to the policy making process.
One member queried how much revenue generated from firearm licence fees and endorsements came back to Police. Police advised that firearms licensing1 by Police is funded from a combination of Crown revenue and revenue obtained from fees for applications for firearms licences, dealers’ licences, and firearm licence endorsements. The revenue obtained from fees was $3,103,723 in
2013/14 and $4,226,946 in 2014/15. This covers less than half the cost of firearm licensing, which can be seen from the output expense statements for firearms licensing included in the Police Annual Reports which record that the actual amounts spent on this output were $8,609,000 in 2013/14 and
$10,283,000 in 2014/15. The budget allocation in each of those years, funded from Crown and third party revenue, was $9,576,000 and $11,676,000 respectively.
Police indicated that fees and costs are being further analysed as a part of the Firearms project (also accessible on http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/firearms-community- advisory-forum-minutes-may-2016.pdf). One member indicated that given concerns around whether the basis for calculating the charges was fair and equitable, the basis for particular fees should be as transparent as possible. One major reason for this is that the firearms community believes that they receive mediocre service. Police confirmed that this is going to be looked at in the project. Any adjustment to the level of Police resources will depend upon greater understanding of the problem and the outcome of the project. Members expressed concern about the amount of time that this will take. On the subject of costs, one member expressed disappointment with the fee-setting process and the inclusion of overheads in the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill and did not consider this to be the appropriate way to calculate fees.
ITEM 4 – Law and Order Committee Inquiry into illegal possession of firearms
The Law and Order Committee received 98 written submissions on the ‘Inquiry into the illegal possession of firearms’, including four late submissions. On 10, 17 and 24 August, submitters have been presenting oral submissions before the Committee. Police is currently preparing a Departmental Report based on the issues raised in the submissions. There is no clear indication of any recommendations that the Committee might be favouring, although common themes from the submissions include improving burglary resolution rates and noting the serial numbers of firearms in more cases. It is unclear when the committee will report back.
There are no major surprises from the submissions, although there is a fear being expressed by some submitters that members of the public have the ability to hack into Police’s database to find the names and details of firearms licence holders. Police continues to focus on maintaining safe and secure information to minimise the risk of successful hacking.
It is also important to note that it is not within the Committee’s remit to make recommendations about increasing Police numbers generally, or in rural communities. Members also expressed reservations about TradeMe’s submission which asked for access to Police’s national firearms licence register to electronically verify the details of firearms licence holders. Police explained that TradeMe had previously approached Police with a proposal to develop greater security around their firearm sales, and that if a database were developed, ultimately it would be available to commercial traders generally.

 

A member also raised concerns about the current mail order system (as required in section 43A of the Arms Act) and its inefficiencies, particularly in rural communities. Firearms users and sellers may not necessarily have a mobile or email address, but the forms require these details to purchase
1 This output covers the processing of applications for firearms licences, the issuing of licences, the verification of compliance with endorsed licences, enforcement, and the revocation of firearms licences. It also covers the work to ensure people who licences have expired have lawfully disposed of any firearms they have possessed.
a firearm. The forms are also not very easy to use, and may need to be altered. Members also questioned general duty constables’ knowledge of firearms. Police acknowledged that the system could be more user friendly. One member was of the view that the mail order system works for the most part. Police commented that people should consider going to their Arms Officer. However, one member indicated that this may involve considerable travel and cost for rural communities. The list of Arms Officers can found at http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/firearms/firearms- licensing-contact-details.
One member read from a copy of an email sent to Wellington Police by a person intending to purchase online using the available form who outlined considerable difficulties in completing the process, although Police advised that the person’s issues have been resolved.
Action point:
-Police to do some tidying up of the mail order system to ensure it can work smoothly. This issue can be revisited at the next meeting. Police will try to notify the forum ahead of this time if there are any changes.

 

ITEM 5 – Mountain Safety Council review
Police is not involved in the Mountain Safety Council’s (MSC) review and would prefer not to comment on it at this stage.
The MSC advised that it continues to review its programme, which includes engaging with relevant sector organisations that have a vested interested in firearms education. Its main focus remains on educating the firearms community and educating prospective firearm licence holders. A member expressed a desire for MSC to engage with the rural community, and the MSC suggested that they have already started doing so, having met Federated Farmers. The MSC have also run 22 workshops, where they have been able to engage with the firearm instructor network, many of whom have strong ties to rural communities.

 

ITEM 6 – Update on Firearms legislation
There have been no changes since the previous forum. The Minister of Police is likely to discuss this with Police at some point, but this will not happen until the completion of the Select Committee’s
‘inquiry into the illegal possession of firearms’. One possibility is that Police will produce a public discussion paper before any amendments proceed further, but this will depend on the Minister’s view. A possible legislative change that will proceed before other amendments to the Arms Act relates to introducing Firearm Prohibition Orders. A separate paper on this is being prepared for Government.
Police confirmed that it has not been proposing the formal registration of all firearms that might be in the system. In the past Police has not supported full registration of firearms if it was to try to capture the serial numbers of all firearms currently held by firearm licensees, partly because it would be very impractical to do so. Nevertheless, universal registration remains an idea, and will likely be considered by the Select Committee Inquiry. Recording more serial numbers than is currently the case, does have the potential to assist Police with matching more seized firearms with those lost through theft/burglaries.
Members expressed doubts about the idea of universal registration. There is a general fear, although one with no basis, that full registration will lead to confiscation of firearms. One member argued
that universal registration has not worked in any country and that Police databases are quite inaccurate anyway.
Police confirmed that there is no proposal being finalised with Government to reclassify all semi- automatic weapons as E category. Police is in the process of noting issues and coming up with possible options to present to the Minister.
If there were to be a public discussion paper it would be unusual to consult extensively prior to its release as that would be achieved through a widely available discussion paper that the public is consulted on, where it has a chance to present alternative options.

 

ITEM 7 – Other Business
Members advised that the public wants more information on safes and storage requirements. The firearms community is frustrated with the requirements behind what constitutes a legitimate safe. Some expressed concerns that some safes were deemed legitimate 2-3 years ago, but now fail tests. Police, however, notes that there are no new storage requirements – the same criteria continue to apply. If security standards are not met, then the onus is on the owner to prove that the safe is secure, as approved by a certified engineer. Police must also be satisfied that the engineer inspecting the safe has sufficient knowledge to certify that the safe is adequate. If someone has an issue with a decision relating to a safe, they should discuss the issue with an Arms officer who will contact Police National Headquarters. People can always email Police National Headquarters as well
– Police will do its best to resolve the certification issue. Forum members should expect to hear
more on this in the next few weeks, although this could be longer if an appeals process needs to be ironed out. A checklist for firearm officers and dealers on safe specifications is being prepared in the shorter term.

 

Action point:
Police to send out to the Forum the safe requirements checklist and to advise the Forum of the certification expectations when that exercise is completed.
There is general dissatisfaction with how long it takes to get firearm import permits. Often people are getting lawyers involved because it is a slow and onerous process. There is a sense that Police is very poorly resourced in this area. Police commented that it is in the process of resolving this issue, and that the waiting time has reduced significantly. The remaining permits that have lengthy waiting periods should be processed in the next couple of weeks.
Last year there were some issues with firearms licence renewals, with one person’s licence taking eight months to renew. This issue stemmed from staffing issues within Police and the peak in the applications for renewals. This has now been reduced to normal waiting times.
It was mentioned that there was a rumour that dealers’ fees were about to be substantially increased. Police advised that it is not possible for Police to unilaterally and arbitrarily raise fees associated with getting firearms or dealers’ licences – Police has to demonstrate to Government that increases are based on costs that are necessary and reasonable. It was noted that Police collected
$4,226,946 from fees for firearm licences, which accounted for approximately 50% of Police’s costs
in administering the Arms Act.
The next meeting is scheduled for 8 December 2016, 9:30am – 12:30pm.

 

 

Summary of the Firearms Community Advisory Forum Meeting: Thursday 18 August 2016

1. THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING WERE CONFIRMED
2. ACTION POINTS FROM LAST MEETING
a) WILDLIFE (POWERS) AMENDMENT BILL: The Select Committee is currently considering this Bill. The proposed amendments enhance rangers’ ability to detect and investigate offences against the Wildlife Act. No consequential amendment to the Arms Act required. Rangers already have the ability to seize firearms in the course of their duty under the Wildlife Act and the current section 73 of the Arms Act covers the situation.
b) PERMIT DATE RECORDED ON IMPORT PERMITS TO BE DATE OF ISSUE (NOT DATE OF APPLICATION): Police reported that this has been actioned and will now apply to all future applications for import permits.
c) OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT DATABASE: A Police action point is to record all OIA requests on firearm issues and the response to these on its website. Police will follow the example of other government agencies and redact the names of the requesters. It should be noted that Police deals with far more official information requests than other agencies.
3. CROSS-AGENCY FIREARMS WORKING GROUP UPDATE AND NEXT STEPS: The Working Group is working with Customs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and the Department of Internal Affairs. Customs is reviewing internal processes and the Group is still following up on MFAT and the Department of Internal Affairs. A bulletin was sent to Police staff on 16 August, and the Group seeks input from relevant stakeholders.
The firearms system suffers from a number of clear inefficiencies. In theory, Police believes that better use of technology would benefit both Police and the wider firearms community. The Better Business Case framework will ensure clearer thinking and prevent failure in the future. There are five key sections that have been identified for development in the Firearms Business Case, including strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management cases. Multiple government bodies will be involved, including Police, Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Police is currently consolidating the strategic case and has completed Investment Logic Mapping workshops, visited Districts to hear from the Firearms team members who provide services, and begun preparing the ground work for the economic case. There will be consultation on the strategic case before it is signed off by a Deputy Commissioner.
Police outlined that $4,226,946 was collected in 2014/15 from firearm licence fees and endorsements, and indicated that fees and costs are being further analysed as a part of the Firearms project. This figure can also be found at http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/firearms-community-advisory-forum-minutes-may-2016.pdf. Police confirmed that fee transparency is going to be looked at in the project.
4. LAW AND ORDER COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS: On 10, 17 and 24 August, oral submissions on the ‘Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms’ were presented to the Law and Order Committee. Police is currently preparing a Departmental Report based on the issues raised in the written and oral submissions. Common themes from the submissions include improving burglary resolution rates and more frequently noting the serial numbers of firearms. It is unclear when the Committee will report back. A number of submitters fear that Police’s firearms database is vulnerable to being hacked. Police continues to focus on maintaining safe and secure information to minimise the risk of successful hacking. There have also been several comments about Police resourcing of firearm matters. Police acknowledged that the mail order system, required in section 43A of the Arms Act, could be more user friendly. Police will tidy up the mail order system to ensure that it will be run more smoothly.
5. MOUNTAIN SAFETY COUNCIL REVIEW: MSC continues to review its programme, which includes engaging with partners and anybody that has a vested interested in firearms. Its main focus remains on educating the firearms community and educating prospective firearm licence holders. MSC has started consulting the rural community. Police is not involved in the review.
6. UPDATE ON FIREARMS LEGISLATION: There have been no changes since the previous forum. The Minister of Police will probably discuss this with Police, but it is unlikely to happen until after the completion of the Select Committee’s ‘Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms’. Firearm Prohibition Orders may potentially proceed before other amendments to the Arms Act. A separate paper on this is being prepared for Government. Police confirmed that it has not been recommending a formal registration of all firearms that might be in the system. However, registration will probably be considered by the Select Committee. There is a general fear within the firearms community that full registration will lead to confiscation of firearms, but this has no basis. Recording more serial numbers may potentially assist Police with matching more seized firearms with those lost in burglaries. Police confirmed that there is no proposal being finalised with Government for the reclassification of all semi-automatic weapons. Police is in the process of noting issues and mooting possible options to present to the Minister.
OTHER BUSINESS:
7. SAFES: Members were advised that the public wants more information on safes and storage requirements. The firearms community is frustrated with the requirements for what constitutes a legitimate safe. Some expressed concerns that some safes were deemed legitimate 2-3 years ago, but now fail tests. Police, however, notes that there are no new storage requirements – the same criteria continue to apply. If security standards are not met, then the onus is on the owner to prove that the safe is secure, as approved by a suitable engineer. If someone has an issue with a decision relating to a safe, they should discuss the issue with an Arms officer who will contact Police National Headquarters. Forum members should expect to hear more on this issue in the next few weeks, although this could be longer if an appeals process needs to be ironed out. A checklist for firearm officers and dealers on safe specifications is being prepared in the shorter term.
8. IMPORT PERMITS: There is general dissatisfaction with how long it takes to get firearm import permits. Often lawyers are getting involved because it is a slow and onerous process. Police commented that it is working to resolve this issue, and that the waiting time has reduced significantly. Remaining permits that have lengthy waiting periods should be processed in the next two weeks.
9. FIREARMS LICENCE RENEWALS: Last year there were some issues with firearm licence renewals, which stemmed from staffing issues within Police and having reached the peak of the ten year bell curve relating to the number of applications received. Delays have now been reduced to normal waiting times.
10. DEALERS FEES: There have been rumours that dealers’ fees will be increased substantially. Police advised that it is not possible for them to unilaterally and arbitrarily raise fees associated with getting firearms or dealers’ licences.

 

From November 1st, New Zealand Post is making changes to rural deliveries in some regions.

Changes to the Deed of Understanding with the Government in 2013 allowed New Zealand Post to move to five day delivery in rural areas. From 1 November, more delivery runs will move from six to five days a week. Currently about 15% of rural customers are on five day delivery and this will increase to about 25%.

“We’ve been able to maintain a six day service for three quarters of our rural customers nationwide, but in some places, we don’t have enough items coming through the network for a six day service to be sustainable,” says Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, Customer Service Delivery.

“We’ll be notifying rural delivery customers affected by this change in the next few weeks,” says Mark Stewart. “They’ll continue to be able to send and receive parcels and letters Monday to Friday.”

“We’re working hard to give our rural customers the best possible service at the same time as maintaining a commercially sound rural delivery network,” says Mark Stewart.

“With the growth in online shopping, we’re also improving sending, delivering and tracking options for our rural customers,” says Mark Stewart. “The majority of rural contractors are now equipped with scanners, providing customers with better tracking information and the convenience of being able to know when parcels will arrive.”

New Zealand Post is in the process of talking to its rural contractors about the changes. The runs affected are mainly in Southland and Otago as well as parts of Tasman, Nelson, the West Coast, North Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.

 


 

 

NZ Post announce changes to rural deliveries

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

From November 1st, New Zealand Post is making changes to rural deliveries in some regions. Read More

Nomination forms have been posted to the branches. The forms have been emailed to members with email addresses and will soon be available in the member’s section of the website. The forms in the booklet may be copied or torn out and posted back to National Office.

Along with the forms, the following documents have been posted and emailed to branches and are in the members’ section of the website:

- The Area Committee and Leadership Council Terms of Reference

- Statement of Finance and Independent Review

- By-laws and Policy.

The following time frame is applicable:

After May - meeting Call for Nominations

1 August - Nominations close

September - Voting papers prepared

15 September - Voting Papers out

31 October - Voting closes.

 

Are you passionate about growing rural communities? Improving the lives of women?

Would you like to be involved in setting the future direction of Rural Women New Zealand? This is a valuable opportunity for you to contribute to our goal of building and supporting people in our rural communities.

We are looking for people who have some of the following skills and experience:

  • Strategic expertise: the ability to guide and review strategy through constructive questioning and suggestion
  • Accounting and finance: the ability to read and understand the not-for-profit accounts and financial material presented to the board
  • Managing risk: experience in managing areas of risk for organisations
  • Marketing: experience in marketing and promotions
  • Cyber/digital innovation and expertise: the ability to govern our organisation to navigate successfully in the digital world
  • Legal expertise: legal experience and knowledge
  • Experience: experience in similar not-for-profit organisations, sectors or industries, such as health, education, social services and land issues
  • Common sense: the ability to find pragmatic solutions to issues, and to work constructively with your peers
  • Passion: a genuine passion for the cause.

The Board’s accountability involve:

  • Strategy: providing strategic direction for Rural Women New Zealand 
  • Governance: ensuring Rural Women New Zealand is governed robustly and has appropriate policies to comply with legal requirements 
  • Auditing and Monitoring: appointing auditors and monitoring management of Rural Women New Zealand. 

Each board member must also meet certain standards of conduct:

  • Duty of Care: aboard member must exercise ‘reasonable care’ when he or she makes a decision for Rural Women New Zealand. In this case, ‘reasonable’ is what a prudent person in a similar situation might do.
  • Duty of Integrity: a board member must never use information gained through his or her position for personal gain, but must always act in the best interests of Rural Women New Zealand.
  • Duty of Loyalty: a board member must be faithful to the Rural Women New Zealand’s mission, and cannot act in a way that is inconsistent with our goals.

Being a board member also involves meeting legal obligations, including the following:

  • Health and Safety: a board member must exercise due diligence to ensure Rural Women New Zealand complies with its health and safety duties and obligations
  • Ensuring Solvency: a board member must not allow the Rural Women New Zealand to embark on a path that carries serious risk of non-payment to creditors.

 

If this sounds like the sort of challenge that would interest you, please apply for this exciting opportunity today using the nomination forms.


 

Nomination Forms for the Board

Thursday, May 26, 2016
 Read More

Read All NewsRecent news


 

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

 

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