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RECENT NEWS

Southland member Ann Irving stars in a just-released video promoting tree planting on farms as part of a nationwide Trees on Farms project, which was supported by Rural Women New Zealand.

In all 68 on-farm videos have been produced, thanks to funding from the Sustainable Farming Fund. Each features passionate farmers and tree planters who share what they've learned from years of experience.

In her video, Ann talks about the tree planting that's happened over 42 years on her farm at Waimatua, Southland, and the importance of planting shelter for stock and to help the growth of other tree species. "You leave a legacy when you plant trees", says Ann, whose farm also includes an area of QEII covenanted bush.

She also talks about the wonderful Rural Women New Zealand forestry project at Castledowns, Dipton, begun by members in 1949. All profits from this far-sighted project are ploughed back into the Southland community through annual charitable donations given by the local Rural Women New Zealand branches.

Helpfully, the farm forestry videos can be viewed on the NZ Farm Forest Association website by geographic region, or by soil or farm types – for example drystock, lifestyle, hill country, sand country, trees for soil conservation and trees for shade and shelter. The videos also cover the use of trees for timber and returns from harvesting.

DVD BOXED SET

If your internet connection doesn’t allow you to view the videos online, you’ll be pleased to know the NZ Farm Forestry Association will soon have available a boxed set of the DVDs. These can either be borrowed from your nearest NZ Farm Forestry Association branch, or purchased from the organisation.



Trees on Farms Videos

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Southland member Ann Irving stars in a just-released video promoting tree planting on farms as part of a nationwide Trees on Farms project, which was supported by Rural Women New Zealand. Read More

Rural Women's National Council and members warmly congratulate Liz Evans, our former national president, who has been recognised for her services to rural women in the Queen's New Year's Honours list 2015, and been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Liz Evans served as our national president from 2011 to 2013, and was Marlborough provincial secretary for 10 years. She was also the administrator for the Marlborough Provincial Federated Farmers from 2003 to 2011. Liz was introduced to rural life when she married Geoff in 1974, after having worked at the Marlborough Express as a reporter. Since then she has lived, farmed and raised a family at the head of the Waihopai Valley out of Blenheim. She was introduced to Rural Women New Zealand through her mother-in-law and credits our organisation for giving her many opportunities she otherwise wouldn't  have had. She has graciously said that while being recognised in the New Year's Honours is a personal achievement, it is also significant as it acknowledges the work done by our organisation as a voice for rural communities and people. A highlight amongst her many achievements and leadership has been her role in setting up the Enterprising Rural Women Awards. Liz describes Rural Women NZ as a confidence building organisation for women. "It's a wonderful organisation that sometimes doesn't get the recognition it deserves." We are thankful that Liz Evans has had the recognition she deserves as a champion and voice for rural women with the awarding of this honour. 

Congratulations Liz Evans ONZM 05-Jan-2015

Monday, January 05, 2015

Rural Women's National Council and members warmly congratulate Liz Evans, our former national president, who has been recognised for her services to rural women in the Queen's New Year's Honours list 2015, and been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). Read More

A three year collaboration with Massey University under the FLAG (Farmers Leptopsirosis Action Group) banner, has led to the production of a series of excellent short videos covering all aspects of the disease.


The Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust recently got a funding boost of nearly $600 thanks to Awana Rural Women. 

The money was raised at Awana branch's two health awareness events in September and October – the Man up to Prostate Cancer educational seminar and the Beauty and the Breast art exhibition.

The two events were so successful that Awana Rural Women will be running further events next year.

“We are very lucky to have such a good medical centre on the Island and it is important that it is supported,” said Gendie Somerville-Ryan, President Awana Rural Women. “Rural communities, in particular, can miss out on the public education that happens in bigger centres. We were both delighted and surprised at the level of community interest and support of our health awareness events. Working with the Health Centre to provide expert information and hearing first-hand from those affected by prostate cancer and breast cancer ensured people got a big picture of the warning signs and treatment for both conditions.”

The next Awana Rural Women health-related event will be a talk by Tony Hughes, Scientific Director of the AIDS Foundation, on April 7th 2015. He will speak on broad issues around HIV and Ebola, as well as other infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. Keep an eye on the Bulletin for more details.

If you would like to join Awana Rural Women, contact Gendie on 270 or Catherine on 944.

Art for health's sake on Great Barrier Island 01-Dec-2014

Monday, December 01, 2014


The Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust recently got a funding boost of nearly $600 thanks to Awana Rural Women. 
 Read More

It was an historic moment when our National Council made an announcement to members on Monday 17 November that it has accepted an offer from Green Cross Health for the purchase of Rural Women New Zealand’s shares in Access Homehealth Limited. There are a number of Conditions Precedent to meet which we are confident will be satisfied. The change of ownership is expected to come into effect in December.



This was a significant decision for our National Council given the origins of Access Homehealth, which evolved from the bush nurse and housekeeping schemes, set up in the mid-1920s by members of the Women's Division of the Farmers Union. The pioneering work of our members, and the tireless work of Access CEO Graeme Titcombe growing the business to what it is today is acknowledged. He is pictured above with outgoing chair, John Ayling, board member Pamela Storey and Green Cross chairman, Peter Merton.



Access is now one of the largest providers of homecare services in the country, contracted to DHBs, the Ministry of Health and ACC. Today the business is a sophisticated one, requiring significant ongoing investment in technology, a commitment to training and a move towards an integrated service model of delivery.



In considering the $18 million offer from Green Cross Health, National Council looked at whether Access remained a core service for Rural Women New Zealand. Could we make better use of the capital for the benefit of our members and the wider rural community?  We believe so.



The offer from Green Cross Health was an attractive one, as the company saw the value in acquiring a national homecare provider that serviced both urban and rural.  Green Cross Health is committed to continuing Access’ proud tradition of providing specialised home-based care and support. It has also undertaken to fund our present rural scholarships and awards.


Green Cross Health has invited Rural Women New Zealand to propose a member for consideration for appointment to the Green Cross board. 


Green Cross Health will retain the name and brand of Access Homehealth and will provide continued employment to all its staff. Green Cross Health is listed on the NZ Stock Exchange and is a leading primary healthcare provider through its pharmacy, medical and community healthcare divisions. For its part, the purchase of Access Homehealth will enhance its ability to offer integrated healthcare solutions nationwide. 



While the sale of Access is a significant step, Rural Women New Zealand's National Council believes it is the right one and offers exciting opportunities and a strong financial future for our organisation.


Media links:

Green Cross NZX Announcement

NBR announcement

NZ Doctor

Access Homehealth website





School bus safety Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’  this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light.

We have been advocating for safer speeds around rural schools for several years, and are thrilled that variable speed limits are to be extended to 23 rural schools, following the success of a trial at seven rural schools in 2012,  says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans.

“We’re also delighted that a trial of active, flashing, 20km/h signage is to go ahead on a fleet of school buses in Ashburton early this year, with funding approved just before Christmas.

“Our rural children are often placed in very vulnerable situations getting to and from school, and we welcome both these initiatives to raise driver awareness and slow down traffic,” says Mrs Evans.  “We will be actively promoting both these to our nationwide network of members.”

In the first trial, the NZ Transport Agency says the variable speed limits have resulted in an improvement in driver behaviour and reduction in speeds around the rural schools that took part, and the trial will be extended to 23 sites by the end of 2013.

The variable speed limit is set at 70km/h past schools in 100km/h zones, and 60km/h for schools in 80km/h areas.

The speeds are displayed on electronic signs, which allow the speed limit to be changed locally at agreed times.  

Mrs Evans says it’s encouraging to see innovative technological solutions being used to solve safety concerns.

“Technology is also the answer when it comes to reminding drivers about the 20km/h speed limit past school buses, and  it’s exciting that the Road Safety Trust has approved funding for a trial of active signage on school buses.”

The four stage trial with a bus company in Ashburton is expected to get underway in the next few weeks.

Bright 20km/h signs with flashing lights will be illuminated to alert drivers to the speed limit in both directions when passing a school bus that has stopped for children to get on and off.


The additional schools are:
•  Amisfield School, Waikato
•  Ararimu School, Papakura
•  Dairy Flat School, Dairy Flat
•  Elstow-Waihou Combined School, Matamata Piako
•  Kaimai School, Western Bay of Plenty
•  Loburn School, Waimakariri
•  Newstead School, Waikato
•  Opoutere School, Thames Coromandel
•  Pahoia School, Western Bay of Plenty
•  Puni School, Waiuku
•  Pyes Pa Road School, Western Bay of Plenty
•  Swannanoa School, Waimakariri
•  Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha School, Matamata Piako
•  Tirohia School, Hauraki
•  Waikuka School, Waimakariri
•  Westmere School, Wanganui



Rural school road safety initiatives welcomed 25-Jan-2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

School bus safety Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’  this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light. Read More

Conference Overview NZ Landcare Trust will host a 2 day conference starting 29 February 2012 at the Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato Campus, Hamilton. In addition an optional field trip is planned for 28 February, for those who would like to discover more about landcare issues around Hamilton and the work carried out within the community.

The conference will celebrate the work of rural communities from all around New Zealand and provide an opportunity to explore the role that community leadership plays in sustainable land and water management. In addition the conference will examine sustainability in a broader commercial context, investigating how sustainable land management can make good business sense, both to farmers and the wider business community.

With landscapes under increasing pressure from commercial and recreational interests, the need to protect the environment and our native biodiversity has never been more important. The conference will consider the practical challenges associated with combining biodiversity enhancement projects with the commercial needs of primary producers.

Who should attend?

Delegates will share an interest in community led solutions to sustainable land and water issues:

•Farmers
•Landowners
•Landcare and community group representatives
•Iwi representatives
•Resource management professionals
•Land management staff
•Biodiversity and biosecurity professionals
•Local authority representatives
•Government representatives
•Members of the scientific community
•Researchers and tertiary students
•Agricultural and sustainability consultants

For more information
email: [email protected]
Visit: www.landcare.org.nz/conference

Landcare in Action: National Landcare & Catchment Management Conference 2012 27-Jan-2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Conference Overview NZ Landcare Trust will host a 2 day conference starting 29 February 2012 at the Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato Campus, Hamilton. In addition an optional field trip is planned for 28 February, for those who would like to discover more about landcare issues around Hamilton and the work carried out within the community. Read More

A great article and photo in the Irish Farmers Journal by our very own Kate Buckley and Leonie Cadman - great work! Click on the image below to view a PDF of the article.





Rural Women feature in the Irish Farmers Journal 11-Jan-2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A great article and photo in the Irish Farmers Journal by our very own Kate Buckley and Leonie Cadman - great work! Click on the image below to view a PDF of the article. Read More

“Too many rural teenagers are killed and injured in road crashes when they start to drive by themselves on their restricted licence, and we need to do something about it” says ACC’s General Manager Insurance and Prevention Services, Keith McLea. At the same time he understands that rural parents want their teenagers to gain their driving independence as early as possible.

ACC strongly supports the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) plan to introduce a tougher Restricted Licence practical driving test from February 2012, to reinforce the need for 120 hours of practice in a range of conditions and situations. To support this, ACC and the NZTA are encouraging teen learner drivers and their parents to register with Practice.

Practice (www.practice.co.nz) is a free online programme that helps young drivers develop the skills they need to pass the practical driving test and gain their Restricted Licence. Using the programme will help them become competent drivers, and prepare them for the requirements of the new licence test.

Overseas research shows that if a learner driver has done 120 hours of supervised driving, their chances of being injured in a crash once they start driving alone is 40% lower than if they had completed around only 50 hours.

Because they help with farm work, many rural kids get behind the wheel before they are old enough to drive on the roads. However, Dr McLea is reminding parents that although these teenagers might feel confident driving around the farm, they don’t necessarily have the skills to drive safely on the road in all conditions, or drive safely in town too.

“Driving in the country is good for learning to drive in some challenging conditions, such as on narrow, winding roads, and in loose gravel. But learner drivers also need lots of practice in city situations too. They need to learn to drive in heavy traffic, how to stop and start at busy city traffic lights, what is a safe following distance, and applying the give way rules,” he says.

The safest way for teenagers to learn all these skills is with an experienced driver sitting right beside them. That experienced driver teaching them to drive is usually the teen’s parent. The Practice programme is designed to help make it easier for parents to teach and learners to learn.

“Investing a bit of extra time when they are learning is a smart thing to do. It helps keep them safe, and helps them achieve their independence sooner; allowing parents more time to get on with the job of running a busy farm,” he says.

When a young driver passes their theory test and gains their Learner Licence, they will be sent a brochure about joining Practice. Once they have signed up, and enlisted the help of a ‘Guide’ – usually a parent, relative or experienced friend – to teach them to drive, they can access a raft of information, tips and videos on the Practice website.

www.practice.co.nz 




Driving Practice Will Help Rural Kids To Survive 04-Jan-2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

“Too many rural teenagers are killed and injured in road crashes when they start to drive by themselves on their restricted licence, and we need to do something about it” says ACC’s General Manager Insurance and Prevention Services, Keith McLea. At the same time he understands that rural parents want their teenagers to gain their driving independence as early as possible. Read More

Four years ago we set up this Award through the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists, to encourage more media coverage about women’s activities and achievements, particularly in the rural media. The strategy is paying off, and this year our Award attracted more entries than any other category (apart from the Guild’s major ‘Rongo’ Award). A great result! 


We are delighted to let you know that NZX Agri journalist Rebecca Harper is our winner this year, for two articles she wrote in Young Country magazine. Her first piece was a story about Erin Reed who took out the Good Keen Girl Competition at the National Fieldays, and the second piece was a story about the inspirational former equestrian Catriona Williams, founder of the Catwalk Trust. To the left is a picture of Rebecca receiving her certificate and RWNZ cap! Rebecca says: “RWNZ makes a vital contribution to rural communities, there are some fantastic stories out there of women doing inspirational things. It is an honour to receive this award and I hope to continue to share the stories of rural women with the rest of New Zealand.”


Jon Morgan (incoming President of the Guild and Dominion Post journalist) was our runner up (the third time he has been one of our winners). He says: “Rural Women’s sponsorship is much appreciated by the Guild. I’m sure there has been a sharp rise in the number of women’s stories in farming pages and papers over the past three years.”

RWNZ Journalism Award 26-Oct-2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Four years ago we set up this Award through the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists, to encourage more media coverage about women’s activities and achievements, particularly in the rural media. The strategy is paying off, and this year our Award attracted more entries than any other category (apart from the Guild’s major ‘Rongo’ Award). A great result!  Read More

Read All NewsRecent news


(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.

Ends

 

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.

Ends

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.

Please read the media release below.

CENSUS DATA COLLECTION INTEGRITY QUESTIONED

This year’s census is in danger of not providing the data needed to make good decisions, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Whilst we understand and support the excitement of capturing our census data online, our concern is that many people still do not have access to internet while others might not have the capability or capacity to do so,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“The timing of the delivery of access code letters, which indicate that New Zealanders can opt for paper forms presents challenges for our rural communities, given that delivery of mail is taking longer and might only be delivered three days a week.

“The chances of a rural household without internet or with unreliable internet, receiving census paper forms in time for Tuesday, 6 March is slim, and that is concerning.

“RWNZ is doing everything possible to ensure our networks are aware of the new way of doing the Census although surely more thought should have gone in to how the valuable information about the lives and status of New Zealanders would be collected.

“Maybe this year, there could have been a concerted effort to use both electronic collection and paper collection to ensure integrity of the data,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

Please contact the National Office for more information.

 

 

National Office

Rural Women New Zealand

 

[email protected]

04 473 5524


 

 

(image source: www.census.govt.nz)

Census Data Collection Integrity Questioned

Monday, February 26, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding.

Read the announcement here.  

 

 

ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to see that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will cease operating if it does not receive government funding next week.

 

“RWNZ supports the work already done by RHAANZ in bringing together various rural groups and rural health providers to develop initiatives for rural communities,” says RWNZ Board Member and Health Portfolio Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Remarkable work has been done to deliver the Rural Health Road Map which sets out a plan and priorities for achieving healthily rural communities.

“Being geographically isolated, often with significant distance to the nearest town or health centre means that rural communities have an immediate need of affordable and reliable access to all health services.

“The Government has committed to rural proofing government policy, and RHAANZ has a vital part to play in this development – without the continuation of RHAANZ, and the work it does, rural communities will go backwards.

“There is no other place where issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural communities are considered concurrently, and the loss of achievements met and efforts made by RHAANZ will be detrimental for our rural people.

RWNZ urges the Government to recognise the good work that has been done by RHAANZ and to support its continuation," says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

Another setback for health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand 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.

Ends