welcome back, !

 

RECENT NEWS

The Aftersocks™ NZ campaign has been gearing up over the last few months to become a permanent sub brand of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) as our rural community continues to endure natural disasters and adverse events.

This award-winning philanthropic initiative assists affected individuals, community groups and organisations in rural areas, with a grant, following disruptive environmental events.

Over 21,000 pairs of New Zealand made merino socks have been sold, with proceeds contributing over $130,000 into communities since 2010. The recent Kaikōura earthquakes heightened the need to continue this support and include adverse events that have since followed; fire, floods and drought.

To support this campaign, RWNZ have launched a website www.aftersocks.nz, where you can Buy, Wear and Share your support with others. You can also apply to the Adverse Events Relief Fund for financial support, through this website. Grants to $1,000, can be approved for a wide range of needs, to those affected in the rural sector.

RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower, is encouraging members to join the campaign on social media, “wear and share your support by uploading a photo and tagging the @aftersocksnz Facebook page. We want to see you wearing your pair of Aftersocks™ in support of affected rural communities”. The campaign aims to attract support for the fund, to then distribute back into those rural communities most in need.

The Aftersocks™ NZ campaign promotes New Zealand supporting New Zealand made, supporting New Zealanders. The rural sector is a valuable industry, and what better way to continue to support this, than producing a product from merino wool. RWNZ has teamed up with The New Zealand Sock Company in Ashburton to produce Aftersocks™. This relationship now spans 6 years, with Sales Manager Jared Moore seeing it as “a privilege to work alongside Rural Women New Zealand, they are proactive, think outside the square, and they are doing great things in the wider community”.

Due to the rise of production costs, there has been an increase in the price of Aftersocks™ from $20.00 - $23.00 including GST.

RWNZ would like to encourage anyone who requires assistance following disruptive environmental events, to visit www.aftersocks.nz and apply for the Adverse Events Relief Fund. If you, your Group, Provincial, or Branch would like to make a donation to the fund, please make your deposits into the RWNZ account, details listed below. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to us directly please call the RWNZ National Office on 0800 256 467 during normal office hours.

Donation Details:
Rural Women New Zealand
ANZ: 06-0501-0778590-00
Reference: Adverse Fund
To request a donation receipt please email [email protected]

 

Aftersocks™ boosts support for rural communities

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Aftersocks™ NZ campaign has been gearing up over the last few months to become a permanent sub brand of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) as our rural community continues to endure natural disasters and adverse events.  Read More

Dreams have come true for eleven rural schools who are the lucky recipients of $2000 gardening grants announced by Rural Women New Zealand and Farmlands. 

The scheme aims to equip schools to develop productive vegetable gardens and orchards.

“This is the fourth year we’ve given out the gardening grants with funds from the Farmlands Ladies Nights,” says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Wendy McGowan.

“It’s a great way to help schools teach children how easy it is to grow food and what makes a healthy diet. In past years the gardening grants have been used by schools to build tunnel houses, composting systems, buy seeds, plants, fruit trees and gardening equipment.”

This year 52 North Island schools and 38 South Island schools applied for the grants.

“The entries were colourful and enthusiastic, and in some cases included videos created by the children showing what they hoped to achieve in their gardens.”

The lucky winners are:

Otamarakau School, Bay of Plenty
Paparoa Primary School, Northland
Te Horo School, Kapiti
Wharepapa South School, Waikato
Norfolk School, Taranaki
Patoka School, Hawke’s Bay
Lauriston School, Mid Canterbury
Seddon School, Marlborough
Clutha Valley Primary School, Otago
Lake Brunner School, West Coast
Waianiwa School, Southland

The cheques will be presented to the schools at the beginning of the new term.

The schools will also receive fertiliser from Agrisea NZ Ltd and a copy of ‘A Good Harvest – recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand’ so the children can put all their produce to good use.
Farmlands’ chief executive, Brent Esler, says the company is proud to continue its support of Rural Women New Zealand and the rural school garden grants.

“As a rural co-operative it just makes sense for us to support schools that make up the hubs of the rural communities we service.”






Wishes come true for eleven rural schools

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dreams have come true for eleven rural schools who are the lucky recipients of $2000 gardening grants announced by Rural Women New Zealand and Farmlands.  Read More

The Solomon Islands have been battered by flooding and recent earthquakes. Rural Women would like to raise funds for the schools affected in order to support their recovery. Books and equipment will be needed to replace those gone missing.

 

You can do this a few ways:

  1. Visit us on Give a Little here, or click the Donate Now image below.
  2. Raise funds in your community and direct deposit into our Rural Women account. If you need this, please contact head office. Please note in your deposit "Solomon Islands."
  3. Send a cheque made out to Rural Women New Zealand and post to: Rural Women New Zealand PO Box 12-021 Thorndon 6144. With a note to give to Solomon Islands.

Please let us know any ideas you have for events or activities to raise funds so that we can publicise and share these with our members.


Fancy a raffle fundraiser? Random House has kindly donated six copies of A Good Baking Day that can be used for a raffle or other fundraising prize for the Solomon Appeal. First come first served to request one these – contact [email protected].


Give a Little to the Solomon Islands 16-Apr-2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Solomon Islands have been battered by flooding and recent earthquakes. Rural Women would like to raise funds for the schools affected in order to support their recovery. Books and equipment will be needed to replace those gone missing. Read More

Mary McTavish, our national councillor for Bay of Plenty Coromandel, recently presented a cheque for $2000 to Te Ranga school – the first of 10 gardening grants being given to rural schools this year with funds raised from the Farmlands Ladies Nights.

Acting Principal, Janet Blaauw, said, "I would just like to say a HUGE thank you for the gardening grant that our school received from Rural Women NZ. You all do a fabulous job of helping out rural areas!"

Mary told the pupils at a special assembly,  "I am most impressed with what you have already achieved in your school garden.  Clearly there are some expert gardeners among you and I'm very pleased Te Ranga School won this year as you are already demonstrating your keen interest in growing and harvesting your produce.”

The school will purchase new irrigation equipment and gardening tools with its grant.

The gardens will also get a boost thanks to sponsorship from Agrisea, which is contributing a generous quantity of their organic fertiliser product to the winning schools.

There's a real focus in schools on children learning the value of eating fresh food and understanding where it comes from, and we're very pleased to be able to support this, especially as we celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming.

This is the fourth time Rural Women NZ and Farmlands have worked together to distribute the proceeds from the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights.

Other successful schools this year were Swannanoa, Waitahuna, Waihao Downs, Hororata, Mangamuka, Te Ranga, Kimbolton, Ahititi, Tahuna and Papanui, chosen from 58 applicants.

Projects lined up range from building a tunnel house to constructing a hen pen, buying equipment such as rakes, spades, seeds and plants, and building a permaculture edible food forest.

Farmlands' Events and Sponsorship Manager, Helen Shrewsbury says the company is proud to continue its support of Rural Women New Zealand and the rural school garden grants. 

“As a rural co-operative, it just makes sense for us to support the schools that make up the hubs of the rural communities we service.”


Kiera and Noeline from national office were up at the crack of dawn to take part in the Pat Farry Fun Run/ Walk around Wellington Waterfront in mid- March, supported by friends from The Walking Access Commission, Landcorp and Chorus.


The late Dr Pat Farry was a passionate advocate for rural health. A Trust set up in his name continues his work by providing educational scholarships, which have benefited nine medical students since 2010, who will go on to become rural GPs.


The Trust’s annual Fun Run/Walk supports this scholarship. It is held at the same time as the Rural General Practice Network Conference. National councillors sponsored our staff on the Fun Run/Walk this year.


If you'd like to support the team and the Trust, you can make a donation  via the Givealittle website, or post a cheque to national office.


Pictured above are Penny Mudford, NZ Walking Access Commission board member, Kiera Jacobson, the McKenzie family from Landcorp and Craig Young from Chorus.


Taking part in the Pat Farry Trust Fun Run and Walk 19-Mar-2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kiera and Noeline from national office were up at the crack of dawn to take part in the Pat Farry Fun Run/ Walk around Wellington Waterfront in mid- March, supported by friends from The Walking Access Commission, Landcorp and Chorus. Read More

The vegetable gardens at South Westland Area School are set for a big boost, thanks to the school winning a $2,000 gardening grant from Rural Women New Zealand and Meridian Energy this week.


Rural Women New Zealand national councillor, Pam Thomlinson, will present the jumbo-sized cheque on behalf of Meridian at a special ceremony to be held at the school on Tuesday 11 December at 9am.  

South Westland Area School was one of fifty-two hopeful South Island rural primary schools that applied for the two grants on offer.  

The other successful application came from Lyttelton Harbour Basin Schools – a grouping of eight schools that collaborate on gardening projects.

Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said “We are pleased to be able to support children in learning where their food comes from, and how easy it is to grow when you have the right equipment and materials.

“We are also giving the school a copy of our publication “A Good Harvest – Recipes from the Gardens of Rural Women New Zealand” with tips on growing fruit and vegetables, and lots of great recipes for using the produce once it’s grown.”

Meridian is also gifting a copy of the publication to the fifty unsuccessful schools. 

South Westland Area School currently has several small garden plots that are managed by different class levels throughout the school.

However, they struggle with high rainfall, and having to take covers on and off their plots for weeding and planting.

The $2,000 gardening grant will be used to buy a tunnel house with irrigation to extend and optimise the growing season.



New Tunnel House for South Westland Area School 12-Dec-2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The vegetable gardens at South Westland Area School are set for a big boost, thanks to the school winning a $2,000 gardening grant from Rural Women New Zealand and Meridian Energy this week. Read More

Children at six North Island rural schools will be encouraged to get their hands dirty as they develop vegetable gardens and orchards after being selected as the lucky winners of $2000 gardening grants.


Rural Women New Zealand and Farmlands will present the cheques to the schools over the coming week.

National president, Liz Evans, says “This is the third time that Rural Women New Zealand and Farmlands have collaborated to distribute the proceeds of the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights, which are held around the North Island during October.

“The resurgence of interest in eating fresh food and getting back to basics was reflected in the number of applications we received, with 113 rural primary schools applying for grants.”

The money will be used to buy equipment, seedlings or plants to start a vegetable garden or orchard, or further develop one already in place.

The schools will also receive gardening equipment from McGregor’s Gardening, a gardening starter kit from Yates, fertiliser from Agrisea NZ Ltd and a copy of ‘A Good Harvest – recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand’ so the children can put all their produce to good use.

The successful schools are:

Ohuka School, Wairoa 

Tinui School, Wairarapa

Toko School, Stratford 
Tomorata School, Wellsford 
Pukekawa School, Tuakau 

Tauriko School, Tauranga 






Garden grants give little green fingers a boost 05-Dec-2012

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Children at six North Island rural schools will be encouraged to get their hands dirty as they develop vegetable gardens and orchards after being selected as the lucky winners of $2000 gardening grants. Read More

To celebrate the International Day of Rural Women on 15 October, we presented a second car to Rainbow Place, which will be used by its nurses and therapists to travel to families coping with grief and loss due to serious illness or the death of a loved one.

“We presented the first car to Rainbow Place this time last year, thanks to fundraising by Rural Women and a generous bequest from one of our treasured members, Chica Gilmer,” says Rukuhia branch spokesperson, Janet Williams.

Now Chica Gilmer’s estate has made available further funds to present a second car to Rainbow Place, the children and young people’s service of Hospice Waikato.

“Children expecting a visit from a Rainbow Place nurse or therapist can look forward to seeing the cheeky bright red cars, sporting the number plates ‘Chica’ and ‘Gilmer’,” says Janet Williams.

The second car will also mean shorter waiting times for families to see a therapist or nurse, who travel hundreds of kilometers each month throughout the Waikato, King Country,Thames and Coromandel, supporting children and young people.

Both cars have been supplied at by Jim Wright Nissan, who has come up with a generous deal on the new Nissan Micra vehicles.

Penny Parsons, Manager of Rainbow Place, says “The Rainbow Place team are so grateful. We just want to say a huge thank you, not only on behalf of the staff, but also on behalf of the children, young people and their families who we now visit, and those we will be visiting in the future. It is the support of our local community that enables us to carry on doing our work with children young people and their families going through ‘tough stuff’.”

Pictured here are Janet Williams and Jim Wright of Jim Wright Nissan who supplied the car.

A lovely new car for Rainbow Place 15-Oct-2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

To celebrate the International Day of Rural Women on 15 October, we presented a second car to Rainbow Place, which will be used by its nurses and therapists to travel to families coping with grief and loss due to serious illness or the death of a loved one. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand is encouraging youngsters to experience the magic of growing vegetables and fruit by giving away grants to North and South Island rural primary schools to set up or further develop gardens and orchards.

Rural Women New Zealand has partnered with Meridian and Farmlands, which are funding $2,000 cash grants for schools to buy equipment, seedlings or plants.

Click on the links below to find out more:

North Island

South Island

Fruit and Vege Garden Grants for Primary Schools 30-Aug-2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rural Women New Zealand is encouraging youngsters to experience the magic of growing vegetables and fruit by giving away grants to North and South Island rural primary schools to set up or further develop gardens and orchards. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand, in partnership with Meridian has two Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to two South Island primary schools.


Grant Includes:

Find out how to apply here... www.ruralwomen.org.nz/SthIslandSchoolGrants


South Island School Garden Grants 28-Aug-2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rural Women New Zealand, in partnership with Meridian has two Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to two South Island primary schools. Read More

Read All NewsRecent news

Past National President Wendy McGowan has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rural women in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Wendy has been a member of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) since 1975 and has held offices with the Kaharoa Branch, Provincial and Inter-Provincial Committees. 

She said she felt excited about the honour and very thankful to the people who had nominated her.

In 2005 Mrs McGowan became National Councillor for the Region Five area covering Coromandel to Gisborne.

She was vice president for two years, convened the Social Issues Committee and the Land Use Committee.

Wendy represented RWNZ on the New Zealand Food Safety Consumer Forum for four years.

She was appointed National President of RWNZ from 2013 to 2016, during which time she led the delegation to the 2014 South Pacific Area Conference and the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) Triennial World Conference.

Wendy oversaw the implementation of changes to the structure of the governing body and rules of RWNZ and negotiated the sale of Access Homehealth Ltd during her term as National President.

She has been an individual member of the ACWW and was part of the RWNZ delegation to the South Pacific Area Conference in Tonga in 2011. She has served on the Rural Community Trust as the RWNZ representative.

Wendy is a member of the Kaimai-Mamaku Catchment Forum and Federated Farmers Rotorua/Taupo Province, and has been president and chairperson of Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre section for the province.

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Congratulations to Rebecca Keoghan

Rebecca Keoghan has been named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, particularly the dairy industry.

Rebecca Keoghan is a RWNZ member and has contributed to the Westland region for the past 10 years. In addition to her role as co-director of a 250 cow, 300 hectare farm Mrs Keoghan was Operations Manager of Westport's Holcim Cement Ltd, controlling the quality production of 500,000 tonnes of clinker and 550,000 tonnes of cement per annum. She led the growth of a 'zero harm' culture for her staff at Holcim.

Currently as Business Manager of Landcorp Farming Ltd she is responsible for the strategic development and management of five large dairy farms in the region, as well as a dairy support farm and a machinery syndicate spanning the Cape Foulwind and Grey Valley areas.

She is a director of Westland Milk Products Ltd and of Buller Holdings, which has responsibility for Buller District Council's commercial assets.

She was formerly Area President of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society's West Coast Board.
She was a member of the Northern South Island committee of OSPRI, the organisation managing the National Animal Identification and Tracing programme to eliminate bovine tuberculosis from New Zealand.

Rebecca was previously Team Leader and is currently a judge for the Dairy Manager of the Year Award programme for the Dairy Industry Awards. She was the Dairy Women's Network Dairy Woman of the Year in 2016.

 

 

Congratulations to Wendy McGowan

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Past National President Wendy McGowan has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rural women in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Read More

Myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) has been found in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki. 

The fungus attacks various species of plants in the Myrtaceae family, also known as the myrtle family. It is found in many parts of the world including New Caledonia and all along Australia's eastern seaboard.

Myrtle rust spores are microscopic and can easily spread across large distances by wind, or via insects, birds, people, or machinery.

It is thought the fungus arrived in New Zealand carried by strong winds from Australia. There have been a number of significant weather events capable of transporting spores here and the discovery of the disease in large, established trees lends weight to this assumption.

MPI and the Department of Conservation (DOC), with the help of local iwi, the nursery industry and local authorities are running a large operation to determine the scale of the situation and contain and control myrtle rust in the areas it has been found.

 

If you think you've seen the symptoms of myrtle rust, don't touch it.

  • Call the MPI Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline immediately on 0800 80 99 66.
  • If you have a camera or phone camera, take clear photos, including the whole plant, the whole affected leaf, and a close-up of the spores or affected area of the plant.
  • Don't touch it or try to collect samples as this may increase the spread of the disease.

Don't move myrtle plants or green waste out of  Controlled Area

MPI has introduced a Controlled Area which extends 10km from the known infected areas in Waitara, Taranaki.

It is illegal to move plants (including trees) or plant material (such as garden waste, clippings, feijoa and guava fruit) from the myrtle family out of this area. You can still buy and plant these species inside the Controlled Area.

For more details on the outbreak and how to manage plants affected by Myrtle Rust see the MPI website: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/myrtle-rust


 

Information source: Ministry for Primary Industries.

 

 

Myrtle Rust outbreak what you need to know

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) has been found in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.  Read More

Rural Support Trust representatives are working closely with farmers to monitor well-being and directing them to relief assistance for flooding and other adverse events.

The Rural Support Trust advise farmers to ensure stock and domestic animals have food, water, and shelter where necessary, and are secure. Ensure that all stock injuries are promptly attended too, after human needs are met.

If your farm or rural property or stock has been affected by an adverse event and you need assistance, contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) with information on the impacts on your farm, or requests for help.

The Rural Women New Zealand Adverse Events and Relief Fund is available to individuals, communities and groups, with a particular emphasis on rural women and children. The fund provides financial assistance to persons or groups, where there is an identified urgent need due to recent adverse events such as drought, fires, floods or earthquakes.

Click here to read more about applying for the fund.

Contact details for support agencies:
The Rural Support Trust (RST organise community events and one-on-one mentoring, as well as targeted support services in emergency situations)  
http://www.rural-support.org.nz Ph: 0800 787 254.

DairyNZ: Sharemilkers support http://www.dairynz.co.nz/farm/tactics/support-for-sharemilkers/

Federated Farmers http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/ Ph: 0800 327 646 or drought feedline 0800 376 844.

Doug Avery’s Resilient Farmer http://www.resilientfarmer.co.nz/

Farmstrong http://www.farmstrong.co.nz


If you just want to talk, or know someone who is at risk, there are a range of support options available, including counselling services:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling

Youthline: 0800 376 633 or free text 234 - Provides 24 hour telephone and text counselling services for young people

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling.

Women's Refuge: 0800 REFUGE (733 843) a 24/7 crisis and support line provide advice and information.

Shakti New Zealand 0800SHAKTI (0800 742 584) If you are in a situation of domestic violence call our 24-hour crisis line, and multi-lingual staff will provide information.

Tautoko: 0508 828 865 - provides support, information and resources to people at risk of suicide, and their family, whānau and friends.

What'sup: 0800 942 8787 (0800 What’s Up) is a counselling helpline for children and young people, aged 5-18. Phone Mon-Fri 1-10pm, Sat-Sun 3-10pm.

Kidsline: 0800 543 754, it is a 24/7 helpline for children and teens, run by specially trained youth volunteers.

Thelowdown.co.nz - Free Text 5626, watch videos or contact for support. 

depression.org.nz National Depression Initiative (for adults), 0800 111 757 - 24 hour service 

Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki If you're worried about a child or family that you know, there are ways you can help, contact Child, Youth and Family.

For information about suicide prevention, see http://www.spinz.org.nz .

If it is an emergency, or you feel yourself, or someone you know is at risk, please call 111.

Rural community support services

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Rural Support Trust representatives are working closely with farmers to monitor well-being and directing them to relief assistance for flooding and other adverse events. Read More

RWNZ recently sent out a survey on Boarding Bursaries, asking members a series of questions, to enable us to provide evidence-based data around the key issues on how the costs of boarding students and the associated issues impact on our rural families.

The information provided formed the report to the Ministry of Education in response to the review on access and the multiple barriers allowances offered by the Ministry of Education’s Boarding Allowance Scheme. 

Eighty survey responses were received, and while each had its own individual comments, there were some common themes.

Question one asked whether or not people believed the value of access barriers and multiple allowance barriers is sufficient. A minority believe the value is sufficient because it is only an assistance, however the majority believe it falls short of the ever-increasing costs of boarding school and fails to take into account certain family circumstances, such as a one parent household, multiple children or a low income household.

As a result of not attending boarding school, children can face disadvantages such as a limited range of extra-curricular activities, or attending a local school which “may not provide a very high standard of education, holding bright children back from achieving their potential.”

Respondents were also asked whether they believed there were families who are eligible to receive allowances but do not apply. Surprisingly, a majority said that they do know of families in this position. Some parents have had issues in the past, and find the process stressful. Other parents have simply not been aware the allowances exist, and it was suggested schools should have an obligation to advise families about allowances. Some stated the opposite, that in their communities almost everyone applies because the majority are low to middle income earners, and need all financial assistance available.

When asked whether they believed the eligibility criteria are set at the right level, most people disagreed. Those who disagreed believe the distance criteria are too high, and fail to take into account rural areas with rough terrain and narrow windy roads. It can be difficult for families living in isolated areas traveling on gravel roads that are slower to negotiate. However, those who agreed also mentioned there probably needs to be some flexibility for unique cases.

There are many consequences for families who cannot board due to financial reasons. For the child, common consequences include isolation, lack of social contact, lack of friendships and the ability to build new relationships, and a lack of participation in cultural, sporting and other activities. The effect on the whole family includes the cost and stress of relocating, and in some cases dividing the family.

From the survey, the proposed solution is that all children should be given the option to go to boarding school if they wish. They should also have the ability to return back home after their studies as a fulfilled citizen, passionate and influential, with a desire to give back to the community they originated from. The access barriers facing families today that wish to send a child to boarding school are perceived to be a lot harder than in previous years.

Great Barrier Island

There were a large number of responses from Great Barrier Island where the issue of boarding allowances is a “hot topic”, and because they are a small and close-knit community, families regularly engage in open and frank discussions. While correspondence is an option, there were many issues, and are still, with the Correspondence School: Te Kura. Also, correspondence does not fit with every child’s learning needs.

These children take correspondence due to lack of money, and it is felt on the island that they are not receiving a proper education. To make matters worse, this increases their chance of gravitating towards and becoming involved in social activities with negative outcomes.

Great Barrier Island believe that the allowances should also be area-based, and not subject to distance criteria.

 

 

 

Boarding Allowance Scheme Survey

Monday, June 19, 2017

RWNZ recently sent out a survey on Boarding Bursaries, asking members a series of questions, to enable us to provide evidence-based data around the key issues on how the costs of boarding students and the associated issues impact on our rural families. Read More

Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is RWNZ's topic of study for 2017. We have included an overview of the purpose of ACWW below, along with some links to further information.

RWNZ was one of the founding members of ACWW. It is one of the largest international development organisations for rural women.

The ACWW network allows it to engage at the local, national, and international level with the aim of achieving these goals:

- To raise the standard of living for rural women and their families through education, training and community development programmes.

- To provide practical support to our members and help them set up income-generating schemes.

- To support educational opportunities for women and girls, and help eliminate gender discrimination.

- To give rural women a voice at an international level through our links with UN agencies and bodies.

Caption: Delegates from the South Pacific Area Conference in New Plymouth complete the ACWW Walk the World event in April 2017. 

Click here to download an information booklet about ACWW (8MB PDF)

Click here to go to the ACWW website

 

ACWW Study Topic 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is RWNZ's topic of study for 2017. We have included an overview of the purpose of ACWW below, along with some links to further information.  Read More

Maternity services have come under the spotlight with the announcement that an anonymous group of midwives has sent a complaint alleging that midwifery is at a crisis point to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

The letter is now being handled by the Ministry of Health (as confirmed to the Otago Daily Times newspaper). While the contents of the 33-page letter are not known to the public, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has concerns in two areas. 

This letter comes at a time when smaller maternity units are being threatened by closure, meaning that women living in rural areas will no longer have a choice in where they give birth and will have to go to larger urban areas away from home and family.

RWNZ can name maternity hospitals in Te Anau, Lumsden and Tutatapere in the South Island and Te Kuiti in the North that are currently under threat of closure. Government and DHB’s will claim that the services are being under-used, but the reality for newly pregnant women when they must make a choice about where they will give birth, is that the uncertainty of a smaller hospital’s future leaves them with no choice than to go to an urban area.

Rural women are already at a disadvantage with their maternity care. During the first three months of pregnancy, the midwife and the mother must come to an agreement over the number of visits made at home once the baby has been born. It is appreciated that distance and time for midwives to travel to rural areas is an issue and that the seven, or more home visits are unlikely to happen with the current level of recompense that midwives receive. Most will agree to one visit with the expectation that the mother will then be able to travel to a clinic for the aftercare that they are entitled to.

In most cases, the arrangement works unless the new mother has had a caesarean birth and is unable to drive for six weeks. Not only is she deprived of essential aftercare, in some cases they can be isolated from other support services and family. There may be further issues when the new mother is a migrant worker, or English is a second language, or where there is a variable income. The demands of seasonal farm work will often play their part too, and it is not always possible for a farmer to stop work over the six week period of midwife aftercare to transport the new mother and baby to appointments.

Government and DHB’s need to accept responsibility for optimum care for new mothers and babies at a time in life when the need for guidance and advice is crucial. The early days of a baby’s life and the ability of the mother to adapt and cope with new demands are crucial for the future health of the baby. Care delivered at this early stage is an investment in the lifetime health of a child.

Whatever the outcome from the letter the midwives have sent, it will be founded on genuine deep concern for the health of mother and babies, and Rural Women New Zealand is hopeful that their concerns will be considered with that knowledge in mind.

Rural Women New Zealand believes that all women regardless of their geographical location deserve equity of maternity services.

Note: Midwives letter referenced in Otago Daily Times, published 29 May 2017.

 

 

Concerns for equity of maternity services in rural areas

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Maternity services have come under the spotlight with the announcement that an anonymous group of midwives has sent a complaint alleging that midwifery is at a crisis point to the Health and Disability Commissioner. Read More