A Call to Women in Palmerston North

It is of cause for concern that at present there are so few women nominations for the upcoming Council elections in Palmerston North. At present there are seven women and eight men on the Council, but three women are not standing again for election this year. To highlight this issue, the National Council of Women (NCW) Manawatu Branch held a meeting on 3 July in the Palmerston North City Council library to encourage participation in the elections. 

Event at Palmerston North City Council library 3 July 2022
Event panel members (l-r) Aleisha Rutherford, Lorna Johnson, Leone Hapeta, and Janine Rankin. Image from Anne McCarthy.

The panel session entitled "Playing your part in local politics: Women on the Palmerston North City Council" featured senior reporter Janine Rankin from the Manawatu Standard and three Palmerston North councillors: Aleisha Rutherford (deputy mayor), Lorna Johnson, and Leone Hapeta. After their introductions, Barbara Arnold from NCW Manawatu interviewed panelists on the influence of their gender on their work, attitudes to work and relationships with the local Council and community members. Open discussion followed and led to afternoon refreshments.

From time to time opportunities have been provided by the City Council for members of the public to contribute to matters that are of importance to us all. Examples that come to mind include ‘Three Waters’ and The Alcohol Policy. Even if there is reduced representation of women on the Council, it is hoped that women will respond to the opportunities given to speak and find ways to ensure that the voices of women are heard.

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