The Circular, issue 634, April 2022

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April 2022, Issue 634

| Action Hubs | News | GenderEqual NZ |
Making gender equality, reality.

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President's kōrero

Portrait of Suzanne Manning 2022
Suzanne Manning, President,
National Council of Women of New Zealand

Ngā mihi nui e te whānau o Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa.

It feels great to be writing to all you NCWNZ members – and potential members – via the refreshed Circular.

Thanks to Randolph Hollingsworth who has volunteered to take on the role of Circular editor. Randolph is a historian and academic administrator who worked in the United Stakes for many years. Being a staunch feminist, she was also involved in a variety of US feminist groups, and has a keen interest in suffrage histories. Now living in Auckland and enjoying spending time with her daughter and their family, Randolph is putting her considerable talents into historical and feminist projects. We are lucky that she is an NCWNZ member and that the Circular is one of her projects.

Randolph has worked with Board members Kerri Du Pont, Nina Santos and myself to define what the refreshed Circular will look like in this digital age, and how we can make the best use of technology in its design and distribution. We hope you like it! We decided not to use the Circular for notices and Action Items, which will continue to be sent via Member emails as they have been for some time now. Rather, the Circular will tell our stories – stories of individual members, of organised branch events, Action Hub campaign milestones, achievements of organisational members, and relevant stories from other organisations whose kapuapa aligns with our own. Our intention is to publish the Circular about every two months. However, both the frequency, format and content will continue to be refined over time – a dynamic Circular for a dynamic organisation! So we need your stories. Please send them to [email protected].

Since I became President last year, my role has focused mainly on streamlining operational processes and catching up on accountability responsibilities. A huge milestone was achieved when we passed our new constitution at the April Special General Meeting. For this we are indebted to the work of Board member Carol Beaumont, Sustainability Coordinator Soraiya Daud, and the rest of the Constitution Committee members: Alyesha Asif, Beryl Anderson, Johanna Cogle, Margaret Cook, Christine Low, and Betty Ofe-Grant. We are also grateful for the financial support and encouragement for this work by the Ministry for Women.

We still have to operationalise the new Constitution, however it is exciting to be able to spend more time with an external focus, in our efforts to make gender equality a reality in Aotearoa. Here is a sample of that work from my perspective, three recent activities I’ve been involved in.

Suzanne Manning presenting on the Gender Attitudes Survey results, March 2022
Suzanne Manning presenting on Gender Attitudes survey
at Violence Against Women seminar, March 2022


Suzanne Manning Querobine Lacey Aleisha Amohia Rob McCann 2022
(left-right) Suzanne Manning, Querobine Lacey,
Aleisha Amohia, Rob McCann

Last November, we were invited by Querobine Lacey of the Philippines Embassy to speak at a Violence Against Women (VAW) seminar in Wellington, and I went along with the Wellington branch president Aleisha Amohia, where she spoke to the group with great effect.

As a follow on, I was invited in March this year to speak at a VAW seminar for the ASEAN group (comprised of the resident missions in Wellington of Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). I had the opportunity to talk about our Gender Attitudes survey, and meet up again with Rob McCann from White Ribbon. Sitting at our table was Jesus Domingo, Ambassador for The Philippines, and he was delighted to hear that Nina Santos had joined the Board of NCWNZ, and spoke highly of her. It’s great to see our Board members making impact like that.

A totally different interaction was with Katie Harris and Georgia Wright, from Balmacewen Intermediate School in Dunedin. The office often gets queries from school students wanting information for school projects, and Joni Tomsett, our office volunteer, does a good job of answering those emails. These girls, however, were making a podcast and wanted to interview me. You can listen to the final podcast "Brave voices, Bold actions!" on here. It was wonderful to be talking to these young feminists.

Finally, Aleisha and I teamed up again to make a video to send to the May General Assembly of the International Council of Women, inviting them to come and hold the Executive Committee and Asia Pacific Region meetings in Wellington in September 2023. The decision will be made at that General Assembly.

Aleisha Amohia featured in video for International Council of Women
Aleisha Amohia filmed by Video Taxi
in invitation to ICW to meet in Wellington in 2023

We were supported by Wellington Events and Tourism NZ who are keen to promote holding international conferences in Wellington, and they provided a professional videographer. Jason from Video Taxi filmed us next to the Kate Sheppard artwork at the National Library. This was a welcome diversion to all the ‘working from home’ I’ve been doing in the past months. Aleisha took a cool time lapse video of the filming, which should make its way onto the Wellington branch Instagram account in due course.

Thank you for all your support for NCWNZ, and we hope you enjoy the new Circular. Please continue to send in your stories so that we can all see the richness of this organisation.

NCWNZ Action Hubs

Action Hubs of NCWNZ advance our work to achieve gender equality. Any member can join one or more Action Hubs - sign in to your account on the website and fill out the sign-up form here. See what each Action Hub has chosen to work on this year:

Climate Change & Environmental Sustainability
Christine Caughey, convener
[email protected]

  • Ministry for Women collaboration
  • Submissions on climate change and environmental sustainability

Economic Independence
Gabrielle Brett-Kelly and Lynley Hutton, co-conveners
[email protected]

  • Rural banking
  • Women's Employment Action Plan (WEAP)
  • ILO Convention C190 on bullying and harassment
  • Pay equity Parental leave for directors Submissions: Anti-money laundering 
  • Future of Money
  • Income Insurance Scheme (WIP)
  • Fair Pay Agreement Bill (WIP)

Lynley Hutton, convener
[email protected]

  • Disability and Learning Support
  • NEET (Youth not in employment, education, or training)
  • Sexual harassment in schools
  • Submissions:
  • Input into Highest Needs Review (WIP)

Safety, Health and Wellbeing
Eileen Brown, convener
[email protected]

  • Online stalking and harassment: (legislation and supporting campaigns) 
  • Maternal Health: (health reforms, maternal mental health, workforce)

Influence and Decision Making
Sue Kedgley and Amy Rice, co-conveners
[email protected]

  • Women in local politics
  • Barriers to young women becoming leaders in NCWNZ and elsewhere
  • Misogyny watch

Eva Hartshorn-Sanders, convener
[email protected]

  • International conventions and treaties (eg CEDAW monitoring, UPR, C190)
  • International events
  • Connecting with international women’s groups/movements
  • Relevant social media

Some of what's happening at local branches

Christchurch NCWNZ Banner (snipped from Facebook page)Members of the Christchurch NCWNZ are considering how to keep up awareness of the results of a sexual harassment survey undertaken at the request of the principal of Christchurch Girls' High School, Christine O'Neill.

Dr. Liz Gordon of Pūkeko Research Ltd. received an astounding 71% response rate from just over 1000 students aged 12 to 18. Most respondants were 16, and over 90% identified as female and nearly 75% as straight. Of the 430 respondants who indicated that they themselves had been sexually harassed, 381 reported they had (in total) experienced 2677 incidents of sexual harassment in the past year, averaging about seven incidents per student. Twenty respondents indicated that they had been raped.

Dr. Gordon ends her executive summary of the report with a suggestion for the larger community: she recommends that organisations need to "consider why there are so many incidents and how these can be prevented into the future, because they are hugely damaging to the young people concerned." The full report (pdf file) is available online at the Pūkeko Research website.

There were several news stories published about the survey results at the time (for example, see Jody O'Callaghan's report for Stuff 28/06/2021, and a story by Mark Quinliven at NewsHub 29/06/2021). However, it has been a year since the announcement of the results of the survey - and still no other school has taken up the offer to replicate it. Also, there has been no national survey - as was conducted for the UN Women UK in 2020 (see the U.K. Government Equalities Office report in a pdf file here).

We look forward to hearing more about this issue in future.

Interviewees for Wellington Instagram feed, Intl Women's DayFor International Women's Day 2022, the Wellington Branch of NCWNZ designed a social media campaign on their Instagram video feed, highlighting thirteen wāhine within their community.

The Wellington Branch social media officer, Ashlee Metcalfe, asked the women to share more about the mahi they do for their communities and what a ‘sustainable future’ looks like to them, along with their favorite climate action moments and inspirations.

The first video (you can view it here) featured the Wellington Alliance Against Sexual Violence. The next video came from members representing the Victoria University of Wellington's Women in Tech and the New Zealand Women's Law Journal: Rachel Crossland, Yasmine Olsen, and Josie Te Rata. Nia Bartley (Public Service Association) and Tory Awatere Whanau (candidate for Wellington mayor) contributed to the third video.

Ashlee Metcalfe
Ashlee Metcalfe, Wellington NCWNZ social media officer

Then, Ashlee Metcalfe interviewed Trish Lastovicka from InsideOUT Kōaro for the next video. The fifth video features Sophie Handford, Kāpiti Coast District Councillor and organiser of School Strike 4 Climate. To conclude the week of International Women’s Day celebrations, a video focused on members of the NCWNZ Wellington Branch Executive Committee.

Aleisha Amohia, NCWNZ Wellington Branch President, contributed also to the conversation:

“Climate change will disproportionately affect women and girls across the world and will also exacerbate all of the existing inequities that women already face. So for me, a sustainable future is one where women and other marginalized groups are thriving and thriving because we've listened to them, implemented their solutions, paid them what they're owed, amplifed their voices, and given them the space and the resources that they need to improve the world that we live in.”

Watch all the videos via NCWNZ Wellington Branch's Instagram at:


Chart to use: 2022 New Year's Honours

Analyse this chart of the 2022 New Year's Honours crafted by Beryl Anderson, ONZM (NCWNZ Hutt Valley Branch). In the 2022 New Year’s honours list, 183 awards were given to 91 women, 91 men, and one intersex. According to the Prime Minister's Honours Advisory Committee: “Our honours system is a way for New Zealand to say thanks and well done to those who have served and those who have achieved. We believe that such recognition is consistent with the egalitarian character of New Zealand society and enlivens and enriches it.” But if you examine Ms. Anderson's table more deeply, there is much to notice.

Award Male Mx Female Total % Male % Mx % Female
Order of New Zealand (ONZ) + additional honorary 0 0 0 0      
Dame or Knight Companion (GNZM), (DNZM), (KNZM), hon 3 0 3 6 50% 0% 50%
Companion (CNZM) + honorary member 9 0 5 14 64% 0% 36%
Officer (ONZM) + honorary member 24 0 16 40 60% 0% 40%
Member (MNZM) + honorary member 29 1 34 64 45% 2% 53%
Queen's Service Order (QSO) 2 0 2 4 50% 0% 50%
Queen's Service Medal (QSM) + honorary member 22 0 31 53 42% 0% 0%
New Zealand Antarctic Medal (NZAM) 0 0 0 0      
Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) 2 0 0 2 100% 0% 0%
Bravery Decoration (NZBD) + Bravery Medal (NZBM) 0 0 0 0      
Total 91 1 91 183 50% 1% 50%
sport-related       19      
art-related       25      
ONZ to MNZM 65   58 123 53%   47%
QSO & QSM 24   33 57 42%   58%

For details on each award, see the Honours Unit Poster (.pdf file) here. Download an image of the above table (.jpg file) here.

Men received more awards in the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZ to MNZM) at 53%, with women receiving more of the Queen Service awards (QSM and QSO) at 58%. Women only received more awards in two categories: MNZM (53%) and QSM (58%).

Congratulations to all the winners, particularly those with an NCWNZ connection:

  • Mrs Helen Christine Lake, of Christchurch.
  • Whānau Āwhina Plunket, CNZM.
  • Dr Angela Jean Jury, of Foxton.
  • National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges (NCIWR), ONZM.
  • Ms Sina Moana Wendt, of Auckland.
  • Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), ONZM.
  • Mrs Nonu 'Unga Alatini, of Auckland.
  • Tongan Methodist Women’s Fellowship, QSM.
  • Mrs Gina Blaize Chaffey-Aupouri, of Ruatoria.
  • Māori Women’s Welfare League, QSM.
  • Mrs Claire Annette Eyes, of Auckland.
  • New Zealand Nurses Organisation, QSM.
  • Mrs Jillian Meryl Lord, of Christchurch.
  • Association of Anglican Women, QSM.
  • Mrs Gloria Elaine McHutchon, of Tapanui.
  • Rural Women New Zealand and Whānau Āwhina Plunket, QSM.
  • Reverend Canon Ihipera Waikare Morrell, of Dunedin.
  • Māori Women’s Welfare League, QSM.
  • Mrs Irene Edith Mosley, of Mosgiel.
  • Rural Women New Zealand, QSM.

Information about nominating someone for an honour is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website. Nomination forms are accepted throughout the year, but the processing and consideration of nominations is likely to take at least six months prior to the announcement of an honours list at Queen's Birthday or New Year.

Dr. Know blog logo by Gwendoline Smith
Readings to consider

Clinical psychologist Gwendoline Smith recently received a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health. She is the author of three books in the areas of anxiety, work stress and depression, including The Book of Knowing: Know how you think, change how you feel (2019), The Book of Overthinking: How to stop the cycle of worry (2020), and The Book of Angst: Understand and manage anxiety (2020). Her popular Doctor Know blog on Tumblr is designed for youth with anxiety and relationship issues.

In Memoriam

Dame Miriam Dell (portrait from Wikipedia)
Dame Miriam Dell ONZ DBE JP
(1924 - 2022)

Dame Miriam Patricia Dell ONZ DBE JP (née Matthews; 14 June 1924 – 22 March 2022) - president of NCWNZ (1970 - 1974), the first New Zealand president of the International Council of Women (1979 -1984), founder of the Committee on Women (forerunner to New Zealand's Ministry for Women).

This memorial statement below was originally published in NCWNZ News on 4 April 2022)
It is with great sadness that we honour and acknowledge the passing of our Dame Miriam Dell ONZ DBE JP. Dame Miriam was at the forefront of women’s issues in New Zealand and internationally for more than three decades. She was a fierce champion for women's advancement and gender equality, and has been a life member of NCWNZ since 1982.

Among her many roles and accolades, Dame Miriam will also be remembered as a Founding Member and Past President of the Hutt Valley Branch of the NCW and a Member of the national body. Her natural flair for leadership saw her elected National President of the National Council of Women from 1970 to 1974, where she led many initiatives such as being the NZ coordinator of the UN International Women's Year in 1975, and Chair of the Suffrage Centennial Year Trust in 1993. She was also elected as President of the International Council of Women, the first New Zealander to achieve this distinction.

Dame Miriam Dell was the New Zealand Government Delegate to all three UN Conferences for the Decade for Women in the 1970s. She was also the first Chairperson of the Committee on Women – what is now Manatū Wāhine, Ministry for Women, New Zealand.

We are deeply saddened by this news, but we know that Dame Miriam's legacy lives on. Thank you Dame Miriam for your service and contributions to women in Aotearoa. 

Remembering NCWNZ Milestones

  • April 1896
    A national meeting of representatives of women's organisations was held in the Christchurch Provincial Chambers and chaired by Wilhelmina Sherriff Bain, president of the Canterbury Women's Institute. Kate Sheppard was elected President of the newly created NCWNZ; Lady Anna Stout, Annie Jane Schnackenberg, Margaret Sievwright, Marion Hatton elected as Vice Presidents; Ada Wells elected secretary; and, Bain elected treasurer.
  • September 1919
    NCWNZ created local branches to help with distributing the load of organising and raising awareness of key issues.
  • March 2022
    At a Special General Meeting chaired by NCWNZ President Suzanne Manning, a new constitution was enacted, creating Action Hubs.

Stories to celebrate

Read the story by high schooler Marina Antonova for Women's History of New Zealand featuring Maddie Davidson, the first female trampolinist selected to represent New Zealand at the Olympics last year. The messages from Davidson, amplified by a thoughtful Grade 11 student, can teach us all about the importance of "emotional resilience."

Siena Yates published a powerful piece, "Finding My Real Voice," in E-Tangata (10 April 2020). She wrote of a nuanced sense of empowerment: "You find yourself automatically speaking Māori out in te ao Pākehā and, in turn, automatically translating yourself rather than silencing yourself like you would’ve before."

NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch is supporting a podcast series broadcast through their community radio station. Take a listen at: Making the most of now: Young women’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wellington NCWNZ Branch continues to produce great content supported by Wellington Access Radio 106.1 FM - check out the podcasts at "Get Woke Wellington."

Did you know that Roberta Metsola of Malta, President of the European Parliament, was a past president of NCW Malta? She was elected in January 2022 as the youngest ever president. She is leading the EU Parliament to address Russia's war crimes in Ukraine (see her Twitter post on this here).

Dates to note for May 2022

May is named after Maia, a Greek nymph, the oldest sister of the seven Pleiades - the star cluster known by Māori as Matariki.

4 May, Wednesday: Stats New Zealand will publish by 10:45 a.m. the March 2022 quarter Labour market statistics, and the 2021 marriages, civil unions and divorces numbers.

8 May, Sunday: Mother's Day is celebrated in New Zealand - a combination of both the U.S. and U.K. traditions and origins for a day to celebrate mothering.

10 May, Tuesday: first of a four-part online speaker series "He Wahine Māori Ahau" co-hosted by NZ Ministry for Women - "Addressing bias in the workplace – A kōrero with Hiraina Tangiora" - register on Eventbrite here

16 May, Monday: Online session for young women in NCW to identify and discuss barriers that prevent them from taking on leadership positions within NCWNZ and the wider world. Organised by Ann Rice, Influence and Decision-Making Action Hub - invite any young women you know to join (whether they're involved in NCW or not) - email [email protected] for details.

also International Day of Living Together in Peace, see more at United Nations, UNESCO

22 May, Friday: Pink Shirt Day
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Quotation to ponder

Using feminist practices in interpreting troubling areas of uncertainty

I ... urge that we resist imposing meanings on our [research] subjects: modern, disciplinary, uniform and universalist, and move instead towards honoring (instead of erasing) the evidence that will not yield to closure. 

Joan Gero, "Honoring Ambiguity/Problematizing Certitude,"
J Archaeol Method Theory (2007:312)

The Circular is the official organ of The National Council of Women of New Zealand. This newsletter is archived at The National Library of New Zealand (ISSN 2815-8644).