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January-February 2023, Issue 639

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

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Suzanne Manning October 2022
President's kōrero

This year starts with the promise of moving onwards. It may not be any easier than past years, but as a country we are moving to a post-COVID phase, and as an organisation we are moving to a phase of embedding the new constitution that we spent so much time thinking about in the last two years. We will continue to work both internally and externally, as we progress our vision of a gender equal Aotearoa New Zealand.

This year, our International Women’s Day (IWD) theme will be “Access Equality,” tying in with the general theme of #embraceequality – look out for social media from our Comms team. We are grateful for MSD Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion funding to help us amplify the impact of IWD events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and we know that other events are being planned around ngā motu/the island. The NCWNZ Communications team have compiled a list of IWD events on our website ( and you can email them at [email protected] if you would like to add your event. Remember to send your stories after the events to [email protected], with photos, so we can celebrate in the next edition of The Circular.

The Action Hubs are tackling a wide range of issues, some of which will become significant topics to be debated in an election year. We are increasingly being approached by international groups to talk about our work in gender equality, for example for the Japanese J-WIN group last year, and the University of Minnesota at the beginning of this year. There are growing numbers of invitations to be part of pro-active policy making, such as Climate Action from women’s perspective, the Women’s Health Strategy, the Women’s Employment Action Plan, and the Civil Society Forum with the European Parliamentarian’s Free Trade Delegation - and now we are on MFAT’s engagement list. The media continue to contact us on a regular basis to comment on feminist issues, such as Jacinda Ardern’s resignation as Prime Minister and what this means for women both in terms of her legacy and the impacts of the misogynistic abuse that she has faced. All these things show that NCWNZ is as relevant to today’s world as we ever have been.

This is a Gender Attitudes Survey year, which we intend to release in August in time to highlight the result for discussion pre-election. We expect that members up and down the country will be encouraging democratic participation in the elections in different ways, whether it be holding candidate meetings, discussing the issues with your young people, or helping out with election logistics. Show that the women of Aotearoa take our right to vote seriously!

At NCWNZ we also take our members seriously – you are our greatest resource. Thank you all for your continued support, especially as we’re transitioning to new ways of being a member and renewing membership. Please help your sister members to use the online system to re-join as members, especially those who are also branch members, as every single member is important to us. Your views and experiences are important to our advocacy efforts, so we encourage all members to participate in an Action Hub that matches your interests. Members have also supported the organisation in recent time through bequests, a last donation from long-term members. We are very grateful for their generosity.

As President of NCWNZ, I am privileged to be invited to interact with a variety of ethnic communities - so many histories and stories, cultural expressions of joy and grieving, music of language and art and dance and food. Recently I was privileged to attend an Indian Republic Day celebration and a Holocaust Remembrance ceremony, and will be attending an IWD event organised by the Philippines Embassy. Board member Anmar Taufeek will be attending a Global Women’s Leaders conference in Dubai during March. Such experiences highlight to me the benefits of seeing the world through different eyes, as well as highlighting our common humanity.

Our common humanity was emphasised during the extreme weather event that was Cyclone Gabrielle. Our thoughts, prayers and practical help go to those affected by the Cyclone. We hope that you will have all the support you need during the recovery. It shows us again the importance of voicing the views of women so that policies such as for Climate Action, Emergency Management, and Business Recovery all have a gender perspective applied.

Nō reira, tēnā tātou katoa – the Board and I are looking forward to working with you all this year.

Suzanne Manning, NCWNZ President

IWD 2023 events & social media campaign

International Women's Day 2023 events collageInternational Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 – officially celebrated on Wednesday 8 March – is fast approaching and NCWNZ has your celebrations covered!

Keep an eye out across our NCWNZ social media channels, where we will run our IWD 2023 campaign. Our theme this year is all about supporting women to #AccessEquality in all its forms. 

Follow along on LinkedIn, Facebook and our newly launched Instagram page. Even after IWD 2023, our social media pages are a great way to keep up to date with all things NCWNZ and share our mahi with your networks!

We’ve also put together a list of upcoming IWD events that are happening across Aotearoa, from art exhibitions to panel discussions to book launches. Check it out here. And, if you’re in Wellington or Auckland, be sure to head along to their awesome in-person events. #AccessEquality #IWD2023

Some of what's happening at local branches

Make It 16 logoThe NCWNZ Manawatu branch ended their February meeting with a discussion: ‘Should 16-year olds have the right to vote?’ It was led by a local Year 13 prefect Sjaan Toomey Jakobs, who skilfully managed the interactions.

Sjaan has just completed a Rotary scholarship for Auckland University. Sjaan’s thoughts supporting the topic included that teenagers were the future, and they were more concerned about climate change, and possibly more informed than adults about its consequences. Sixteen-year olds have the right to marry and drive vehicles so why not vote, and early practice makes for lifelong voters? Recently the Appeal court agreed that there was no justification to exclude 16- and 17-year-olds from voting. (See the NZ Herald article on this ruling last November.) Finally, age is not a sign of maturity.

Various guests and members engaged with ideas concerned with lack of knowledge and training, peer group irresponsibility and life inexperience. The meeting concluded with groups engaged in further lively discussion while departing.


Chart: 2023 New Year honours

The 2023 New Year Honours saw women receiving 87 (47%) awards and men 97 (53%) – a total of 184 awards. New Year 2022 saw an equal number of men and women and one intersex receive 183 awards.

For only two awards did women receive more than men: Member for the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) including honorary awards, and Queen's Service Medal (QSM). Women received more awards in the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZ to MNZM) at 59%, with men receiving more of all the Queen Service awards (QSM and QSO) at 52%. Women received more awards than men in two categories: Officer for New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) at 55% and Member for the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) at 56%. See the descriptions for all the awards on the Cabinet website (.pdf file).

2023 New Year Honours

Award Male Mx Female total % male % Mx % Female  
ONZ + additional / honorary 0 0 0 0        
GNZM / DNZM / KNZM /hon 3 0 3 6 50% 0% 50%  
CNZM + honorary member 9 0 5 14 64% 0% 36%  
ONZM + honorary member 22 0 17 39 56% 0% 44%  
MNZM + honorary member 32 0 36 68 47% 0% 53%  
QSO 3 0 1 4 75% 0% 25%  
QSM + honorary member 24 0 25 49 49% 0% 51%  
NZAM 1 0 0 3 100% 0% 0%  
DSD 3 0 0 3 100% 0% 0%  
NZBD + NZBM                
Total 97 0 87 184 53% 0% 47%  
sport-related       21       11%
arts-related       25       14%
ONZ to MNZM 66 0 61 127 52% 0% 48%  
QSO & QSM 27 0 26 53 51% 0% 49%  

Congratulations to all the winners, especially the following who were acknowledged for their contribution to women:

  • Professor Farah Rangikoepa Palmer, ONZM, of Palmerston North. DNZM for services to sport, particularly rugby.  Captain of the New Zealand women's rugby team (Black Ferns), member of the Women's Advisory Committee of the International Rugby Board, member of Te Manahua New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership Programme Committee from 2015 to 2020.
  • Professor Helen Victoria Danesh-Meyer, of Auckland. CNZM for services to ophthalmology. Chair of Women in Ophthalmology for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.
  • Ms Kereyn Maree Smith, MNZM, of Auckland. CNZM for services to sports governance.  A driving force behind establishing the Olympic Women’s Leadership Academy in New Zealand, and a founding member of the International Working Group (IWG) on Women or Sport.
  • Ms Michèle Edith A'Court, of Auckland. ONZM for services to the entertainment and comedy industries. A trailblazer for women in television, print media and the live stage, Michèle has hosted Auckland Women’s Centre key annual fundraising event ‘Feminists are Funny’ since 2016.
  • Professor Emerita Jennie Lynne Connor, of Auckland. ONZM for services to alcohol harm reduction, supporting women in public health for more than ten years, including the mentoring, support and supervision for young women in public health.
  • Mr Nathan Edward Fa'avae, of Upper Moutere. ONZM for services to adventure racing, outdoor education and the Pacific community. He has dedicated 20 years to New Zealand outdoor adventure sport, women’s health and the betterment of the Pacific community. He pioneered women’s adventure racing, establishing the Spring Challenge Women’s Adventure Race in 2007 to encourage participation of women in adventure sport, with more than 25,000 women participating in the last 16 years.
  • Dr Natalie Joan Gauld, of Auckland. ONZM for services to pharmacy and health.  Natalie co-developed a unique pharmacy service administering routine antenatal anti-D prophylaxis to rhesus negative pregnant women on a Lead Maternity Carer prescription.
  • Ms Janine Rania Morrell-Gunn, of Christchurch. ONZM for services to children's television and the community.  Janine served on the Board of Women in Film and Television
  • Dr Hafsa Ahmed, of Lincoln. MNZM for services to ethnic communities and women.  Hafsa is an active presenter and contributor to the Ministry for Ethnic Communities’ Women to Women Project (W2W) in Christchurch and is a highly regarded leader in supporting the empowerment of ethnic women.  Hafsa has encouraged women to ensure their voices are heard in media online and via podcasts, providing training and inspiration to women to tell their stories.
  • Ms Priscilla June Baken, of Feilding. MNZM for services to midwifery.  Through the sharing of her expert midwifery skills and knowledge, Priscilla has significantly influenced the lives of women and whānau.
  • Mrs Hoana Mere Burgman, of Kaiapoi. MNZM for services to Maori and environmental governance.  Hoana helped re-establish the Tuahiwi branch of the Māori Women’s Welfare League and has been President and Secretary.
  • Dr Gina Annette Cole, of Auckland. MNZM for services to literature.  Gina has authored a number of books including ‘Vā, Stories by Women of the Moana’
  • Mrs Carlotta Brigid Dann, of Wellington. MNZM for services to addiction advocacy.  Lotta is the author of ‘The Wine O’Clock Myth’ (2020) exploring the impacts of alcohol on women and New Zealand society.
  • Ms Penelope Jane Jackson, of Tauranga. MNZM for services to art crime research and visual arts.  Penelope is the author of ‘Females in the Frame: Women, Art, and Crime’ (2019).
  • Ms Lakiloko Tepae Keakea, of Auckland. MNZM for services to Tuvaluan art.  Lakiloko has been a leader within various women’s groups including Niutao Women’s Group and Fafine kaumatua in the Tuvaluan Christian Church.
  • Mrs Lynore Ann Farry, of Dunedin. QSM for services to the community.  Lynore has been a Club Member of Zonta Club of Metropolitan Dunedin since 1997, being named a National Woman of Prominence from this organisation in 2016.
  • Mrs Afife Skafi Harris, of Dunedin. QSM for services to migrant communities.
  • Ms Agnes (Nancy) McCulloch McShane, of Christchurch. QSM for services to women and pay equity.  Nancy’s advocacy for better working conditions and pay directly impacted women across New Zealand. She became the co-convenor of the Women’s Network within the Public Service Association, and advocates for other social issues relevant to women on a national level including the effect of unstable and under-paid employment on women and their ability to live free from dependence or domestic violence.

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 King's Birthday or New Year.

U of Minnesota students visit New Zealand

photo of U of Minn students in Wellington Jan 2023 with NCWNZ membersThirty students from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management together with two academic staff and two administrators visited New Zealand early in January.

The students were enrolled in a course entitled "IBUS 3019: Striving for Equity in International Business" which examines equality, leadership and global differences using business history as well as current case studies. The students seek to answer why the United States still ranks poorly in gender equality and leadership in business, and why countries like New Zealand, Iceland and Rwanda are achieving much better results.

NCWNZ were invited to address the class, which included 15 male students. This happened on Wednesday 4 January 2023. Māori Women’s Welfare League addressed the students the next day.

Ashlee Metcalfe and Harita Gandhi-Kashyap spoke of the Wellington Branch activities with young women and their Radio programme Get Woke Wellington on Wellington Access Radio. The students are to be interviewed for the radio programme.

Hellen Swales from BPWNZ explained the Women Empowerment principles (WEPs) and their measurement. Beryl Anderson outlined the history of NCWNZ and the Gender Attitudes Survey. Hellen and Beryl talked of the advocacy work NCWNZ and BPWNZ undertake.

From Wellington, the students travelled to Christchurch where they were visiting Kate Sheppard House and then on to Dunedin. We have heard that a number of students got white camellia tattoos.

The University has indicated that the course is likely to plan another trip for next year, even though the timing means they don’t get to see some things like He Tohu because of summer closures.

Stories to celebrate

NCWNZ’s own Nina Santos fighting the pay gap

Nina Santos, NCWNZ board member and Delivery Manager at, has finished her law and arts degrees after 6 years of juggling work and study. Dylan Asafo, senior law lecturer at the University of Auckland, supervised Nina’s honours dissertation on the migrant pay gap, racial capitalism and colonialism. In October 2022 submitted a petition to the government, with nearly 9000 people signing the petition for mandatory pay gap reporting. Nina is one of the Asia New Zealand Foundation's 25 under 25, a Kiwibank Local Hero Medallist and – recently notified – she is a semi-finalist for the 2023 Young New Zealander of the Year award. She is also part of YWCA's 'Y25' – a list of young women under 25 who are trailblazers in their fields. Read more about Nina’s journey at "Young Lawyer fights for fair pay," News and Opinion, University of Auckland (19 Dec 2022),

Sierra Leone’s Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Act

Sierra Leone has passed legislation that states that 30% of public and private jobs must be reserved for women. Under the new Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Act (GEWE), women also benefit from ringfenced senior positions in the workplace, at least 14-weeks of maternity leave, equal access to bank credit and training opportunities. There are harsh repercussions for employers who do not stick to the new gender ratios, including hefty fines of £2,000 and even potential prison time for institutions like banks that do not give women fair access to financial support. The government says the employment law will apply to any business with more than 25 employees. Read more here:

In Memoriam: Patricia, Lady Mark

Pat Mark at NCWNZ AGM May 2005 Long Service AwardThe Dunedin Branch notes with sadness the passing of our Life Member, Patricia "Pat" Mark QSO JP, earlier this month. Patricia, Lady Mark née Davie died on 7 February 2023 at 91 years of age. Pat was a member of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) from 1967-2007 and was made a Life Member of NCWNZ Dunedin in 2007. She was also a Justice of the Peace and was awarded a Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for services to the community in 2000.

Her many friends in our branch feel the loss of such an energetic, sincere and dear friend. This photo at right, courtesy of Correen Rodger, was taken in 2005 when Pat received a Long Service award from the Branch. 

She worked hard for our organisation and we do appreciate her input which we honoured with a Life Membership in 2007. She served NCW as a delegate from Graduate Women Otago from 1979 to 2007. She worked hard on many activities and always led by example.

Pat, together with Dunedin Branch members Joyce Herd and Miriam Murray, researched and published information about all rest homes and private hospitals in Dunedin and its environs, offering care for the elderly. Older persons are first and foremost individuals and their personal preference of what is important to them will vary; be it security, privacy, companionship, standard of care, entertainment, a view, or something else. All the rest homes and private hospitals were consulted, and approved their entry before the booklet was published. The photo below was taken at the launch of the Rest Home book in December 1999.

Pat Mark at Dunedin NCWNZ Rest Home book launch Dec 1999

The photo from the book launch event in 1999, courtesy of Correen Rodger, shows (from left) Dame Dorothy Fraser, together with long standing NCWNZ members Pat Mark, Miriam Murray and Joyce Herd.

You can read more about her in the University of Otago Alumni News here.

Kind regards
Liz Miller, Acting Secretary
Dunedin Branch of NCWNZ

Dates to note for March 2023

5 March: International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness

6-17 March: The 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, NY - Priority theme: Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

8 March: International Women's Day; and,
IWD Parliamentary Breakfast (NZ Parliament or live stream) -- for more IWD events around NZ, see

8-9 March: 25th Global Women Leaders Conference in Dubai (Board member Anmar Taufeek attending)

10 March: International Day of Women Judges

15 March: International Day to Combat Islamophobia

21-27 March: Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination (A/RES/34/24)

21 March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

22 March: World Water Day

24 March: International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

25 March: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

30 March: International Day of Zero Waste




The Circular is the official organ of The National Council of Women of New Zealand. Archived copies are available at the National Library of New Zealand (ISSN 2815-8644).

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