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September-October 2023, Issue 643

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

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Table of Contents


2023 Gender Attitudes Survey findings 

On 25 September 2023, National Council of Women of New Zealand President Dr Suzanne Manning was joined by Minister for Women Hon Jan Tinetti, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo, and Emanuel Kalafatelis, Managing Partner at Research New Zealand, to launch the fourth survey in the series of Gender Attitudes NZ Surveys. See the recording of the online event on the NCWNZ YouTube channel:

Gender Attitudes Survey 2023 launch on YouTube

Gender Equal NZ, led by The National Council of Women of NZ – Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aoteaora, conducted Gender Attitudes Surveys in partnership with Research NZ, in 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023. Read more about this in the NCWNZ News article by Kerri Dupont:

ResearchNZ logo snipped from websiteThe following summary of the findings is offered by ResearchNZ's Emanuel Kalafatelis:

In the four years since 2019, a significantly higher percentage of respondents believe that gender equality has "for the most part been achieved" (from 42% to 48% in 2023). While this is a notable result, it also means that one-in-every two respondents do not believe it’s been achieved, or it is still in progress. This is especially the opinion of female respondents; 60% of whom believe gender equality has not "for the most part been achieved" or is still in progress (compared with 43% of male respondents).

In fact, as was the case in 2021 and compared with male respondents, female respondents are less impressed with the current status quo. For example, women are significantly:

  • Less likely than male respondents to believe that we’re making "good progress" towards gender equality.
  • More likely to state that "women generally" are disadvantaged by gender inequality than any other group in the population.
  • More likely to state that women are targeted by online harassment and that rape myths persist.

Taken as a whole, this latest survey confirms that there is still a significant way to go before we can genuinely say that gender equality in Aotearoa New Zealand has been achieved. 

To see more information about all four surveys, visit the Gender Equal NZ website. You can download the .PDF file of the full 2023 Gender Attitudes Survey report here -

How was your experience with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori this year?

Te Reo Maori logo 2023The battle for te reo Māori has been fought by generations of people -- on television, in schools, homes and workplaces. In 2021 research conducted by Te Taura Whiri finds more than 8 out of 10 New Zealanders see te reo as part of their national identity and something to be proud of. Have you been part of the movement? Did you work with an organisation to support the use of Māori language on bilingual signs in your town? Did you order your coffee in te reo Māori? Did you practice using Māori place names correctly in daily conversation? Share your videos and photos to the Reo Māori website to be a part of the showcase for Māori Language Week 2023. Find out more on this and how to contribute at the website -

UNA NZ conference 2023

The UNA-NZ logo from their websiteOn Thursday 28th September, the United Nation Association of New Zealand (UNA NZ) held its national conference to review New Zealand’s progress on the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNA NZ is a national community organisation that aims to educate Kiwis on the United Nations (UN) and advocate for the ideals that the UN embodies. 

2023 marks the midpoint of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With the last years being marked by climate change, conflicts and the COVID crisis, the conference explored what actions were necessary and urgent to achieve the goals set up by the UN. It had an ambitious programme, with six panels, each lead by a key speaker and followed by a panel discussion focusing on a theme.

Suzanne Manning, president of NCWNZ, was invited as a panellist to speak on the theme of "Ensuring Human Rights and Democracy." Other panel discussion speakers included Member of Parliament Ibrahim Omer; Ambassador Carolyn Schwalger, New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York; Mary Wareham, Advocacy Director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. Also, three other NCWNZ members participated in the panels - Vanessa Dhiru, Past NCWNZ President and Communication and Information Commissioner UNESCO; Eva Hartshorn Sanders, Convenor of the International Action Hub and Director of Hartsheba, and Joy Dunsheath, WFUNA Executive Committee and Graduate Women NZ member. They addressed issues on disinformation and building trust in institutions, reforming the UN, ensuring human rights, building international peace and security, climate change, and the role of the UN for New Zealand.

While the conference was unable to be offered in person due to safety concerns, the full programme was delivered online.

What was important to recall from this conference is that persistent challenges, such as climate change, extreme poverty, discrimination, and environmental degradation still exist. These challenges require continued action and strategic thinking. The discussions also focused on the importance of accountability of governments and actors involved in achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals.

In conclusion, the conference organised by the United Nations Association of New Zealand provided an opportunity to reflect on the progress and challenges involved in achieving the SDGs by 2030. It highlighted the importance of international cooperation and continued commitment in addressing pressing global issues. It is essential that we redouble our efforts to achieve these crucial goals and create a sustainable future for all.

by Rae Duff ONZM
NCWNZ's CEDAW Committee

NCWNZ Annual General Meeting held 23 September 2023

The Annual General Meeting of Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa | The National Council of Women of New Zealand was held online on Saturday, 23 September. At this hui we were able to celebrate our achievements of the previous financial year, and to acknowledge our new National Life Members Christine Low and Jane Prichard - you can read more about these amazing women in a previous Circular article. Suzanne Manning, wrote in the President's introduction to the annual report:

"I am very proud to be the President of Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa - The National Council of Women of New Zealand, and this annual report shows why. This report is filled with the activities of the different areas of the organisation, showing how we are speaking up and speaking out for gender equality and women’s rights in all aspects of life in Aotearoa and beyond. It shows how we are making a difference to our environment, and this is the gift we give to each other: the ability to be part of collective action for the greater good. What’s not to like?

"We as an organisation are also working hard internally to enable us to role model the values that we advocate for - commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, inclusivity and accessibility, respectful and collaborative relationships. On top of this, we are maintaining and improving on our operational management to ensure our processes are robust, transparent and sustainable. Thank you to all who are working hard on these important mahi.

"This annual report for the year 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 is a snapshot in our history, building on the efforts of the previous year and feeding into the work of the year we are currently in. I trust that this annual report will be useful for us all to reflect on what has been achieved and still to be achieved, and that it will motivate and inspire us to continue."

Speech on great-grandmother Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia at Suffrage130 celebration

Challen Wilson speaking at Suffrage130, Auckland NCW event 19 Sept 2023Challen Wilson, NCWNZ member and great- granddaughter of Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, gave this speech at the Suffrage 130 celebration hosted by NCW Auckland Branch at Te Hā O Hine Place on 19 September 2023. The speech is presented here with many thanks to Challen for sending it to us to publish for all to enjoy.

Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia in the 1890s - from Wikimedia Commons
Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia (1868-1920), circa 1890. By FW Mason, photographers, Napier, NZ - edited photo from Auckland War Memorial Museum, ref C5101.

Te Rarawa Kaiwhare
Mihi atu ki a koutou
Mihi atu ki a Io
E here mai, here atu
I to iwi

Tēnā tātou

Ngā mihi nunui ki a koutou i te rā nei

Ngā mihi Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau me Te Kaunihera ngā wāhine o Aotearoa mō tēnei hui.

Tēnā koutou.

Ko Te Reinga te maunga
Ko Te Reinga te hapū
Ko Te Reinga te tāngata.
Ki te taha o tōku pāpā
Ko Nga-toki-mata-whau-rua te waka
Ko Hokianga whakapau karakia te moana
Ko Waihou te awa
Ko Waihou-nui-a-rua te marae
Ko Wai-miri-rangi te whare tupuna
Ko Te Rarawa te iwi
Ko Meri Te Tai Mangakahia toku tupuna
Ko Challen Wilson taku ingoa
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa

Our tupuna, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia was born into an era of tremendous change. As a child, she was nurtured and guided by her father, Rē Te Tai and mother Hana Tēra. Rē influence was instrumental in shaping Meri's future role within the world of politics, particularly her passion for the rights of Māori and, specifically, wāhine Māori.

Meri's upbringing was deeply rooted in mātauranga Māori – our traditional knowledge and wisdom. She was raised to understand and value He Whakaputanga, the 1835 Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand. This upbringing shaped her worldview and her desire to ensure the sovereignty, rights, and interests of Māori were upheld.

Meri's life was also marked by her arranged marriage to our great grandfather, Hamiora Mangakāhia, who became the first Premier of Te Kotahitanga Paremata. Together, they had four children, and despite the demands of their political roles, their home was filled with warmth and wairua. Meri, also a gifted musician, used music to unite, inspire, and uplift those around her.

Meri's strong mareikura whakapapa, her lineage of female leaders, informed her worldview. She was raised to understand the critical role of women as leaders of whānau, whenua, hapū, and iwi. Despite not being located within her own whānau once married to Hamiora, their environment together helped her understand the rights of wāhine Māori across Aotearoa through their many engagement with whānau, hapū, and iwi, fuelling her passion even further for the critical recognition of wāhine Māori, particularly within governance structures.

Thursday 18 May 1893, a significant day and turning point is Meri’s life, and what she is most well-known for. At 21 years of age, Meri stood before Te Kotahitanga Paremata, becoming the first woman to do so. In this speech she urged that women should not only be allowed to vote, but also to sit in the Māori parliament as members. Many Māori women owned land in their own right and were entitled to have their say in decisions affecting them.

I will now relay a translated (reo Māori to reo Pākehā) transcript of her 1893 address to te kotahitanga paremata:

I move this motion before the principle member and all honourable members so that a law may emerge from this parliament allowing women to vote and women to be accepted as members of the parliament.

Following are my reasons for presenting this motion that women may receive the vote and that there be women members:

1. There are many women who have been widowed and own much land.

2. There are many women whose fathers have died and do not have brothers.

3. There are many women who are knowledgeable of the management of land where their husbands are not.

4. There are many women whose fathers are elderly, who are also knowledgeable of the management of land and own land.

5. There have been many male leaders who have petitioned the Queen concerning the many issues that affect us all, however, we have not yet been adequately compensated according to those petitions. Therefore, I pray to this gathering that women members be appointed. Perhaps by this course of action we may be satisfied concerning the many issues affecting us and our land. Perhaps the Queen may listen to the petitions if they are presented by her Māori sisters, since she is a woman as well.

This was a pivotal moment, not just for Meri, but for all wāhine Māori. Meri’s experiences had led her to understand the injustices faced by her whānau and the critical role of women within Māori society. This was the next steps to her tireless efforts to elevate the visibility of women in politics by advocating for their right to vote.

Meri has been a key figure in the establishment of the Māori Women's Welfare League, a testament to her enduring commitment to the well-being of Māori women and their whānau. She was also an entrusted member in the Women's Christian Temperance Union movement, advocating for the reduction of alcohol consumption for the betterment of our communities.

[Intro whānau]

Today, we continue to honour Meri's legacy. We strive to uphold her values, her vision, and her commitment to the rights and welfare of Māori. We are unwavering in our dedication to our tupuna and her legacy. Alongside our whānau, we now have the privilege to develop a resource about our tupuna Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, bringing together a community of skilled whānau, bringing together the whakaaro of whānau to drive forward a whānau led resource to share more of her story. This has incorporated a series of whānau wānanga involving our tamariki mokopuna right through to our kaumātua. We hope to release our rauemi this time next year and look forward to sharing this with the education sector and beyond.

Tēnā koutou.
Tēnā koutou.
Tēnā koutou.

Some of what's happening at local branches

Beryl Anderson August 2023
Beryl Anderson OMNZ presented a biography of Dame Miriam Dell

On the 30th August 2023, The Hutt Valley Branch held a dinner in the honor of Dame Miriam Dell celebrating the contribution she made to gender equality.

The funds raised from the evening went to support a Lower Hutt Suffrage Centennial Charitable Trust (SHE Trust) Scholarship.

Paula Tesoriero, Chief Executive of Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People was going to speak on gender equality for disabled people. Due to illness, we had the very capable Loren Savage, Senior Advisor to Paula, who stepped in on her behalf delivering her speech. 

Caroline with Madison Goulden with her tongue out
Caroline Ariaens with Madison Goulden - with her tongue out doing her grandmother Dame Miriam's pose.

Loren spoke of her life growing up with achondroplasia and her mother’s expectation that this was no impediment to doing anything. However, to her sister’s annoyance, she was excused from cross country running. We heard of some of the barriers faced by disabled people, especially around access (both physical and electronic access), and of pay disparity issues.

It was a most entertaining night, lots of discussion, good food, drink and a wonderful speech.

In attendance we had local Hutt City councilors, Suzanne Manning, President of NCWNZ, and Madison Goulden (Dame Miriam Dell's granddaughter).

Savage, Manning, Cousins Aug2023
Loren Savage (guest speaker, Ministry of Disabled People), Suzanne Manning (NCWNZ), and Margaret Cousins (SHE Trust) with other guests in background.


Suffrage130 logoOn 30 September 2023, the Manukau Branch held a 130 Suffrage Celebration Brunch at St David's Anglican Church in Manukau. It was attended by the Human Rights Commissioner, Pacific Womens Watch and students from Strathallen and McCauley Colleges as well as other interested parties. The NCW Board was represented by Betty Ofe-Grant, and members of the Auckland Branch also attended which was much appreciated.

Christine Knock Manukau Branch award recipient
(l-r) Christine Knock and Judi Goldsworthy

Although four women were scheduled to be awarded for their services to the community, one of them was unable to attend. Councillor Christine Fletcher whose awards/background include 1993—New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal, 1998—Mayor of Auckland City and 2002 Companion of the Queens Service Order, was our gracious guest speaker and was greatly appreciated by all.

Christine Knock MNZM, Asia-Pacific Regional Council (APRC) Secretary, received the NCWNZ National Life Member Award from NCWNZ Manukau Branch President at this event for services to NCW New Zealand at Branch, National and International Council of Women levels.

by Judi Goldsworthy, Manukau NCWNZ


Suffrage130 logoFor its celebration of Suffrage Day 2023, Manawatu Branch planned a field trip to Wellington. Unfortunately by the time 19th September came round, numbers able to make the trip were depleted and it was a small group that took part. Thus it became a reconnaissance trip in preparation for 2024.

Three of us drove to Waikanae and took the train to Wellington; as we passed each station in turn we counted the number of empty carparks, which confirmed that we had made the best choice of starting point. Checking out the train timetable made it clear that this is the simplest way to travel, and we arrived in good time for our booked tour of Parliament. We found out that there is an alternative tour that focuses on suffrage and so we’ll book for that one specifically next year.

After the tour we crossed over to the Cathedral of St Paul and perused the “Trail of Light” book put together by Landmarks Project Celebrating Women Trust (chaired by Dame Miriam Dell) in recognition of the centennial of women’s suffrage. It contains biographies of 100 notable women over the previous 100 years. Three volumes of the book have been digitised and available via the Wellington City Recollects website: Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.

Staff at the National Library told us that the Suffrage Petition itself can still be viewed, though the accompanying interpretation, which adds richness to understanding, was not available because of building renovations.

Of course, we made visits to cafes for nourishment and a sit, but the Backbencher pub was closed until too late in the day for us to sample that venue with its large puppets of politicians. All the sites we visited are in easy walking distance of each other and a short distance from the station, and we look forward to bringing the rest of the group next year.

by Barbara Arnold
Manawatu Branch President


Suffrage Celebration 12-1, Tuesday, 19 September, Kate Sheppard Memorial in Ōtautahi Christchurch

Mayor Chrissy Mauger, Christchurch, Suffrage130
Mayoress Chrissy Mauger

Over 100 people attended this outdoor event which was organised in collaboration with the Christchurch City Council and Plains FM.

Liz Kereru and Maaka Tau welcomed everyone with a Mihi Whakatau on behalf of Ngāi Tūāhuriri. This was followed by presentations from Chrissy Mauger, Mayoress of Christchurch, Tania Wati, Ngāi Tūāhuriri representative on Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Helen Osborne, Property Manager, Te Whare Waiutuutu - Kate Sheppard House. Nancy McShane, Public Service Association representative, delivered a speech written about Kate Sheppard.

Nancy McShane, Christchurch Suffrage130
Nancy McShane, Public Service Association

Sunita Gautam, Community Board Member, Central Ward, spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Sunita Guatam, Christchurch Suffrage130
Sunita Guatam, Community Board Member, Central Ward

The event concluded with the singing of ‘True Colours’ by the Rangi Ruru School Choir and attendees left white camellias on the memorial.

Rangi Ruru School Choir, Christchurch Suffrage130
Rangi Ruru School Choir

TV1 filmed the event and a few minutes of footage was shown in a TV1 One News 6 pm news item on 130 th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. The presenters were recorded by Plains FM and an edited version of this recording, which includes comments from those attending the event, was broadcast on 20 September and 24 September. Funding from Manatū Wāhine was obtained for koha for the Mihi Whakatau and for the recording of the event by Plains FM and the creator of the edited podcast. 

NCWNZ AGM 10 – 12, 23 Saturday September, Tui Room, St Barnabas Centre, Fendalton, Christchurch and potluck lunch to celebrate the NCWNZ Life Membership of Christine Low

NCWNZ Christchurch AGM group photo 2023The Branch meeting venue was booked for members to have the option of meeting face-to-face during the online AGM. About 12 members attended.

Other members, including three Branch Life members, joined us for a potluck lunch at 12:30 to celebrate the award of NCWNZ Life Membership to Christine Low at the AGM.

Christchurch AGM celebration of Christine Low

Christine’s certificate from NCWNZ was on display, she wore the badge, and she received flowers, a hardcopy card and an electronic Kudoboard card with messages and photos from branch members. The lunch tables were decorated, there were purple balloons, the food was delicious, and it was a very lively and festive event.

Thanks to Alex Goodall and Jennifer Delaney for organising this celebration.

by Rosemary du Plessis
Ōtautahi Christchurch NCWNZ 


WellingtonNCWNZ new purple and white banners 2023; at left: ALL THAT SEPARATES, WHETHER OF RACE, CLASS, CREED, OR SEX, IS INHUMAN, AND MUST BE OVERCOME. 
Kate Sheppard, Suffragist Leader and Founding President of NCWNZ; middle banner: JOIN US TO MAKE EQUALITY, REALITY; banner at right: MAKING GENDER EQUALITY REALITY
Three new NCWNZ banners debuted at a Wellington Branch event on 5th September 2023

The Wellington Branch has refreshed their NCWNZ banners with some beautiful new designs, developed by Wellington Branch Social Media Officer Ashlee Metcalfe. The banners were debuted at the Annual Women’s Debate 2023 in Wellington and easily stole the show.

The first banner shows a famous quote by Kate Sheppard, suffragist leader and Founding President of NCWNZ, which reads: “All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome.”

The second banner contains a collage of black and white photos taken at Wellington Branch meetings and events in recent years, with the classic NCWNZ prompt to “join us to make equality, reality.”

The third banner contains bold white text on a purple background which reads “making gender equality reality.”

Each banner also has both the NCWNZ logo and Gender Equal NZ logo along the bottom.

If you would like to print these banners to keep and use in your own Branches, Ashlee has kindly provided the designs for the two text banners, as they are generic enough to be used around the country in all spaces. The two banners as PDFs, and the Adobe Illustrator working file if needed, can be downloaded from the Wellington Branch Google Drive.

The full bleed size (artwork size) is as follows:
850mm x 2060mm / 1000mm x 2060mm / 1200mm x 2060mm (10mm top and 50mm bottom)
+ 10mm space at the top for clamping purpose
+ 50mm space at the bottom to be attached to the spring mechanism

We ordered the three deluxe roll up banners from Banner Express. If you use a different printer, Ashlee recommends you ask for a digital proof to make sure the banner will print with the expected borders, colours, and measurements.

A huge mihi and thank you to past NCWNZ National President and Wellington Branch member Vanisa Dhiru who generously sponsored the printing and delivery of these banners.

In September, the Wellington Branch of the National Council of Women New Zealand, Graduate Women Wellington, and Zonta Club of Wellington, came together to co-host the Annual Women’s Debate 2023: “A Gender Lens on the General Election.”

The panel, moderated by Debbie Gee of Zonta Club of Wellington, featured:

  • Natalia Albert (The Opportunities Party Candidate for Wellington Central)
  • Camilla Belich MP (New Zealand Labour Party List MP)
  • Frances Hughes for Mana (New Zealand National Party Candidate for Mana)
  • Tamatha Paul (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Candidate for Wellington Central)
Wellington Branch annual debate Sept 2023
Four in-person panellists and one online panellist at the Annual Women’s Debate

The theme allowed us to cover a range of topics with a specific focus on women and gender issues. The parties shared their policies around health, education, climate change, women's representation in politics, gender-based violence and safety, economic development, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the international community. We know that these issues will have unique and significant impacts on women’s lives, yet we rarely hear about how political parties have considered those impacts. The Debate is an important opportunity to highlight women in politics and women’s issues in policy.

A recording of the event can be found on the National Council of Women Wellington Facebook page.

Milestones: Movement to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori 

Did you know that the 1972 petition to bring te reo back into New Zealand schools was organised by Hana Te Hemara (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngai Tahu; 1940 – 1999)?  A small group of activists presented a petition to parliament from 30,000 New Zealanders asking the government to teach Māori language in schools. Ten years later Māori language champions marched to parliament again, calling for te reo to be made an official language in its own land.

Maori Language Commission logo - snipped from websiteThe Māori Language Act (1987) not only declared Māori to be an official language of New Zealand but also established the Māori Language Commission (later Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori). The Māori Language Act 2016 had established Te Mātāwai to represent and support language revitalisation among Māori, iwi and communities. Responsibility for Crown-funded grants for revitalisation (such as the Mā te Reo fund) was transferred to Te Mātāwai. Founding board members included Sir Tīmoti Karetū, Sir Kīngi Matutaera Ihaka, Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira, Anita Moke and Dr. Ray Harlow. Founding board chair, Sir Kingi Ihaka, came up with the name indicating that a rope that binds us all together is our language. Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira created the logo that shows a traditionally woven rope that is still being constructed. In 2021 Te Wiki o te Reo Māori was held Monday 13th through Sunday 19th September. A virtual Māori Language Moment - where New Zealanders can celebrate te reo from wherever they are - was held on Tuesday 14th September at 12pm. Māori Language Week celebrates the presentation of the Māori Language Petition to parliament on the 14th September 1972. It has been marked every year since 1975. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offers free lessons and is working toward the goal of having 1 million speakers of te reo Māori by 2040.  Below are milestones adapted from the Stories of Te Reo website.

1847. Education Ordinance Act sets English as the predominant, normal language of New Zealand schools. Schools that from the beginning of colonial rule had taught in te reo now gradually banned it, and children are punished for speaking Māori.

1867. The Native Schools Act provided for state schools in Māori communities with lessons taught in English.

1894. A vast majority of Māori school children (estimated at 90%) are still native speakers of te reo. However, the Education Ordinance Act makes school compulsory for Māori children. The curriculum is predominantly vocational in preparation for manual labor and which included the mandatory use of English. If caught speaking te reo the children could be physically assaulted. Parents, to protect their children, stop speaking te reo to them.

1913. Sir Apirana Ngata speaks te reo without an interpreter present, and the Speaker rules that MPs who can speak English must if they can. This became the rule of the house for most of the 1900s. By 1920 interpreters are no longer employed by Parliament - Māori speaking MPs are expected to translate their own speeches immediately after delivering them.

1928. A series of radio programmes focused on improving te reo prounciation is launched. In 1929 Bishop Frederick Bennett, the first Māori to be appointed an Anglican bishop, broadcasts a 20 minute talk in te reo. 

1930. The Teachers Federation attempts to introduce te reo into the school curriculum, however their plan is blocked by the Director of Education who argues that “the natural abandonment of the native tongue involves no loss to the Māori.” By 1933 the last of the newspapers written in te reo stop publishing.

1940. With nearly 90% of the Māori population living in rural areas, RNZ broadcast weekly 15 minute news bulletins about World War II and the Māori Battallion entirely in te reo. Government uses te reo to recruit soldiers. The 28th Māori Battalion use te reo in military communications to evade enemy forces.

1951. The Māori Women's Welfare League is founded to support families moving into cities where te reo is rarely heard and often persecuted. Māori veterans (with a wartime mortality rate 50% higher than other battalions) aren't offered the same benefits as Pākehā and refused service in many RSAs and hotels. Most Māori children can no longer speak te reo - thousands are placed in state institutions, cut off from their whānau, culture and language. By 1960 over 75% of Māori cannot speak te reo. In 1954 Te Huinga Rangatahi, Māori Students Association, is formed to support the needs of tertiary students.

1964. NZ Broadcasting Corporation set up a Māori programmes department.

1970. Te Reo Māori Society forms to revitalise te reo. Based at Victoria University in Wellington, most members are students and academic teaching staff. In 1971 Ngā Tamatoa, a Māori sovereignty activism movement, is launched at Auckland University. Both Ngā Tamatoa and Te Reo Māori Society begin mobilising support for language revitalisation, circulating a nationwide petition for te reo to be taught in schools. More than 33,000 sign the petition. In 1973 Brian McDonald, an Auckland student, started up a Māori newspaper "Rongo" with the help of Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, John Miller and others.

1974. 14 September becomes Māori Language Day: marking the anniversary of the presentation of the Māori Language Petition the year before. In 1975 this is replaced with Māori Language Week, and the Whakatupuranga Rua Mano language strategy is launched by Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Toa. It was estimated that only 5% of Māori children can speak te reo. By 1979 Te Ātaarangi immersion language learning method is created.

1982. A 2 minute te reo news show airs nightly - the first TV show in te reo. It will later become Te Karere.

1984. Telephone operator Naida Glavish is demoted from her public service telephone operator after refusing to stop greeting callers with "Kia ora." She gains public support and her stand becomes a watershed moment in the use of te reo in the public domain. Te Māori exhibition opens in New York to critical acclaim and this international recognition changes how New Zealanders see Māori language and culture.

1985. The first kura kaupapa, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi, opens in West Auckland. Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i te Reo Māori lodge the landmark Māori Language Claim WAI11 with the Waitangi Tribunal, arguing that te reo is a taonga the Crown has failed to protect. The next year the Tribunal finds in favour of WAI11 claimants and declares te reo a taonga.

1987. The Māori Language Act makes te reo Māori an official language of New Zealand. The Māori Language Commission is established and inaugural board members name it Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the rope that binds the language: each iwi making up the individual strands of the rope. Te Upoko o te Ika, first Māori radio station, and Waka Huia, a landmark hour-long archival documentary TV show, airs.

1995. Te Taura Whiri declared 1995 to be Māori Language Year.

1999. Dame Hinewehi Mohi sings the national anthem in te reo at the Rugby World Cup.

2008. Google Māori launched during Māori Language Week at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

2012. Waitangi Tribunal finds the Crown's early childhood education system failed kōhanga and breached Treaty principles of partnership and equity.

2015. Digital versions of Māori language newspapers published between 1842-1933 are made publicly available in Papers Past published by the National Library. By 1917 Te Ahu o te Reo research, following up on NZCER's 40-year-old research, announces that in some places where no intergenerational transmission was occurring in the 1970s, children are once again using te reo Māori at home with their whānau. Auckland Transport announces all Auckland trains announcements will be bilingual: in Māori and English - and bus announcements by 2018 - and Air NZ by 2019.

2019. Nearly 1000 Māori place names are made official including 307 now including macrons such as Taupō, Whakatāne and Tūrangi. Te reo launched as a language in Microsoft Translator.

2022. The first Matariki public holiday is held - two decades after Te Taura Whiri first called for one. Stats NZ release data showing 30% of New Zealanders can speak more than a few phrases of te reo, 8% are fluent, 25% of Māori speak te reo as a first language, and 3 in 5 people think te reo should be taught in all primary schools.

NCWNZ Action Hubs

The Hub's last two webinars with brave and cutting-edge discussions about the harm from misogyny and online safety in New Zealand are a part of an international movement to address this growing problem for women. A third webinar, planned for October, has been postponed until February due to the reluctance by the Chief Censor and staff of Te Mana Whakaatu | Classification Office who fear for their own safety. They decided not to proceed with participation in a public webconference until after their new report on online misogyny has been set up online for public viewing. In the meantime, they recommend the following policy paper published by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue: Bundtzen, S. (2023), "Misogynistic Pathways to Radicalisation: Recommended Measures for Platforms to Assess and Mitigate Online Gender-Based Violence" The paper was produced as part of the project Digital Policy Lab which includes members representing national ministries and regulators from Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Members of the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse (Global Partnership) and the Christchurch Call’s multi-stakeholder community joined the working group and also contributed to this paper. See especially the Glossary on page 8 - this is a useful page for all of us to analyse and use.

International Action Hub

Feminist Foreign Policy event 2023On Wednesday 13 September, representatives of the National, Green and Labour parties joined a political panel to discuss key international issues for women, including our relationships with trade partners, international aid, and feminist foreign policy.

The Feminist Foreign Policy Political Panel was made up of

  • Vanushi Walters (Labour),
  • Golriz Ghahraman (Green), and
  • Gerry Brownlee (National).

The Panel was chaired by one of Radio New Zealand's leading journalists, Susie Ferguson. She expertly set the scene for a dynamic and constructive discussion, with panellists outlining political views and party policies on foreign policy.

Attendance was strong: a full house filling the lecture room space at Victoria University of Wellington, and many more online. The panel discussion covered a range of topics, such as climate change, international security in the Pacific, the continued funding of gender-based aid projects in the Asia-Pacific region, the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals and what role New Zealand can play in the women, peace and security agenda and promoting democracy and human rights overseas. The National Party's Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Gerry Brownlee, committed his government to retaining the Ministry for women and to development funding for sexual and domestic violence aid projects in the Solomon Islands.

Feminist Foreign Policy event panellists, September 2023(l-r) Vanushi Walters, Gerry Brownlee, Golriz Ghahraman, and Susie Ferguson

The event was the work of NCWNZ's International Action Hub, and a collaborative effort co-hosted by the Hub, the NCWNZ Wellington Branch, Business and Professional Women New Zealand, and Graduate Women New Zealand.  

Aleisha Amohia, NCWNZ Wellington Branch
Siobhan Dilly, NCWNZ International Action Hub


On Wednesday, 18 October 2023, Geraldine Anne McCarthy and Randolph Hollingsworth of the Education Action Hub met with Mindanao Young Leaders Programme researcher, Dennis John "Barbs" Barimbao, of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines-Davao. The Mindanao Young Leaders programme is part of a UnionAID initiative funded by MFAT and delivered in partnership with a local Filipino organisation and Victoria University of Wellington, and it is supported by Aotearoa New Zealand's International Development Cooperation program. The young leaders are at the forefront of social justice issues and leading important projects in their communities. At the time of the interview, Barbs was studying a 12-week Sustainable Development Course Programme at VIC.

Dennis John Barimbao

The hui allowed for Anne and Randolph to go into greater detail about The Circular article that had attracted Barbs' attention: "Teen Pregnancy, Success in Secondary School, and Later Life Opportunities" ( Barbs was particularly interested in the different cultural responses to teen pregnancy over time here in New Zealand, and also the different experiences that Pākehā and Māori might encounter. Barbs was also interested in exploring the openness expressed socially about discussing teen pregnancy, as it was a taboo subject in the Philippines with very little recognition or government funding.

Hui with UnionAID student 2023The state schools' Teen Parent Units, though not enough offered here in New Zealand, were of great interest to him. Randolph and Anne explored the likely socio-economic contexts in New Zealand for teen pregnancy, as over 50% Māori women who are unemployed solo parenting in temporary, multi-generational housing, coping with the impact of adolescent peer pressures. Alongside Teen Parent units, the effectiveness of nurse advisors in schools and communities like the Taupo case in O’Connor (2020) were recommended as very helpful for contraceptive advice and ongoing care. See for more detail, O’Connor, T. (2020). "Providing much-needed health services in central New Zealand: The high rate of teen pregnancies and the lack of sexual health services in their area prompted a group of Taupo residents to take matters into their own hands and establish a local service." Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand, Vol. 26, Issue 2.

In addition, Randolph and Anne talked about the current effort by the Education Action Hub to push for compulsory curriculum on consent education. Barbs agreed to keep in touch with NCWNZ as he continued his research upon his return to his home in the Philippines.

An email from NCWNZ Office on 7 September was sent to selected officials announcing the Education Action Hub's Report on Consent Education Curriculum and included a .pdf file of the Report as an attachment. (If you haven't already, you can download the Consent Education report here.)


Suffrage130 logoThe Auckland Branch and the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Action Hub collaborated for the Suffrage Day Event held in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The National Council of Women worked with Auckland Council to celebrate the auspicious occasion of 130 years since women won the right to vote. This is the first year of a new partnership working with Te Rōpū Wāhine, Auckland Council’s Women’s Collective Network, and it is an exciting partnership working with local wāhine toa. The event was held, as in recent years, at the Suffrage Memorial - Te Hā O Hine Place. Speakers included the Auckland President, Barbara Myers, Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson, Challen Wilson, and included karakia and koreo from Ngati Whatua. Over a hundred and thirty attended the sunny lunchtime event that celebrated achievements including the Life Membership awarded to Jane Prichard.

A guest speaker was Challen Wilson of the NCWNZ Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Action Hub who spoke on the strength and leadership of wāhine Māori. Challen reflected on her tupuna, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, an influential Māori leader in the 1890s, who addressed issues confronting Māori women and their whānau including domestic violence, smoking, alcoholism, religion, single mothers, and the retention of traditional skills including those related to the environment. Challen spoke to the issues that were relevant then and that are still at the forefront today and critical in the work of NCWNZ. (See the transcript of her speech here: "Speech on great-grandmother Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia at Suffrage130 celebration.")

The Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Hub (CCES) organising committee have had a busy year. Recent Submissions prepared by the Hub in October 2023 include:

  • Inquiry into Climate Adaptation 
  • Foreshore and Seabed

The Hub organised the circulation of information at the event on recycling and what you can do to make a difference. Refer below.

Funnel Image from

Our contact details are Climate Action Hub <[email protected]>.


EndoNZ logo snipped from websiteFor its November meeting the Safety, Health and Wellbeing Action Hub have invited a guest speaker from Endometriosis NZ ( Action on endometriosis was endorsed in the NCWNZ submission that the Action Hub led by Raewyn Stone, submitted on a Women’s Health Strategy for the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act. We strongly supported EndoNZ’s advocacy for the implementation of a National Action Plan for endometriosis. Endometriosis affects approximately 120,000 women and girls in New Zealand - roughly 1 in 10 girls, women and those assigned female at birth. Getting an endometriosis plan implemented is part of our plan for women’s and girls health and wellbeing in Aotearoa.

The Hub continues with its other focus - action and strategies to eliminate violence against women. Two submissions have been completed recently, led by Bernice Williams, which identify NCWNZ priorities, past submissions, and policies on elimination violence against women and action necessary to stop family and sexual violence. See the submissions posted on the NCWNZ website (.pdf files) here: 

We value our membership and are pleased to welcome new members. A current priority is getting our membership data list better sorted and establishing regular and better communication with our Action Hub members.

Early 2024 will see us having a formal meeting at which we’ll have an opportunity to endorse an Action Hub Committee and priorities for the 2-year period. It will also be an opportunity to nominate and elect new Action Hub Committee members to do all the background mahi and keep the “Health” Action Hub delivering and focussed. We are looking for skilled volunteers to do this important mahi.

Please contact us at Health NCWNZ [email protected] for any queries or suggestions of support.

Ngā mihi maioha,
Eileen Brown
NCWNZ Safety, Health and Wellbeing Action Hub


N.B. Any member can join one or more Action Hubs - sign in to your account on the NCWNZ website and fill out the sign-up form here.

Resources to share in meetings and with your networks

10 Words Every Girl Should Practice

When girls find their voices being ignored or discounted, they need to know how to stand up for themselves and ensure that their contributions are being heard. Writer Soraya Chemaly says that every girl should practice saying three phrases— “Stop interrupting me," “I just said that," and "No explanation needed." This will help girls speak these words in real life -- and teach both boys and girls that it’s not socially acceptable to interrupt or ignore a female voice. To read more about her advice, visit

For confidence-building books to help Mighty Girls of all ages learn how to assert herself, visit the "Self-Confidence" book section at You can also find Soraya Chemaly's insightful book for adults: "Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger" at

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I stand for consent

Linda Thompson, from Women’s Refuge Tāmaki Makaurau, asks us to circulate this excellent short documentary on consent education. The 15-minute video from Someday Stories (4 Sept 2023) features Olivia McClymont, Catherine Law, Tim Grocott and students from Avonside Girls' High School and Shirley Boys' High School in Christchurch.


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Ms. Information

Ms. Information opens on Thursday 26th October – a NZ documentary made by an all-women team about the incredible Dr Siouxsie Wiles MNZM. Associate professor of microbiology and pathology at the University of Auckland, Siouxsie was named as one of the BBC’s 100 influential women of 2020 and Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year for 2021. Watch the trailer here:
And check out screening times here:


Readings to consider

A research paper "Living in a Sextech Era: Normalisation of Violence during Sex and of Image-Based Sexual Abuse," by Neel Chrillesen, University of Essex, U.K. (January 30, 2023). Available for free download at SSRN: or

Concerns about a normalisation of cyber sexual harassment and rough sexual behaviours have been voiced in both popular and academic spheres in recent years, drawing attention to the potential effect on young populations. This study investigates the prevalence of aggressive sexual repertoires and image-based sexual abuse concurrently and within a wide age range, considering generational variances, consent to unwanted sex, and sexual satisfaction. Results indicated that belonging to a ‘born digital’ generation led to a greater exposure to image-based sexual abuse, and a higher prevalence of rough sex experiences. These potential shifts in sexual attitudes and behaviours may result in damaging physical and mental health issues but can also exacerbate gender inequity and gender-based violence. Their normalisation is not insignificant, and implications should be discussed systematically in both sexuality education and the public sphere.

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Sexual safety for disabled children

An "Emily Writes Weekly" blog post about her experience in hosting a podcast about parents who have children with special needs. "In Aotearoa, our Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse tamariki are at increased risk of sexual harm. ... children with disabilities were 2.9 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence compared to non-disabled children while those with cognitive impairments were 4.6 times more likely to be victims.She points us to a podcast series called The Courage Club which is made in partnership with HELP Auckland and Rape Prevention Education. You can watch the video on YouTube or listen on Spotify or Apple Podcast:

Stories to celebrate

New poetry collection Big Fat Brown Bitch by Tusiata Avia

Donna Tusiata Avia MNZM is a New Zealand poet and children's author. She has been recognised for her work through receiving a 2020 Queen's Birthday Honour and in 2021 her collection The Savage Coloniser won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Poems in her new book include "Hey David" and "Diary of a death threat." She confronts the uproar created by ACT this year in response to the stage show based on The Savage Coloniser.


This just in from Beryl Anderson: the Charities Amendment Act 2023 (or most of it) came into force on 5 October and with the support of some generous philanthropic funding, Sue Barker Charities Law have been able to produce a booklet for charities on what they need to know about the changes. The booklet can be found at


Claudia Goldin, economic historianEconomic historian Claudia Goldin won the 2023 Nobel economics prize for her work exposing the causes of deeply rooted wage and labour market inequality between men and women. The prestigious award is worth 11 million Swedish crowns, or nearly US$1 million. “This year's Laureate in the Economic Sciences, Claudia Goldin, provided the first comprehensive account of women's earnings and labour market participation through the centuries," the prize-giving body said in a statement. "Her research reveals the causes of change, as well as the main sources of the remaining gender gap." Read more here:


RNZ on Instagram, Video of Interviews on Sex & Health

Sex & Health Stories Episode 2: Let’s Talk About Sexual Health

"We keep banging on about keeping our young people safe, yet education around sexual health is severely lacking to say the least...but not just with kids. Today, there’s still far too many adults carrying shame and uncertainty around sexual and mental health. In this episode of Sex & Health Stories, people across the binary share their frank observations and experiences on Aotearoa’s heteronormative approach to ‘sex ed’, how the internet and Gen Z is allowing space for all and unhelpful narratives picked up from childhood."

Dates to note for November 2023

10 November - World Science Day for Peace and Development within the UN's International Week of Science and Peace

16 November - UNESCO's International Day for Tolerance

18 November - World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence

20 November - World Children's Day

25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

28-29 November - UN Women Aotearoa NZ hosts Women in Leadership Summit, Wellington

Quotation to ponder

Everyone talks about peace but no one teaches peace. In this world, you are educated for competition, and competition is the beginning of every war. When he will educate himself for cooperation and to offer each other solidarity, that day he will be educating himself for peace.

Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952)

Whakataukī to share

He iti mokoroa ka hinga te pūriri.
Although the mokoroa is small, the pūriri falls.

Aotearoa New Zealand's largest and heaviest moth, the pepetuna (eel moth), has bright green wings that can span 15 centimetres. The larvae, known as mokoroa, can be used as bait for capturing eel. If left free to grow, they gnaw into the trunks of trees such as the pūriri (a stout tree treasured for its timber known by the English as iron wood). The larvae live on the sap of the tree, eventually causing its death and decay. This whakataukī urges us to remember that even small things can have a big impact. And, conversely, the strong person or nation must be wary of overconfidence and underrating weak opposition. The small caterpillar, the mokoroa, by its steady, unobtrusive chomping, can fell even the mighty pūriri.

To understand how (and why) to use whakataukī as a resource to support leadership practice through conversations and critical reflection, read Kathryn O’Connell-Sutherland, "Growing shared leadership and bicultural understandings through whakataukī," School News New Zealand (21 July 2020):



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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