November-December 2023, Issue 644
Table of Contents
Tēnā tātou katoa,
Every time I have sat down to write this kōrero for you, NCWNZ members, I have been pulled away by something else that arrives in my email! Often it is an invitation to be involved with a group or event that aligns with our kaupapa, which is a positive sign. An example is our recent invitation to meet with the Commission of Inquiry for COVID-19: lessons learnt. I attended this meeting with VP Betty Ofe-Grant, Raewyn Stone, and Rayane Al Faraj, and we shared the 2020 position paper that had input from members across NCWNZ. the organisation. It shows the worth of us collecting our stories at the time. The Inquiry members asked thoughtful questions and listened well to what we had to say. I personally was very proud of the input that we were able to give, representing a wide range of women in Aotearoa. This is our organisation’s purpose, so it felt good to be able to fulfil that purpose.
In other news, we will be hosting the President of the National Council of Women of Australia, Chiou See Anderson, in Wellington in December. She will be here for one day, and we will have a morning tea at our premises to allow Wellington-based members to meet her. Chiou See and I have been developing our relationship as Presidents of sister organisations over the last two years, and it will be a great pleasure to finally meet her in person.
In November we had our first Board hui with the new Board, in-person at our premises in Wellington. We were able to welcome Betty as our new Vice President, Jean Nuku as a new Board member, and Katie Thomas as the new Aspiring Board member – you can read all about it in this NCWNZ News article on the website. It was great to start to get to know each other. We discussed the major things we wanted to do in the year ahead (aside from our usual advocacy work) and agreed that we would prioritise:
- Constitutional Review: forming a committee to review the constitution that has been in place for 18 months and making recommendations for improvements.
- Website refresh: to make the most of the capability of our existing website and database, we need to assess where improvements can be made, and then look to update and refresh the content.
- Action Hubs: supporting Action Hubs with their campaigns, and discussing the possibility of a “Justice Action Hub”.
- Training programme: supporting our volunteers with a variety of training opportunities. Te Tiriti o Waitangi: setting up a sub-committee to progress awareness and education about our commitment to Te Tiriti, and how we can implement our new policy.
We also re-allocated the roles of Board liaison to the Action Hubs:
- Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability: Kerri Du Pont
- Economic Independence: Betty Ofe-Grant
- Education: Suzanne Manning
- Influence and Decision-making: Katie Thomas
- International: Anmar Taufeek
- Safety, Health and Wellbeing: Jean Nuku
Note that Board member Carol Beaumont is focusing on Board governance work only, due to personal circumstances. The new Board members are all looking forward to working with members next year to advance gender equality in whatever ways possible.
We’re also delighted to announce the NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch branch has provisionally agreed to host our AGM in October next year! We look forward to being able to meet you all in person, to have some inspiring speakers and stimulating discussions, and celebrate our special people with Distinguished Service Awards. Details are yet to be finalised, but we wanted you to know what was being planned.
The old adage that “all good things must come to an end” is also relevant at this time. I regret to inform the wider membership that our new National Life Member, Jane Prichard, and Anne Rodger, Life Member of Dunedin Branch, have both recently passed away. These wāhine toa are part of the fabric NCWNZ, with involvement in women’s causes for decades and achievement lists that run pages long. Moe mai rā, e rangatira.
We also farewell Rayane Al Faraj, who is finishing her internship with us on 15 December. She will now travel around New Zealand and Australia with her sister before returning to France, and her next adventure will be in a University in South Korea for a semester. It’s been a pleasure working with Rayane. Here are a couple of photos of memorable occasions – the opening match of the Phoenix Football Women’s season where we met up Rakesh Naidoo (former NCWNZ President Vanisa Dhiru’s partner), and the Melbourne Cup Day event at the Australian High Commission where we met up with Harita Kushyap-Ghandi from Wellington branch.
The summer holiday season is almost upon us, with all the cultural, religious and family traditions that we have developed over the years. Whatever it is that you are planning, I hope that it brings you joy, and that this holiday time leaves you all refreshed and inspired.
Suzanne Manning (she/her)
Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa - National Council of Women New Zealand
Election Outcomes for Women 2023
The 2023 election result has brought new women into Parliament but sadly not in sufficient numbers to reach equality. Final election results show that there will be 123 seats in Parliament, instead of the usual 120. The overhang is caused by (a) Te Pāti Māori winning more electorate seats than it would otherwise from its share of the party vote, and (b) result of the Waikato by-election.
This increased total representation for Te Pāti Māori marks the beginning of a political career for Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, 21, the youngest woman ever to win a seat in Parliament.
The percentage of women MPs in each party is now as follows:
Te Pāti Māori 66% (4 of 6)
Green 60% (9 of 15)
Labour 56% (18 of 34)
ACT 45% (5 of 11)
NZ First 37% (3 of 8)
National 31% (15 of 49)
New women members of the 2023 Parliament include:
- Te Pāti Māori: Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, Te Tai Tokerau; Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, Hauraki-Waikato; Takutia Tarsh, Tamaki
- Green: Kahurangi Carter, List; Hūhana Lyndon, List; Tamatha Paul, Wellington Central; Lan Pham, List; Darlene Tana, List
- Labour: Cushla Tangaere-Manuel, Ikaroa-Rawhiti
- ACT: Laura Trask, List; Dr Parmjeet Parmar, List
- NZ First: Casey Costello, List; Jenny Marcroft, List; Tanya Unkovich, List
- National - Katie Nimon, Napier; Dana Kirkpatrick, East Coast; Nancy Lu, List; Rima Nakhle, Takanini; Suze Redmayne, Rangitikei; Catherine Wedd, Tukituki; Dr Vanessa Weenink, Banks Peninsula
(Note: two were previously MPs but lost their seats in the 2020 election: Jenny Marcroft, NZ First; and, Dr Parmjeet Parmar, ACT.)
There have been twenty-eight Ministers and two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries appointed, eight of those being outside cabinet. Of those Ministers, eight (40%) are women.
Minister for Women
First elected to Parliament for Selwyn in 2020, Nicola Grigg (National) now in 2023 has been appointed as Minister outside cabinet as Minister of State for Trade, Minister for Women, and Associate Minister of Agriculture / Horticulture. NCWNZ notes with disappointment that the Minister for Women now sits outside of Cabinet. Also, ACT's Karen Chhour, the newly appointed Minister for Children and Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, sits outside Cabinet. It is hoped that this does not reflect the new Government’s attitude of low priority to 50% of NZ’s population.
Congratulations also to first time MP Casey Costello, NZ First List, who has been appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Customs, Minister for Seniors, Associate Minister of Immigration and Associate Minister of Police. She sits in Cabinet.
Hon Judith Collins with 20 years in Parliament is now New Zealand’s most experienced woman MP. She has been appointed Attorney General as well as ministerial oversight of six portfolios.
Diverse ethnic representation continues, but sadly Pasifika MPs are missing from the Government benches.
NCWNZ congratulates these successful women and thanks them for being willing to take up these leadership roles.
by Margaret Cook, Economic Independence Action Hub
NCWNZ Action Hubs
The NCWNZ Safety, Health and Wellbeing Action Hub valued having two speakers on endometriosis at its last meeting for 2023.
Endometriosis affects about 1 in 10 NZ women with a huge impact on lives. Supporting education, resources and a national plan for endometriosis is consistent with our support for a life-course approach to women’s health that was outlined in the submission the Hub prepared on a Women’s Health Strategy as part of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) legislation.
Libby Wichman, the communication and engagement manager from Endometriosis NZ spoke about their goals to be the trusted source of information, education and support for those impacted by endometriosis in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Endo NZ was established in 1985 and provides support, advocacy, and research, with 5000 in online support groups and 20,000 followers on social media. Endo NZ are committed to a national action plan on endo as is already implemented in Australia. For further information, see their website at https://nzendo.org.nz/.
Jess Sandoval founded Endo Warriors Aotearoa just over 3 years ago because of her personal experience. Endo Warriors supports and empowers all people with endometriosis and has a commitment and focus on tackling period poverty. Jess focusses much of her activity in schools and workplaces raising awareness of period poverty and its impact on individuals and families in our community and provides education and resources and justice for people affected by endometriosis. For further information, see their website at https://www.endowarriorsaotearoa.com/about.
The hui with these two-organisations was very valuable as it connected us to a vital health issue in the lives of rangatahi and women in Aotearoa New Zealand where action is needed. We came away with an increased understanding of endometriosis and its impacts, the importance of a national plan for endometriosis in Aotearoa New Zealand, and how we can support action, services and resources to people affected by endometriosis.
Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.
With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.
by Eileen Brown
Safety, Health and Wellbeing Action Hub
In response to the NCWNZ's letter of 7 September announcing the publication of the Education Action Hub's report on the teaching of consent education in state schools, on 11 October we received a positive response from Hon Marama Davidson, Minister of Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence. Take a few minutes to read her letter here. On 10 December, after the Parliamentary elections and the appointment of new Ministers from the coalition government, NCWNZ issued a formal statement supporting the Action Hub's findings and emphasising "The need to educate teenagers about sexuality and gender". You can read the public statement here - https://www.ncwnz.org.nz/sexuality_and_gender_education.
NCWNZ at Melbourne Cup 2023
On the 7th of November, the Australian High Commission invited NCWNZ to celebrate the Melbourne Cup during their annual fundraiser event. The event was attended by Suzanne Manning, President of NCWNZ, Harita Gandhi, treasurer of the Wellington Branch, and Rayane Al Faraj, intern for NCWNZ.
We were greeted on arrival by an Australian band who were on hand to set the festive mood, and we had the chance to buy into the sweep to draw a Melbourne Cup horse. The ceremony started with a welcome speech from the Australian Commissioner and some prizes to win. We took the opportunity to admire the superb outfits and hats worn by the guests. At 5pm, the annual horse race finally began. Over the years, the Melbourne Cup has cemented itself as a part of Melbourne and Australian culture. The day of the race is even a public holiday for much of Victoria!
We were all cheering for our horses, but unfortunately none of them won the race. After the race, the band returned to give us a show, and we had time to meet and talk to other guests and organisers. During this event, we had the opportunities to meet a variety of people. As NCWNZ representatives, this was a good opportunity of networking, that helps promote NCWNZ and being visible.
Thanks to these in-person events that we are invited to, we have a place to share on our projects and involvements at NCWNZ, while learning about other organisations and creating relationships. By going to these events, we try to make the most of our opportunities given our limited resources. It represents an important part of our mahi. Going to the Melbourne Cup fundraiser was a fun experience that offered us as representatives of NCWNZ an opportunity to connect with other people.
by Rayane Al Faraj
NCWNZ Board Administrator
Japan Women's Innovative Network participate in training sessions
There were 205 female executives from ‘Japan Women’s Innovative Network’ (J-WIN) who participated in online diversity, equality-equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) training sessions delivered by Dr Betty Ofe-Grant, Aleisha Amohia, Lorri Mackness, Carin Sundstedt, Sarah-Jane McCosh and Rayane Al Faraz. This is the second year of NCWNZ-facilitated diversity training administered to J-Win.
Over two nights, the sessions featured lectures with question-and-answer sessions. A panel discussion included topics on indigenous diversity, gender equality, accessibility, ageism, LGBTQ, migration, work-life balance, caregiving for children and the elderly, and allyship. We hope our stories and knowledge offered valuable and practical insights regarding DEIA implementation for our Japanese sisters.
by Dr. Ofe-Grant
NCWNZ Vice President
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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