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January-February 2024, Issue 645

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Making gender equality, reality.

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Suzanne Manning October 2022
Suzanne Manning,
NCWNZ President

President's kōrero

Tēnā tātou katoa,

It is with deep regret that the Board has accepted Maulupeivao Dr Betty Ofe-Grant’s resignation as Vice President and Board member. She has decided that after three years serving NCWNZ, it is time for her to focus on other parts of her life and work.

Betty Ofe-Grant - AUT websiteBetty joined NCWNZ as a Board member in February 2021, when she was elected at the online Conference hosted by Southland. She has been an active Board member ever since, participating in a broad range of Board discussions and activities, including most people’s least favourite task – that of policy writing.

One of her passions is Diversity and Inclusion, particularly in workplaces. Betty ably formed and led the Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Accessibility committee who have been discussing policies and actions that we can take as an organisation to better welcome all people. She ran our online training sessions on gender equality, and diversity and inclusion for the Japanese Women’s Innovation Network (J-WIN), to great reviews. To do this, or two years in a row she pulled together a group of NCWNZ members to share their experiences, and Betty gave overviews of the issues from an Aotearoa New Zealand perspective. Little known fact: Betty can speak some Japanese, so she ‘wowed’ them every time!

NCWNZ Board 2023A better known fact was that Betty has a great media and public presence. She did quite a few interviews and speaking engagements for NCWNZ, including at our 125 Celebration, and always came across as assured, knowledgeable, and approachable. The Board was always comfortable if Betty was speaking for us, because we had so much confidence in her ability to represent NCWNZ well.

Her appointment as the first Pacific NCWNZ Vice President was significant, and is something to be celebrated. She shared her Pacific cultural values with the Board, and we are all the better for it.

We will remember Betty’s time with us as someone who was passionate and committed. I personally am supremely grateful that in mid-2021, even though she was a new member on the Board, she committed to stand with Carol and myself when we found ourselves as a Board of three people. Her support has meant a lot to me, and I know to the rest of the Board, and to many members as well.

We wish Betty all the best with the things she chooses to do now. Stepping down from the NCWNZ Board means a lot of extra time on one’s hands, although knowing Betty, she will probably have already filled up that time!

Thank you, Betty for service to NCWNZ. It is very much appreciated.

Ngā mihi,

Suzanne Manning (she/her)
Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa - National Council of Women New Zealand

Events for International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is just around the corner on 8 March, and NCWNZ is again running a campaign in our Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram pages. We'd love you to like, engage and share this with your networks.

The UN's IWD theme for 2024 is "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress." To us this means marking the progress that has been made by and for women in Aotearoa New Zealand. During IWD week we will be shining a light on a few of the inspiring and innovative wāhine showing us what accelerating progress looks like. See the press release on this campaign here.

IWD2024 image for NCWNZ campaign

Keep an eye out for our social posts to see which of these women – or others in your life – will inspire you to help accelerate progress.

See a list of events, regularly updated, at

Kia ora from Mathilde

Mathilde Le GoffKia ora! I’m Mathilde Le Goff, and I’m the new intern in the NCWNZ for five months, until mid-July 😊

I’m 23 years old and I'm from Toulouse, in the south of France. I’m studying political sciences and my master’s degree focuses on the fight against discrimination, that is gender issues, but also racism, disabilities, LGBT+ phobia, and all types of discrimination that could exist.

I’m currently doing a gap year between my two years of master’s degree and before coming to Aotearoa, I did another internship for 6 months. I worked in a council agency in France, specialised in all of the topics related to diversity and inclusion in big companies, and I had mainly to deal with disabilities and gender issues.

As for my hobbies, I’m really into sports. I used to do judo for almost 15 years and now, I’m a run lover. My goal would be to get ready for the half-marathon I want to run with my brother next October. Such a challenge, with all those hills surrounding Wellington! Above all, I’m very curious and I’m always into discovering things I don’t know. Before coming to Aotearoa, I had absolutely zero knowledge about the country - except for its amazing rugby team ahah - and I look forward to learning more about its culture and history, which seem to be fascinating.

Therefore, for the second part of my gap year, I really wanted to challenge myself and leave my comfort zone. So here I am, at the exact opposite of the world compared to where I’m from! I’m very grateful for this new adventure to come, and Aotearoa seems to be an incredible country with a lot of beautiful space to discover and amazing people! I’m also looking forward to meeting the volunteers of the NCWNZ and to being part of the different projects you’re organising. I’m really happy to be part of this organization, whose values match in many ways with my own and I can’t wait to find out more about how an NGO of this scale operates.

Ngā mihi nui,
Mathilde Le Goff

Aleisha Amohia selected as NGO delegate for CSW68

Aleisha AmohiaManatū Wāhine Ministry for Women selected Aleisha Amohia, President of the Wellington Branch of the National Council of Women New Zealand, as the non-governmental delegate to join the official New Zealand Government delegation to the sixty-eight session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) from 11 – 22 March 2024Applications were assessed by a selection panel comprising representatives from the International Women’s Caucus.

Aleisha earned two degrees from Victoria University of Wellington: a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Management and Information Systems). She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector. Much of her volunteer work is to ensure more women, Māori, and other marginalised groups, look for and stay in STEM careers.

As the NGO delegate, Aleisha will be at the decision-making table providing a voice from a non-government organisation perspective and act as a liaison between all New Zealand NGOs and the delegation. More information about the role and responsibilities of the NGO delegate can be found here (.pdf file).

Upon inquiry by this intrepid reporter for NCWNZ, Aleisha comments: "It's an incredible honour to have been selected to represent New Zealand NGOs at an event as important as CSW. I first heard about CSW in my time as a member of NCWNZ and to have the opportunity to now attend is surreal!"

In Memoriam:

Audrey Jarvis

Audrey Jarvis
Photo of Audrey Jarvis submitted by
Anne McCarthy with the permission
of the Jarvis family.

The Manawatu Branch of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) mourns the death on 22 January 2024 of a loved and valued long-term member, Audrey Jarvis

In 2004, Audrey became the Methodist Church’s delegate to the Manawatu Branch NCWNZ which she, like all of us, referred to as NCW.

She was soon elected to the Branch executive, then to the vice presidency and in 2009 she was elected Branch President. She served in that role for the maximum time of four years.

One of the actions that Audrey was most proud of took place in 2009. Cotton On, the clothing firm, had started selling tee shirts for children with slogans that were inappropriate for them. Led by Audrey, Branch members sat outside Cotton On, cutting up some of the offending tee shirts, all the while explaining to the passers by what they were doing, why they were doing it and encouraging them to boycott the store. Subsequently, Cotton On stopped selling the tee shirts.

In 2016 Audrey was awarded a Distinguished Service Award by NCW New Zealand. Her nomination mentions that, more than once, she represented the Branch on the panels for Palmerston North City Council Civic Awards and TrustPower Community awards. She also represented the Branch at meetings about Pharmac funding and about alcohol legislation.

The nomination also refers to the Branch activities Audrey was involved in. As well as the Cotton On campaign, these included making submissions to both the MidCentral and Whanganui District Health Boards on maternity services. She also presented copies of Megan Hutching's Leading the Way – How New Zealand Women Won the Vote to five local secondary schools with female pupils. The books had been donated by NCW Manawatu.

In making those presentations Audrey spoke about a topic that was dear to her heart and the area where she has left a lasting legacy in Palmerston North. That topic was women’s suffrage and the importance to women both of voting and of representation. Much of Audrey’s leadership both during her presidency and afterwards was in this area.

Audrey organised activities for Women’s Suffrage Day including a forum where women who were voting for the first time spoke about its importance for them. One of the contributions that Audrey was most impressed by, and which she spoke of often, was from a recent immigrant who told the gathering that, although women had the right to vote in her country of origin, her male family members refused to allow her to do so. She was pleased that in New Zealand they would not be able to drag her out of the queue and so she could vote.

Another initiative of her presidency was holding training sessions for women interested in standing in the local body elections. Among the women who benefited from this training are current Palmerston North City Councillors Leonie Hapeta and Lorna Johnson, former Palmerston North Deputy Mayor Aleisha Rutherford and current Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell.

Audrey also coordinated “meet the women candidates” meetings to raise awareness of the need for women to be represented on our councils and District Health Boards.

Audrey’s continuing dedication to this has led to increases in the number of women on both the Palmerston North City council and Horizons Council compared to the number before NCW Manawatu’s activity started.

Audrey has been an outstanding example of feminism in action. Her efforts have benefited the women of our community and, through them, the community as a whole.

Her enthusiasm, commitment and wise counsel will be sorely missed.

Helen Chong and Janice Viles
Past Presidents of National Council of Women Manawatu Branch

Jane Prichard CNZM QSO

Jane Prichard, image supplied by Christine KingIt is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Elizabeth Jane Prichard MA, CNZM, QSO, died on 2 December 2023. I knew Jane from the 1980s, and when I came back from Qatar in 2012 Jane asked me to join her in Pacific Women's Watch New Zealand (PWW-NZ). She gave me the role of PWW-NZ representative to the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) Auckland branch, and she also made sure I went to New York to the United Nations (UN) meetings. It has been my honour and privilege to work with Jane for the last ten years and previously. Jane was a woman of vision and ambition. Her ambition was for all women and especially that the most marginalised could live fulfilled and safe lives.

Jane’s vision grows out of her early involvement with the Federation of University Women (now Graduate Women) at the time when the UN Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was being discussed around the world. Jane saw CEDAW as a key treaty and was part of discussion and education groups through the 1980 and 90s.

Jane worked at Department of External Affairs working among other things with United Nations documents often providing information to politicians and answering queries related to UN issues. This knowledge came into its own years later when Jane founded the ICW-CIF Asia-Pacific Regional Council (APRC) and took up the national APW president role and subsequent roles. Jane saw CEDAW as a highly significant convention that Aotearoa NZ had signed up to for which we needed to hold government to account. Jane was responsible for organising the Pacific Women's Watch New Zealand (PWW-NZ) in 2001, and under her leadership by 2010 the PWW-NZ gained UN ECOSOC status to attend UN events. Every four years PWW-NZ submitted its alternative CEDAW report written or over seen by Jane. She attended CEDAW hearings in Geneva and when she was unable to go herself made sure someone else did. She encouraged me to promote CEDAW to Auckland Council to ensure they consider all women and girls in all aspects of council actions. After many years of active lobbying, Jane worked together with Shakti Refuge to persuade the New Zealand Parliament in 2018 to pass the Marriage (Court Consent to Marriage of Minors) Amendment Bill. This law aims to prevent forced marriages, of mostly girls aged 16 and 17 and considered minors by the state, by changing the requirement of consent from parents to a Family Court judge.

in 1993 Jane was elected president for the national Executive of the Association of Presbyterian Women (APW). APW applied for and received observer status for the 1995 4th UN World Women’s Conference in Beijing. Jane along with her friend Wilma Harland represented APW at the Beijing conference. This had a profound influence on Jane. At the Beijing conference she became aware of real gaps in women’s networks especially around the Pacific. As a result, she established “Bridgebuilders Network” linking Presbyterian and associated church women throughout the Pacific Basin. Regular meetings and consultations were held in Aotearoa NZ, around the Pacific and in South Africa. Every March large numbers (as many as 8000) women descend on New York and the UN for the annual conference hosted by the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Jane attended CSW every year from 1997 until 2011.

Jane had been involved in the NCWNZ Auckland Branch since 1990, and she was on the NCWNZ Board from 1996 and National Vice President from 1998-2002.  Her NCWNZ work grew out of her involvement with Federation of University Women (now Graduate Women) in the1980s. In 2003 she joined theNCWNZ's parent organisation, the International Council of Women (ICW-CIF), as a Standing Committee Convenor, Board member and then Vice President. She remained an Advisor and member of the ICW Committee of Honour. NCWNZ had been a big part of Jane’s life, and it was very fitting that at the recent Suffrage Day celebrations – 130 years of suffrage in Aotearoa NZ - NCWNZ presented Jane with a Life membership. Jane served NCWNZ at all levels – local, national and international. 

Jane was awarded a QSO in 2004 and CNZM in 2019 for services to women. Her memoir, Creating Space – An Experience of Gender, was published in March 2023.  

Jane said she preferred not take leadership roles. That is until she was challenged and told it was her turn to lead - “no” was not an option. Jane made incredible connections around the world and assisted groups with developing programmes and implementing actions. From her memoir, I share an important statement for us all to remember going forward in justice work: "Equality and full human rights can only be attained when the hopes and aspirations of those at the edges of society are realised."

Anne Rodger MNZM

Anne RodgersDunedin branch members were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death on 23 November 2023 of a valued and loved branch member, Anne Rodger. Just days before, she had been MC at the 100th birthday celebrations of the Dunedin Women’s Branch of the Labour Party, after returning from a South Seas cruise with daughter Gillian. She had been ill, but this was unexpected.

The citation for a well-deserved MNZM in the New Year’s Honours List of 2019 stated:

"Anne Rodger had been a member of the National Council of Women since 1983 and served as both Secretary and President of the Dunedin Branch. She was instrumental in establishing the NCW’s Alexandra’s Branch.

"She represented the Dunedin Branch on the Dunedin Forum for Non-Violence for three years, facilitated the 1993 forum ‘Towards a Non-Violent Society’ and was a member of the NGO Coordinating Committee for the Beijing World Conference on Women from 1992 to 1996.

"At Catholic Social Services in Dunedin she established a ‘Birth Support Group’ for very young parents and co-facilitated a post-natal programme for women raising infants alone. She initiated a group to address issues for grandparents responsible for the upbringing of their grandchildren, which is now a nationwide service run by Presbyterian Support services.

"Anne had held numerous voluntary executive and committee roles including with the Dunedin Childcare Association, Dunedin Māori Women’s Welfare League, Otago Co-ordination Committee for the Disabled, the Young Women’s Christian Association, the Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity, the Help Sexual Abuse Foundation, the Mosgiel University of the Third Age, the Dunedin University Club, SeniorNet Otago, and Abbeyfield (Residences for the Elderly) Dunedin which she helped establish."

At the funeral of her husband, former Labour Cabinet Minister Stan Rodger, Ken Douglas said of Anne:

“Anne's life evolved very significantly, from novice nun to political progressive to mother and mentor and latterly to her husband's carer."

The Hon Pete Hodgson, said about Anne:

“What we often saw was a classical manifestation of a political wife and mother – nurturing, advising, supporting, and – especially earlier in her life – campaigning. What was always just a little less apparent was her own political activity, which stretched back beyond the 45 years I knew her. Much of it was in a variety of local and national women’s organisations. Indeed, it was after I heard Sir Ken Douglas speak at Stan’s funeral service that I realised the depth of her contribution as a young woman to the union movement, especially in Wellington.

"She was a bit scary, as all insightful women can be, and capable of swift judgement, befitting her impatience for progress with the topic at hand. For at least some of us, she was a safe pair of ears with an astute perspicacity."

As a member of the Dunedin Branch, Anne was a Corresponding Member, then National Convenor of the Laws and Status of Women Standing Committee, a position she held from 1993-1996. She was presented with a Distinguished Service Award in 2016. Her political advice, knowledge and expertise on policy and legislative issues was much valued by her friends in the Branch.

Her friends in the Branch expressed their love and appreciation and sense of loss in the following statements:

  • "It is hard to imagine our NCW gatherings without her insightful comments and dry sense of humour."
  • "I will miss my regular chats with Anne. Her support and knowledge will be a great loss to me."
  • "She will be sadly missed in so many ways and by so many organisations."
  • "The sun was shining when I sat down to catch up on the news. Now, without Anne, the world is suddenly dark and bleak."

Poroporoaki Anne. Haere, haere.

Chart: 2024 New Year honours

There were 151 honours award in the 2024 New Years list. Men received 50% with 76, women received 49% (74) and transgender 1% (1). Of the higher awards (ONZ to MNZM) women received 52% (56), men 47% (50) and transgender 1% (1). This was because women received 61% (30) of the ONZMs compared with men receiving 37% (18) and transgender 2% (1).


2024 New Year honours






% Male

% Mx

% Female


ONZ + additional / honorary









GNZM / DNZM / KNZM / hon









CNZM + honorary member









ONZM + honorary member









MNZM + honorary member


















QSM + honorary member



17 40 58% 0% 42%  




















0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0%  






































The Queen’s Service Order (QSO) and Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) will be renamed in honour of King Charles III. Transitional matters currently being worked through include the Royal Warrant governing the order needing to be updated and approved by the King, and revised insignia designed and manufactured for presentation at future investiture ceremonies. The first honours using the KSO and KSM titles are likely to be announced as part of the King’s Birthday Honours in 2024.

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

  • DNZM
    • Sarai-Paea Bareman, for services to football governance. Initially the Finance Manager for the Football Federation of Samoa and then Chief Executive Officer between 2008 and 2014. In 2014, she became Deputy General Secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation. In 2015, she was appointed as the only female member of FIFA’s Reform Committee. The first FIFA Women’s Football Division was established in 2016 and she was appointed as FIFA’s first Chief Women’s Football Officer. She was instrumental in hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
  • ONZM
    • Marie Carmel Celebrado LINDAYA, for services to multicultural communities. Ms Lindaya has been a member of NCWNZ Nelson Branch.
  • MNZM
    • Monica Jacqueline BRIGGS, for services to women and governance. Ms Briggs was Chief Executive of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Auckland between 2012 and 2018, when she led the establishment of New Zealand’s Equal Pay Awards in 2014, and the creation of Mind the Gap and Gender Tick.
    • Carla Elena DONSON, for services to women and the community. She has been the Manager of Whanganui Women’s Network since 2003.
    • Roslyn Aileen HIINI, for services to women and the union movement. She is a founding Member of the Working Women’s Resource Centre (WWRC).
    • Christine Mary (Kira) HUNDLEBY, for services to Pacific arts. She is a multifaceted artist, creative producer, and social justice advocate for Melanesian and Pacific Peoples. She co-founded Melanesian Women and Friends.
    • Aych Carlin MCARDLE, for services to the rainbow community. She is a human rights activist, supporting the rainbow and disabled communities for 15 years.
    • Dinah Jane OKEBY, for services to the Public Service, through supporting Prime Ministers, Ministers and Leaders of the Opposition in the New Zealand Parliament in a variety of roles over 37 years. She was private secretary for the inaugural Minister for Women’s Affairs in 1984.
    • Kahira Rata Patricia OLLEY, for services to women, youth and the prevention of family violence. She officially established the Save Our Babies Charitable Trust (the Trust) in 2019, though these programmes have been running since 2013. o The Honourable Maryan STREET, for services as a Member of Parliament and to human and democratic rights. She has had a longstanding involvement in women’s rights as a feminist activist. She is a holder of both the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal and the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993.
    • Professor Yvonne Jasmine Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaroa UNDERHILL, for services to tertiary education and Pacific development. Since 2016 she has led the establishment of ‘Tok Save’, the Pacific Gender Research Portal Reference Group. She served as Co-Chair of the Advisory Research Group for Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development between 2017 and 2019. Since 2020 she has contributed to the establishment of the Pacific Feminist Fund, an innovative investment and grant- making initiative to address gender inequality in the Pacific.
  • QSM
    • Alison Eleanor CRAWFORD, for services to the community. She has been a member of the Women’s Institute (WI) and involved in numerous community initiatives in the Gisborne region for more than 50 years.
    • Kristeen Elizabeth JOHNSTON, for services to the community. She has been supporting women and girls through her involvement in several organisations in the wider Wellington community. Since 2007, she has taken on leadership roles in several organisations and charities, including as President of Wellington Soroptimists from 2014 to 2015 and again in 2019, and Soroptimist International National President from 2020 to 2022.
    • Te Ao Marama MAAKA, for services to the community. She has been President of Morrinsville Māori Women’s Welfare League since 2005 and Vice President of the Tainui branch since 2019.
    • Hansaben Dhanji (Hansa) NARAN, JP, for services to the Indian community. She has been treasurer of the NCWNZ Manukau branch.
    • Joy Margaret OAKLY, for services to women and education. In 1981 she joined Soroptimist International Nelson where she has held several roles on the Executive Committee, including President.
    • Jennifer Mary Mayson SAYWOOD, JP, for services to restorative justice and women. She was a founding member of Restorative Justice in Whanganui in 1999 and has chaired Restorative City Whanganui Trust since 2012. She has been President of the NCWNZ Whanganui Branch since 2006.

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.

Beryl Anderson ONZM

NCWNZ at UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Photo from Wikimedia of Liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Red Army, January 1945
Photo from Wikipedia of Soviet Union Red Army soldiers talking to the children just liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp in January 1945. The boy on the left was telling the soldiers how to identify the surviving Nazi guards hiding in prisoner clothes. Nazis had swastikas tattooed under their left armpits.

In 2005 the United Nations designated January 27th the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp and crematoria as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Since then, the U.N. calls each year for the world to honour and remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and all the victims of the German Nazi regime and its collaborators.

As a representative of NCWNZ, I joined many members of the Government, Diplomatic Corps, NGOs and representatives of the Jewish community -- all who stand against antisemitism, discrimination and apathy in the face of genocide. We met on 28 January 2024 in the Banquet Hall, Parliament Buildings, Wellington. We were encouraged to work to prevent future acts of genocide through education, documentation and commemoration.

A highlight was the award of scholarships to young people who were winners of a competition to write essays, compose poems and paint pictures on the Holocaust commemorative theme of “how to take the voices of survivors and provide concrete ways in which New Zealand can act to combat antisemitism through the voices of the generations, after education and early intervention in schools.” Each student presented their winning work. Particularly moving was a painting depicting a random pile of children’s suitcases with names of victims on them that the Year 11 student had learnt about. The scholarship winners were invited to assist six Holocaust survivors to light candles commemorating the lives of the six million Jewish victims who perished.

Currently there are some fifteen survivors living in New Zealand.

Rae Duff ONZM, Parliamentary Watch Committee

Some of what's happening at local branches

Steph Lewis portrait from Labour websiteFormer Whanganui Member of Parliament Steph Lewis spoke on Tuesday 13 February 2024 at a regular meeting of the Whanganui NCWNZ branch. After a general summary of the history and goals of the National Council of Women as well as an overview on women in parliament today, we introduced Lewis. Carla Donson Manager of the Women's Network then put questions to Steph and it felt more like a conversation about her experiences and reflections being an MP.

Lewis focused on coping with public abuse that MPs, especially women MPs, endure. The abuse came from men and women. People threatened to protest at her home, and some would even follow her home from meetings. 

In February 2022, Lewis was harassed by anti-COVID vaccine mandate protestors outside Parliament. Some protestors came around the building banging on windows, and she heard them threatening to kidnap and lynch her. When Parliament adjourned at 10 p.m. protesters waited at the exit for MPs to leave, and security had to escort them from the building.

Parliamentary Services agreed to install security cameras and an alarm system in her home and office. She was advised by them to not go out by herself, even to the supermarket. At a Whanganui community festival, a man approached her to talk and became aggressive, continuing to follow and shout at her after she turned to walk away. She kept these incidents and resulting fears mainly to herself since she felt that not only was she at risk for further abuse, but also her family and staff. Her family agreed to move to a new home with security fencing and gates. In conclusion, we must remember that this violence impacts all women MPs and not just those from a particular party.

NCWNZ teamed up with the Women's Network for this event as part of the month-long festival honoring women. La Fiesta! NZ's Best Women's Fest runs from 10 February to 10 March this year (see more on this at We wanted to highlight that although NCWNZ members have made advances since 1896 we still have a long way to go.

Jenny Saywood,
Branch President, Whanganui NCWNZ

Milestones: Wāhine who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Archives New Zealand has documented as much as we know so far about some of the wāhine who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840. This was unusual because so many indigenous leaders signed alongside representatives of the British Crown, making New Zealand significant in women's history. Despite the images circulating today about the historic Waitangi treaty depicting crowds of men, women were present in leadership roles. Even the beach at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds was traditionally named after a woman of high rank: Te Ana o Maikuku.

And, while there is still much controversy about these extraordinary events, the Waitangi Tribunal’s report (.pdf file) from the Stage 1 Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northland) inquiry offers a comprehensive narrative (including debates by analysts) of the initial signings at Waitangi, Waimate, and Mangungu. What we are learning is that out of the over 500 names of Māori leaders around the country who signed the nine copies of the treaty during approximately 50 hui, at least 18 might have been women. Because many names have not yet been fully researched, there may be even more than have found. (See the map and signatures of 13 of these women at the Te Ara encyclopedia website.) We also know that when British agents took te Tiriti documents around the country, a number of rangatira -- wāhine who exercised mana in traditional Māori society -- were refused the opportunity to sign because of their gender.

Those who signed at Waitangi on 6 February:

  • Ana Hamu (1788? - 1848), Ngāpuhi, was the first woman to sign Te Tiriti. A rangatira in her own right, she was a widow of Te Koki, a high-ranking Ngāpuhi chief. She gifted the land for the Paihia Church Missionary Society mission station. When her husband died in 1829, Hamu went to stay with the missionaries at Paihia.  
  • Moe Ngaherehere aka Moengaherehere, Te Rarawa, perhaps a wāhine signatory, who in 1846 married William Nathan Pickering in Rawene and thereafter went by Arihia or Rihi Pickering
  • Takura - daughter of Te Kemara, married to Te Tai, of Ngāpuhi; hapu Ngati Korokoro, Ngati Rangi
  • Te Mārama, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tautahi; an ancestor of Dame Whina Cooper.

Signed at Waikato Heads near Robert Maunsell's mission station, 11 April:

Signed at Manukau Harbor on 26 April (brought by missionary Robert Maunsell from Waikato Heads):

  • Ko te ta Wha aka Te Tawhā, Waikato, Ngāti Te Ata; landowner at Waiuku

Signed at Kaitāia, 28 April:

  • Ereonora (d1848) aka Ati, Te Rarawa; daughter of Te Huhu; an owner of land and timber; using a version of her baptismal name Eleanor, she signed along with her father and with her husband, Nōpera Pana-kareao aka Tūwhare, whom she married in a Christian ceremony on 16 February 1841; she was an ancestor of Dame Whina Cooper.
  • Marama? / Maiapia?, Te Rarawa, Ngāi Takoto
  • Koronīria Nuau, Te Rarawa; this may have been a wāhine signatory, identified by Tā Apirana Ngata

Signed at Port Nicholson (Wellington), 29 April:

  • Kahe te Rau-o-te-Rangi (? - 1871?), aka Peti, Ngāti Toa, Te Āti Awa; daughter of Ngāti Toa rangatira Te Matoha; in 1824 swam from Kāpiti Island to the mainland, with her daughter Rīpeka strapped on her back, to warn Ngāti Toa of an impending invasion; married on 10 November 1841 to Pākehā husband, John Nicoll (aka Scotch Jock); baptised in 1844 in Anglican church; kept an inn at Paekākāriki where Governor George Grey often stayed.
  • Pākewa aka Paekawa, Te Āti Awa Puketapu?; daughter of Ngākoro and Te Hurupoki (of Ngāti Ruanui), she married Rāwiri Nukaiahu and they migrated from Taranaki to Waikanae around the 1830s

Signed at Queen Charlotte Sound on 5 May (brought there by Anglican minister Henry Williams from Port Nicholson):

  • Ngākirikiri - still not confirmed. Perhaps this could be Matina Ngākirikiri, a Te Āti Awa wāhine rangatira who was married to Hēnare Te Keha and lived at Golden Bay; or this could be Ngākirikiri, a male rangatira of Te Āti Awa who was the son of Te Kāra.

Signed at Rangitoto-D’Urville Island on 11 May (brought there by Anglican minister Henry Williams from Port Nicholson):

  • Pari, Ngāti Koata

Signed at Kāpiti on 14 May (brought there by Anglican minister Henry Williams from Port Nicholson):

Te Rangitopeora portrait by Lindauer c1863 - from Wikimedia
Portrait of Rangi Topeora c1863,
by Gottfried Lindauer
from Wikimedia Commons
  • Te Rangitopeora (? – 1873?) aka Rangi Topeora, Ngāti Toa; a composer of waiata and powerful leader in war and peacemaking; commonly known as 'Queen of the South' after her baptism at which she chose the name Kuīni Wikitōria.

Signed at Waikanae, 16 May (brought there by Anglican minister Henry Williams from Port Nicholson):

Signed at Ōtaki on 19 May (brought there by Anglican minister Henry Williams from Port Nicholson):

Signed at Whanganui on 23 May (brought there by Anglican minister Henry Williams from Port Nicholson):

  • Rāwinia Rere-o-maki aka Rere (1783?–1868), Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Ruakā, Ngāti Tūpoho, Te Arawa; sister of Hōri Kīngi Te Ānaua and and Te Māwae who also signed; her baptismal name was Rāwinia (Lavinia); married to Mahuera Paki Tanguru-o-te-rangi, a leader of Muaūpoko, they lived most of their lives in the Whanganui area; mother of Te Rangihiwinui aka Major Kemp. A carving in totara of Rere-ō-maki is held at the Whanganui Regional Museum.

For more details, visit the Archives New Zealand website at

N.B. In putting this together, the author offers many thanks for the generous guidance and support by David Green Kaiwhakatika, Pou Hītori Matua Senior Editor and Historian, Te Pae Wānanga, Tukunga Ihotanga, Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture & Heritage.

Randolph Hollingsworth

NCWNZ Action Hubs

After leading the Influence and Decision-Making Action Hub since its inception, Co-Convenors Sue Kedgley and Amy Rice are stepping down. Here’s what they have to say reflecting on their time at the helm.

Sue Kedgley
Sue Kedgley

Tell us a bit about yourself and your involvement in NCWNZ prior to becoming an Action Hub Co-Convenor.

Sue: I joined NCWNZ about three years ago and was active primarily in writing submissions. When the Action Hubs were created someone suggested I might be interested in Convening the newly created Influence and Decision Making Action Hub and I agreed to do so. I felt it was important to have a young woman helping to lead the hub and so I approached Amy and was delighted when she agreed to lead it with me.

Amy: Back then I was a member of the NCWNZ Wellington Branch, but didn’t really have the creation of Action Hubs or any other big picture NCWNZ stuff on my radar. I was working as a policy advisor in government and outside of work and NCWNZ, I filled my time with sports (touch rugby, running, triathlon) and volunteering to help people experiencing homelessness.

What attracted you to take on the role of leading the Influence and Decision-Making Action Hub?

Sue: It was a new Action Hub and I liked the idea of seeking to increase the influence of NCWNZ.  

Amy: I actually only considered the role because Sue invited me to come on board with her. I knew working alongside someone with her experience was an opportunity too valuable to pass on so while it was daunting, I said yes!

Amy Rice
Amy Rice

What were the highlights of your time as Co-Convenor?

Sue: Organising three highly successful and stimulating webinars on Countering Misogyny has been a highlight, along with setting up the Online Safety Coalition with Eva and Eileen. There are around 14 organisations now working together under NCWNZ leadership to try to get cross party agreement for an independent regulator to regulate and monitor social media —which is effectively unregulated at the moment and like the Wild West.

Initiating our pre election questionnaire to all political parties was also a highlight.

Amy: Writing my first NCWNZ submission was pretty cool, and I really enjoyed getting a better appreciation for the wealth of talent and passion that exists within NCWNZ.

What did you learn?

Sue: I learnt how valuable online events such as our Countering Misogyny webinars can be in raising awareness and galvanising people into action. I also learned how important it is to have young women actively involved in the organisation.

Amy: Lots! From practical things like how to chair a meeting, to realising you can aim high when it comes to organising events (such as our Countering Misogyny webinar series) - the NCWNZ brand carries a lot of weight and there’s huge demand out there to hear and talk about the issues facing women in today’s world.

What are you looking forward to doing with your extra time now?

Sue: I intend to remain active in the action hub and the Online Safety Coalition and don’t really expect to have much extra time, as I am busy with various other work activities.

Amy: I’m doing a big triathlon in Germany in July so training for that will take up most of my time over coming months. I’ve recently moved to Ōtautahi Christchurch so am keen to get involved with the NCWNZ Branch down here and also put lots of energy into my new job working for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

If you’re interested in becoming a Co-Convenor of the Influence and Decision-Making Action Hub, or taking on other leadership roles within NCWNZ, please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected]. Sue and Amy are happy to chat further about their experience and answer any questions you may have.



On International Women’s Day 2024, Friday 8th March, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm NZDT, join us for a discussion on the links between online misogyny and violent extremism. This webinar will be the third in a series on Countering Misogyny hosted by the Influence and Decision-Making Action Hub. The event will cover observations from the Classification Office’s work and global trends that led to the commissioning of a research project, key findings on how misogyny and violent extremism intersect, and some of these issues relevant to understanding the complex dynamics present between online misogyny and violent extremism. It will also consider how New Zealand’s experience compares to what is happening around the world, and what needs to be done in New Zealand to combat online misogyny. Speakers include: Caroline Flora, New Zealand’s Chief Censor; Caroline Cooney, Acting Director of the Gender-Based Violence and Cross-Cutting Issues Team at the U.S. Department of State's Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues; and, Eva Hartshorn-Sanders, expert consultant on online harm and gender-based violence. Eva was recently Head of Policy for the Center for Countering Digital Hate and has worked on online media law reform for the New Zealand government and the United Nations. Registrations for the webinar are now open:



Women and girls are a key to climate action. There is an urgency at every level to effectively mitigate the devastations of the Climate Crisis. Collectively women must be at the decision-making table to help find strategic solutions through influencing climate change policy and legislation and to engage at grass roots. Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and te ao Māori (the Māori world) values need to be centralised in our relationship with whenua.

The vision of New Zealand’s National Council of Women’s Climate Change and Environmental Hub is that the government act on the Climate Emergency declared in 2020 to embrace a new paradigm centred on human rights, care, and redistribution based on the promotion of women's leadership and decision-making in climate change adaptation and mitigation for the good of all people and the planet.

Women Talking Politics issue 2023 was launched on Saturday at the NZ Political Studies Association Conference held in the University of Auckland.

The event was for those interested in reinvigorating the Women's Caucus, which supports Women Talking Politics and is, in its own right a voice for women involved in politics and political theory.

Also, if you are not yet a member, we urge you to join the NZPSA. The conference is a lot of fun, there's an opportunity to contribute essays for the NZ Politics Studies Association, a post-graduate conference, prizes for the best student essays in various categories, and a Facebook page to keep in touch with each other. Details of the conference and membership can be found on the website.

The Editorial Board of Women Talking Politics: Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando, Shirin Brown, Heather Devere, Nashie Shamoon and Heather Tribe

Dr Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando, Christine Caughey, Dr Emma Hughes, Dr Gill Greer, Catherine McInally, Challen Wilson, of the National Council of Women New Zealand: Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Action Hub

Carolyn Savage, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Action Hub



Bernice Williams oral submission Justice Comm 1 Feb 2024On 1 February 2024, Bernice Williams of the NCWNZ Health, Safety & Wellbeing Action Hub presented an oral submission to the Parliament's Justice Committee | Komiti Take Ture who are working on expanding the courts' power to better protect the victims of family violence in Legislation Bill 285-1. The members of the Justice Committee who heard the submission were: James Meager (Chair, National); Todd Stephenson (ACT); Marama Davidson (Green); Ginny Anderson (Labour); Dr Duncan Webb (Labour); and, Tracey McLellan (Labour). The recording with Williams' presentation can be found on the Justice Committee, New Zealand Parliament website at the minute mark 32.34 and runs about 10 minutes:

This presentation by Williams was a follow-up of a written submission previously lodged (see the full submission dated 18 October 2023 on the NCWNZ website at Submission 23.16  Victims of Family Violence) with the support of the Parliamentary Watch Committee and the Board of NCWNZ. Basically, the goal of the submission was to urge the Justice Committee to focus on curbing "vexatious litigation" or "litigation abuse" by those in family courts who weaponise the civil court system in a persistent process of abusing their own families. The hope was to convince the Justice Committee members to add a piece to the proposed legislation that would use the Crimes Act to punish those using pernicious and harassing court filings alongside an existing family court case. Williams stated:

Of grave concern to NCWNZ is the current burgeoning of all forms of stalking, and in particular, the many forms of online harassment, threats, surveillance and abuse carried out by stalkers via electronic means. We view litigation abuse as one of many forms of control and harassment stalkers use to abuse their victims.

Williams continued with reminding the Justice Committee members that stalking as a criminal act, especially that which is perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner, has a high risk of homicide as a result. The current laws that address stalking behaviors in part - such as The Harassment Act 1997, The Family Violence Act 2018, and The Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 - are not addressing all forms of stalking. Thus, an amended Crimes Act could make any type of stalking a criminal offence. This reform would give judges the power to further protect victims already facing strenuous decisions in family courts.

This work has been and continues to be in collaboration with The Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children and the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges. Bernice Williams and other members of the NCWNZ collaborated to produce a paper outlining the current issues pertaining to stalking in Aotearoa New Zealand and the need for a new criminal law on stalking to be included in the Crimes Act. This paper was sent to the Ministry of Justice in November 2022 (see the Circular article about this and you can download the paper here) and to the Minister of Police in May 2023. 


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

Resources to share in meetings and with your networks

Advocates and international conventions are driving a shift towards equal empowerment for women in leadership roles. General Recommendation 40 of CEDAW emphasises dismantling barriers and achieving critical mass. Global pioneers offer valuable insights on gender quotas and their impact.

gold frond separator

Want a friendly game to see what your group knows about women's roles in the world? Try this online 20-question quiz on "Women in Power" by Britannica:

Readings to consider

Carrie Leonetti, "What do we mean when we say family violence," Newsroom (16 February 2024):

UN Women statement on Gaza: "When mothers have to bury at least 7,700 children, very basic principles are challenged."

"Recent Abduction of Women Reveals the Taliban’s Goal of Completely Removing Females from the Public Sphere"
from Women's E-News republished from Zan Times (January 2024).

Stories to celebrate

This alert from Beryl Anderson: Family Planning changes its name after 85 years. On 14 February it become Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa. “By today’s standards, Family Planning is too euphemistic — it doesn’t say plainly, we know sexual and reproductive health, we know sex and gender, we know sexuality, diversity. We understand the impact those have on health and wellbeing,” says CE Jackie Edmond. Read more at their press release here.


History to chew on - a video of a cooking show in 1985
Alison Holst presents 12 new dishes, explaining how to cook and present each one. Dishes range from oysters and steak, through to dessert and the cheese platter.

Dates to note for March 2024

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

8 March - International Women's Day - join the UN Women in their campaign "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress", search on and use the hashtag #InvestInWomen

10 March - International Day of Women Judges

15 March - International Day to Combat Islamophobia

15-17 March - WOMAD NZ 2024, New Plymouth

21 March - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ; International Day of Forests

21-27 March Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and 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 

30 March - International Day of Zero Waste

Quotation to ponder

If you stop and listen to the whenua, the history of Aotearoa will make itself heard.

Aroha Gilling, "Whispers from the Whenua,"
E-Tangata (18 February 2024).

Whakataukī to share

Ko te mauri,
he mea huna ki te moana.

The life force is hidden in the sea. Powerful aspects of life are hidden in plain sight.

This refers to the telling of the lessons about Nukutawhiti who cast his kura, his feathered cloak, into the Hokianga Harbour to calm the waters for safe passage. And this treasure remains there, out of sight, yet signifies the ancient presence of those that have gone before. With this knowledge, we should take heart in the hidden strengths in our own hearts and pay attention to our own insiights about something - or give ourselves the quiet time needed to come to the right decision in times of trouble.

"Nights" on RNZ features a guest each week to offer their favourite whakataukī, explain where it comes from, how it can be interpreted, and how it relates to the world around us. The first clip in the series comes from Dr. Hinemoa Elder, a professor in indigenous research at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and the author of Aroha: Māori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet (Penguin, 2020) - listen to her session online here



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).

Do you have some news to share? Please send an email to the newsletter managing editor, Randolph Hollingsworth, at [email protected].

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