The Circular banner

May-June 2024, Issue 647

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

Download as .pdf file


Table of Contents


Suzanne Manning October 2022
Suzanne Manning,
NCWNZ President

President's kōrero

Kia ora tātou,

I write this on Mātariki weekend, and I hope you are all enjoying the events that are occurring to celebrate this midwinter time of looking towards the stars, the turning of seasons, remembering the old stories and the people who have passed. A uniquely Aotearoa celebration with themes that echo in cultures all around the world.

Reflecting on our past year is something we are in the midst of, as we prepare our annual report for the year April 2023-March 2024. The summary of our mahi over the year always brings me pleasure. We do so much, with minimal financial and material resources! Pat yourselves on the back, we deserve it. Much of the work of compiling the report, both financial and narrative, is thanks to Sue Bingham our finance volunteer and Mathilde Le Goff, our current Board administrator intern. I say ‘current’ but am feeling very sad that in a week’s time that will no longer be true. Mathilde’s time with us has come to an end, and she will be travelling our beautiful country for a short while before returning to her studies in France. Merci beaucoup Mathilde, you have been fabulous to work with: I asked you to ‘be my brain’ while you were here, and that is what you have done – parfait!

NCWNZ office video setup 2024

Mathilde and Bruce Manning have made a great Property Team over the last five months, first project managing the installation of a new heat pump in our Brandon Street office, and now installing some AV equipment in the boardroom. We now have the capability for online meetings in the boardroom and are able to show presentations without everyone trying to gather around a laptop. Our thanks to them both for making it happen.

The Conference is coming up on 5 October, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. The Minister for Women, Nicola Grigg, has agreed to speak to us; we will be holding the AGM; and there will be three Action Hub workshops for you to contribute to. The evening dinner will include presentation of Distinguished Service Awards for Branch members, Organisational representatives and Action Hub members who stand out as our star contributors – we will be asking for nominations very soon.

We will also be asking for nominations for the Board. This year we have two members whose term is continuing – Anmar Taufeek and Kerri Du Pont. We will need to elect a President and three extra Board members and to appoint an Aspiring Board member. So, for all of you who are thinking about standing for the Board, there will be continuity and support for you! Not to mention our great team of operational volunteers.

We need people who are committed to the kaupapa of NCWNZ, and to the organisation as a means of amplifying the voices of women. We need people who are prepared to commit time and energy to the mahi, who understand that being on the Board is about publicly speaking for and promoting NCWNZ not their personal views (trust me, personal views are aired at Board meetings). Is this you? Are you ready to make a difference for NCWNZ? Talk to your NCWNZ colleagues, talk to Board members, and seriously consider – am I going to be one of the new Board members?

E mihi ana ki a koutou,
Suzanne Manning (she/her)
Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa - National Council of Women New Zealand

Save the date: 5 October 2024

The NCWNZ National Conference and AGM 2024 is taking place at The Commodore Hotel in Ōtautahi Christchurch on 5 October 2024. The Hon Nicola Grigg, Minister for Women, will be giving an opening address at the conference. Other sessions will feature local organisations from Waitaha Canterbury, who are working to support women and girls and the afternoon session has been set aside for NCWNZ Action Hubs. The celebration dinner in the evening will include presentations of Distinguished Service Awards, farewells to outgoing Board members and welcoming newly elected Board members. The programme outline can also be found here to download.

The Commodore Hotel has set aside 20 rooms at a discounted rate for conference attendees for the nights of Friday October 4th and Saturday October 5th. These rooms can be booked by contacting The Commodore and giving the Group Reservation Number: 5308813. The discounted rate will be allocated on a first in, first served basis.

Register to attend the conference, the AGM (in person or online) and the dinner – or all three – via Humantix here:

How to recognise fake email messages from NCWNZ addresses

Kia ora koutou,

Some of our NCWNZ email addresses have been the target of spoofing attacks in the past year, and we'd like to give you some tips on how to recognise these phishing attempts and what to do about them.

A short tutorial called "How to recognize phishing and spoofing emails" is now available for our members to use as a resource. This tutorial can help you recognise these fraudulent emails and some actions you can take to avoid falling victim to them.

The three main things to remember are:

  • Check the sender's address
  • Never click on any links
  • If you have any doubts or concerns, don't reply, but write a new email or call the person to double check

Read the full tutorial (.pdf file) for more detail.

Huge cost of workplace bullying and harassment estimated in new report

Bullying and harassment in the workplace is costing New Zealand employers at least $1.5 billion a year, according to a joint report published by KPMG and Te Kãhui Tika Tangata | Human Rights Commission. Using data collected in 2021-22, the report documents a higher proportion of Māori experienced bullying, sexual harassment than another other ethnic group. EEO Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo asserted: “Being safe at work is a human right for all of us, and under te Tiriti o Waitangi the dignity and mana of Māori must be upheld at all times including in the workplace.” Dr Sumeo says this new information adds to the urgency for New Zealand to ratify the International Labour Organisation - Violence and Harassment Convention (ILO 190).

Download the report here.

Pacific National Councils of Women Forum

On Saturday 18 May, we hosted our first Pacific forum meeting, with our three guest speakers Noelene Nabulivou (Executive Director of DIVA for Equality), Stephanie Copus Campbell (Australian Ambassador for gender equality) and Tara D’Sousa (Senior Adviser Inclusive Development Gender for the Manatū Aorere, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This event was the occasion to talk about the strength in Pacific women’s organisations to face the the region's work to achieve gender equality, and our guest speakers shared with us what initiatives they found the most impactful.

This event was a real success, and we were very happy to discuss such important issues together, along with our sisters from the Pacific. We made some connections that we did not have before, and we will be able to continue the conversations we started on Women’s health, economic independence, climate justice or violence against women in the future. Hopefully this event will provide the impetus for more dialogue and joint initiatives among us. 

For those who couldn't attend, the event has been recorded. See the recordings at the NCWNZ YouTube channel: 

Deborah Frances-White and The Guilty Feminist podcast

Deborah Frances-White event 2024

NCWNZ members have had a busy week hanging out with Deborah Frances-White, host of the internationally acclaimed The Guilty Feminist podcast. They did live shows in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. 

Read about this award-winning podcast at the website:

The list of tour dates for The Guilty Feminist Down Under 2024 series and panelists can be found here:

Panelists in live show podcast for The Guilty Feminist
Deborah Frances-White with Michele A’Court, Aleisha Amohia (3rd from left),
Sue Lytollis, Arihia Latham


The live shows in Wellington and Christchurch included:

Live show podcast of The Guilty Feminist conclusion
Deborah Frances-White with Michele A’Court and guests Daisy Lavea-Timo, Sue Kedgley (4th from left),
Anke Richter with music from Grace Petrie

We love the idea of making feminism and politics accessible through comedy and humour. See you again next time you’re in Aotearoa, Deborah!

Chart: 2024 King's Birthday honours

The first King’s Birthday list awarded 176 honours. Men received 52% with 91, women received 48% with 85. Men and women equally received the higher awards (ONZ to MNZM). Double the number of awards (30) were given for sports related activities than for arts related activities (15).


2024 King's Birthday honours






% Male

% Mx

% Female

ONZ + additional / honorary








GNZM / DNZM / KNZM / hon








CNZM + honorary member








ONZM + honorary member








MNZM + honorary member
















KSM + honorary member



18 42 57% 0% 43%









































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

  • DNZM
    • Theresa Elizabeth GATTUNG, CNZM, of Auckland, for services to women, governance and philanthropy. Theresa funded the Chair of Women in Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School. She was the driving force behind the establishment of Coralus (formerly SheEO) in New Zealand, a global community of women financing, supporting, and celebrating female innovators. She chairs Global Women and is a member of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women and on the Global Board of World Pulse.
    • Joan WITHERS, of Auckland, for services to business, governance and women. She was a foundation member of Global Women and the 25 Percent Group, which worked to achieve diversity of thought at senior management level and in New Zealand boardrooms. She co-founded OnBeingBold, which convenes an annual event empowering women leaders, with a similar event provided freely to Year 13 girls. Joan is the author of ‘A Girl’s Guide to Business’ (1998) and ‘A Woman’s Place’ (2017).
  • CNZM
    • Arihia Darryl BENNETT, MNZM, of Kaiapii, for services to Māori, governance and the community. Arihia was the first woman and the longest serving Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu from 2012 to 2024. She is a member of the Global Women’s Network and the Tuahiwi Māori Women’s Welfare League. In 2021 she was appointed as Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack.
    • Anne CANDY, QSO, JP, of Auckland, for services to Māori and local government. Anne has been patron of the Manukau National Council of Women since 2002.
    • Catherine Ann Grant (Katie) SADLEIR, for services to sports governance and women. Katie was appointed as the first woman CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation in 2021. She is a former Olympic synchronised swimmer and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. She was General Manager of Women’s Rugby for World Rugby from 2016 to 2021 and oversaw the appointment of 17 women to the World Rugby Council in her first year and led the ‘Try and Stop Us’ campaign for women in countries facing challenges to their participation.
  • ONZM
    • Andrea Jane BLAIR, of Taupō, for services to the geothermal industry and women. In 2013 she co-founded and was Global Chair until 2020 of Women in Geothermal (WING), an international movement to empower women in the geothermal industry. She oversaw the organisation’s growth from 83 members to more than 3,400 worldwide, making it the single largest geothermal association in the world, and remains a Global Board member. Ms Blair was one of five global recipients in 2023 of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Award.
  • MNZM
    • Jolie HODSON, of Auckland, for services to business, governance, and women. Jolie led the way among NZX-listed gender-diverse boards, prioritising diversity and equity. She helped co-found On Being Bold in 2017, alongside a collective of other prominent New Zealand businesswomen, aiming to inspire and empower women to succeed in business. She has been an activator with SheEO since its inception in 2017, supporting women and non-binary entrepreneurs with start-ups.
    • Mrs Bridget Piu KAURAKA, of Wellington, for services to the Cook Islands community. Bridget has actively participated in the Wellington Cook Islands Society, the Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church in Newtown, where she serves as a deacon, and the Wellington branch of the PACIFICA Women’s Cultural Group, supporting various community initiatives.
    • Julie Leslie PATERSON, for services to women and sport. Julie co-founded Women in Sport Aotearoa in 2016, an organisation that advocates for women and girls to gain equity of opportunity to participate, compete, and build careers in sport and active recreation. She co-chaired the successful bid to deliver the 2018-2022 International Working Group on Women and Sport and 8th World Conference on Women and Sport. As Chief Executive of Tennis New Zealand since 2017, she has led significant growth for the representation of women and girls, particularly in coaching and management roles, with the Wahine Coaching Scholarship programme winning an international award. She has been a member of the International Tennis Federation’s global committee for Gender Equality in Tennis. She was CEO of Netball Southland and the Southern Sting and Southern Steel franchises from 2005 to 2012, then CEO of Netball Northern Zone until 2017.
  • Honorary MNZM
    • Allyn Sue (Aliya) DANZEISEN, of Hamilton. for services to the Muslim community and women. Aliya has been National Coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ) since 2020, having been an active member for more than 10 years and Assistant National coordinator for five years. She helped found and has been Coordinator of the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA) since 2008. Aliya established a programme for Muslim girls and women aged 14 to 25 to help them integrate into New Zealand society and culture, while also preserving their own identity and faith. She has provided support to the community following the 2019 Christchurch mosques terror attacks and is a member of Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry.
  • KSO
    • Josephine Huti ANDERSON, of Te Kuiti, for services to Māori. Josephine was the first person to directly negotiate with the Crown for a Treaty settlement and had an integral role in the Ruapuha Uekaha hapu settlement process over a period of 34 years. She is a former member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League Waitomo branch.
    • Elizabeth Hera CUNNINGHAM, JP, of Christchurch, for services to governance. Elizaabeth served as President of the Māori Women’s Welfare League Rāpaki branch from 2009 to 2022, having been a member since 1978 and chaired Te Waipounamu Māori Women’s Welfare League steering committee. She was the first Māori elected to the Canterbury Area Health Board from 1991 to 1993, the first Māori elected as Canterbury Councillor for the Environment from 2004 to 2007, and chaired the Māori Advisory Committee for Environment Canterbury. She was Chair of Kawawhakaruruhau at Ara Institute’s School of Nursing/Midwifery from 2000 to 2012, having oversight of the programme and training.
  • KSM
    • Patricia Frances (Pat) CARRICK-CLARKE, of Nelson, for services to sport, particularly cricket. Pat represented New Zealand Women’s Cricket in seven test matches and three one day internationals between 1969 and 1978. She became the first woman globally to umpire a men’s first-class cricket match, the 1987 Shell Cup Canterbury- Wellington match at Timaru. Pat umpired 15 first-class games and two women’s tests before retiring in 1991. She was a member of the Canterbury Women’s Cricket Association and contributed significantly to an amalgamation of men’s and women’s cricket clubs. Pat was a player, representative teams coach and Board member for Canterbury Netball from 1973 to 1992. From 1997 to 2000 she coached Tasman and Nelson representative teams.
    • Mailigi (Ligi) HETUTŪ, of Wellington, for services to the Niuean community. Ligi is a Niue community leader in Wellington who has been contributing to the preservation and revitalisation of the Niuean language, culture and heritage for 30 years. Through the Wellington Niue Presbyterian Church, Ligi has been the Secretary of the Women’s Fellowship since 2011 and Parish representative to the Central Regional Presbytery Executive since 2019.
    • Katareina Whaiora KAIWAI, of Tokomaru Bay, for services to women and the civil construction industry. Katareina founded Tairāwhiti Contractors on the East Coast in 2021, and as one of the few women business owners in civil construction in the region she has drawn on her onsite experiences in the roading industry since 2011 to advocate for better working conditions for women in construction. Tairāwhiti Contractors has grown to 38 staff, a third of whom are women. She is an ambassador for women in infrastructure for Connexis and ran a Girls with Hi-vis event in Ruatoria in 2021, attracting large numbers of students from multiple schools with opportunities to gain hands-on experience and hear from women in the industry.
    • Sharda Ashok PATEL, of Wellington, for services to the Indian community and women. Sharda became Chair of Mahalia Samaj (Women’s Auxiliary) in 1992 and has led numerous initiatives to support Indian women. She was Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator of the Indian Women’s Forum for the New Zealand Indian Central Association for four years total. She broke new ground in 1997 by becoming the first ever woman in New Zealand to be elected President of any Indian Association, serving two terms and opening doors for women to step into leadership roles. Sharda has been a founding member of Shakti Women’s Refuge, a Board Member of the Multi-Cultural Learning and Support services, and a volunteer for more than a decade for Mary Potter Hospice.
    • Fay TAYLOR, of Mosgiel, for services to the community. Fay joined the Women’s Division Federated Farmers Henley Branch, now Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ), and has been a member for 66 years holding offices at local and regional level. Through RWNZ Fay has helped raise thousands of dollars for local, national and international women’s projects.

See the full list at

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

Putting the offence of stalking into the Crimes Act

It was fantastic to be on the steps of Parliament last Wednesday 26 June as part of the team handing over the petition to put the offence of stalking into The Crimes Act. Presenting the petition to the Minister of Justice, Hon Paul Goldsmith, MPs, Hon Ginny Andersen, and Hon Marama Davidson was the latest stage of a campaign that has been underway for the past several years.

NCWNZ at stalking petition presentation June 2024

The campaign has been a combined effort of three key organisations, spearheaded by The Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children (The Coalition), and ably supported by NCWNZ, and the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges (NCIWR).

A little over two years ago, a connection was made between NCWNZ and the Auckland- based Coalition. Unbeknownst to each other the two organisations had work underway urging an update of New Zealand’s inadequate and out-of-date stalking laws. NCWNZ’s Safety, Health & Wellbeing Action Hub had drafted a paper on stalking and identified the need for the introduction of stalking-specfic legislation as a key workstream for the Hub. We learned that, having been disappointed by the absence of progress on the matter of updating stalking laws by then Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, the Coalition had approached the new Justice Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi in November 2021.

Work with policy advisors at the Ministry of Justice followed in 2022, with a view to inform New Minister of Justice, Kiri Allan, on the issue of stalking and the urgent need for legislative reform. To this end a joint paper was prepared by The Coalition, NCWNZ, and NCIWR. We were delighted to learn that stalking was made a priority by the Minister, then soon after, disheartened when the Government’s focus changed and we were informed in March 2023 that stalking was no longer a priority for Minister Allan.

At this stage the idea of petition was put forward, and further meetings were held with related agencies, on related subject areas, including a discussion with Sheryl Hann, Chief Advisor, Family Violence and Sexual Violence, Te Puna Aonui. In April 2023 a letter was sent to then Minister of Police, Hon Ginny Andersen, pointing out the inadequacy of existing legislation to protect victims of stalking and urging the Minister’s support to put the offence of stalking in The Crimes Act, thereby furnishing the Police with appropriate means of enforcing violations of a stalking-specific law.

Many of you will be aware that earlier this year, an open letter calling for stalking to be put into The Crimes Act, signed by individuals and organisations concerned for the safety of women in Aotearoa New Zealand was sent to the Minister of Justice. The letter called on Paul Goldsmith to honour National’s pre-election stated support to make stalking illegal, and to act with urgency. The delivery of the open letter was followed by the launch of the petition – Safety Not Stalking, that eventually gained more than 20,000 signatures.

We were delighted in April to receive the announcement of Ginny Andersen’s Member’s Bill to update existing stalking laws, and noted Paul Goldsmith’s response that New Zealand’s stalking and harassment laws would be reviewed in due course. It was a very happy surprise then to hear The Minister of Justice announce on the day of the petition handover, that the Government intends introducing legislation to update stalking laws before the end of the year.

This was definitely a high point for the campaign, but it is not over yet. Work with Ministry of Justice officials will now take place, ensuring the new law works for victims. We will keep you posted with developments.

Bernice Williams, NCWNZ’s Safety, Health & Wellbeing Action Hub

Milestones: World firsts for women

New Zealand can boast of many different global "firsts" for women. Here are just a few:

1893: All adult women citizens (including Māori) gained the right to vote in national elections, the first self-governing country in the world to do so. 

1902: Ellen Dougherty of Wellington, 58, was the first name on the registered nurse roll - New Zealand was the first country to pass legislation on the registration of nurses. 

1929: Phoebe Myers of Wellington, 57, was the first woman to represent her country at the League of Nations. 

1934: Jean Batten of Rotorua, 35, was the first woman to achieve a solo flight from England to Australia and back again; her 1936 flight from England to Brazil was a first for women aviators and set a record for the fastest crossing of the South Atlantic Ocean. 

1966: Princess Piki Paki of Huntly, 35, was chosen to become the first Māori Queen; Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu was the sixth Māori monarch of the Kingitanga. 

1976: Mary Ronnie of Dunedin, 50, became the first woman in the world to head a national library (1976-1981). 

1978: Naomi Power James of Hawkes Bay, 29, was the first woman to have sailed solo around the world via Cape Horn, the classic "Clipper Route," beating by two days the record set by the English yachtsman Francis Chichester. 

1990: Penelope "Penny" Allen Jamieson of Karori West, 48, was the first woman in the world to head an Anglican diocese when she was appointed the seventh Bishop of Dunedin (1990-2004). 

1993: Jane Campion of Wellington, 39, was the first female filmmaker to receive a Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival (for "The Piano"). 

1995: Georgina Beyer of Wairarapa, 38, was the world's first transgender woman elected Mayor, and then Member of Parliament in 1999. 

2000: Debbie Hockley of Christchurch, 38, playing for the White Ferns was the world's first woman to score over 1000 test runs (between 1979-2000), holding the record for ICC Women's Cricket World Cup runs

2009: Helen Clark of Auckland, 59, was the first woman to serve as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (2009-2017). 

2013: Parris Goebel of Auckland, 22, while choreographer of the Palace Dance Studio won the World Hip Hop Dance Championship for the third time in a row, with her group The Royal Family becoming the first in the world to achieve this. 

2013: Eleanor Catton of Christchurch, 28, was the youngest author ever to win the Man Booker prize (for The Luminaries which was the longest book to win that prize). 

2015: Lydia Ko of Albany, 17, was ranked No. 1 woman professional golfer, being the youngest player of any gender to be ranked No. 1 in the world. 

2022: Portia Woodman-Wickliffe of Auckland, 30, played on the Olympic gold medal winning Black Ferns Sevens rugby team and was the first woman to score 200 then 250 in the world Sevens Series tries. 


Adapted and expanded from "WOMEN - NOTABLE FIRSTS IN NZ: A DigitalNZ Story by Zokoroa" DigitalNZ

Some of what's happening at local branches

Irene Ryan, AUT
Irene Ryan

On Monday, 8th April, the NCWNZ Auckland Branch invited Dr Irene Ryan to give an overview of a research project she and Branch Chair, Associate Professor, Barbara Myers are working on exploring the life stories of older, single women, aged 50-70 years. Irene began with a story that had provided the impetus for the research. Similar stories resonate today: groups of seemingly ‘invisible single women’, labelled as older, insecure, and struggling, despite many still being in full time employment.

Barbara Myers, Auckland NCWNZ Chair
Barbara Myer

The wider study sought to examine how the gendering of social class intersects with ageing, producing lines of privilege and (dis)advantage for single, employed, older women, who over time experience precarity at multiple levels of life’s domains. Irene outlined how the research, unfortunately hindered by COVID and its aftermath, is significant because it shifts beyond the usual ‘snapshot’ chronological age approach. The study considers the biographical dimension of a life course of gendered paid and unpaid work experiences, resources accrued (or not) and the challenges, which have rarely been heard. It does so by looking at ageing (not just chronological age), gendering (which refers to the process of socialisation according to the dominant gender norms), overlaid by social class (defined as the intersection of two-axis: socio-economic power and occupation), to show how identity markers and their boundaries are not fixed and how their social and political meanings vary over time.

The choice to use the word ‘precarity’ was deliberate, and rarely used in this type of research. Precarity is not simply a ‘labour condition’ (precarious work). When viewed from a life course perspective, precarity crosses multiple levels of life’s domains (e.g., paid work, and provisioning – the varied unpaid but essential activities that underpin the capitalist economy) and time: the past, the present and a future, the length of which is unknown. Conceptualizing precarity across time and space aligns with ageing and gendering. Importantly, it alerts researchers and policymakers to the cumulative impact of gender-differentiated opportunities, resources, and the choices (often limited) made over a life-course, affect different groups of women as they age. To-date, 21 semi-structured interviews have been completed with all participants identifying as European New Zealanders.

Given the audience and the impending Human Rights, CEDAW response, Irene centered much of the presentation on addressing the question: why the 50-70 years age range?

Firstly, Irene emphasized how it is the Baby-boomer/Gen X generation of women (like us) who have a different historical backdrop to present generations (e.g., relatively closed economy, 1970’s oil crisis, 1980’s hyper-individualistic neoliberal shift). This means that over their life course, many have experienced the cumulative effect of substantial labour market inequities. For example (and evidenced in the preliminary findings thus far), the gender pay gap, the gender opportunity gap, pay inequity, non-standard work arrangements (PT, fixed term, casual), societal expectations re-unpaid and voluntary work and its impact on careers, the scarcity and attitudes to childcare, the stigma/aftermath of divorce and for some, often-hidden sexual abuse/harassment, Intimate Partner Violence, and financial and economic abuse, in our highly segregated (both horizontal and vertical) labour market. One recent example of the cumulative effect of systemic labour market inequities is the Te Ara Ahunga Ora, Retirement Commission research that shows a 36% gender gap on KiwiSaver contributions (Distributional analysis of KiwiSaver contributions). That KiwiSaver did not start until July 2007 adds a further dimension to the inequities experienced by this cohort of women, who as they look to future KiwiSaver contributions, time is not on their side.

Secondly, despite age being a master signifier that affects us all, age only seems to be construed as a ‘problem’ when it refers to those ‘older’, for example the ‘ageing workforce’, where discourses of ‘bodies in decline’ are rife. Here, the limited research on ageing and paid work shows how the label ‘older worker’ is variously applied with 50+ being the most common age determinant. Some research shows how women are judged as ‘older – younger’ than their male counterparts (e.g., the anti-ageing commercial machine, onset of menopause), indeed one wonders if women are ever in the ‘right’ age cohort. Research also points to how the negativities associated with the label ‘older worker’ are not applied to everybody over 50 - but more so to women, particularly those in low paid, female-dominated sectors and/or precarious work situations and/or where restructuring / redundancies come ‘into play’ (e.g., evidenced during/aftermath of COVID).

Thirdly, an aspect that has come more to the fore recently, is the overlay of Human Rights which Irene argues does not appear well understood in NZ with our seeming ‘level playing field’. One outcome of global COVID pandemic led to a WHO 2021 report (WHO Report on Ageism 2021), which highlighted the global enormity of ageism (stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination on the basis of age) and while often hidden and unrecognised, contravenes a raft of human rights frameworks (A/HRC/Res/42/12 Human Rights of older persons). Given this and evidence of the intensification of gender-based ageism, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Independent Expert (Claudia Mahler) to scope the gendered effects of ageing, specifically, the key human rights challenges faced by older women (HR of older women: the intersection between ageing and gender). After reviewing a raft of global studies, the report reaffirmed that 50 years was the age when groups of women were viewed as ‘older’ yet as she and other international studies related to women’s rights comment, there is a complete lack of data on this age cohort (50-64 years of age). This gender data gap resonates in the work of Caroline Perez, who illuminates how such silences, disadvantage women in all aspects of life, including healthcare, education, the workplace, and public policy (Summary - Invisible Women).

This invisibility is evidenced here with a dearth of research on this demographic cohort. The policy focus has/is either on ‘younger women’ (child-bearing age), the ‘broadbrush’ working age population (15-64 years e.g., The Treasury He Tirohanga Mokopuna 2021) and those ‘older’, 65+ (e.g., age of eligibility to NZ Super, e.g., WP 21/01 Golden Years) where age is commonly used in ways that fail to distinguish between the lives of men and women. One systemic example, also raised by Claudia Mahler (and evidenced in our study), is the void in the available data on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), and sexual violence which either tends to be limited to the 15–49 age range (e.g., as noted in the WHO Global Report above), or the ‘broadbrush’ 15-64 years (e.g., BIM Family and Sexual Violence 2023) with women over 65 often categorised under the broader umbrella term, ‘elder abuse’.

Overseas and NZ studies (e.g. Ayesha Scott, 2023) show that IPV and, financial and economic abuse (e.g., before and after divorce) in later age can be a continuation of abuse lasting many years or even decades and is significantly underreported. The danger of the ‘flattening of age distinctions’ or ‘one-size fits all’ thinking, masks for one, the cumulative effect of IPV and/or financial and economic abuse and how these forms of abuse are threaded through all social classes (see CEDAW 9th Periodic Report, pgs.25 - 29). The point here is that policies based on the experiences of ‘younger’ victims of IPV, (more often linked to women with dependent children), may not be the appropriate basis upon which to develop policies, practices, and support mechanisms for older women, in this instance, between 50-70 years of age.

Irene emphasised how such examples highlight the problem of group categorisation. As Claudia Mahler (2021, p. 5) quite rightly points out, “gender equality laws, policies and strategies rarely consider the situation of older women in significant detail”. We concur with her calls for more visibility to be given to older women (50-70 years) in human rights frameworks and mechanisms. Also pertinent here is to shift the focus from one single discriminatory factor (sex/gender) to recognition of multiple or intersectional forms of discrimination (ageing, gender, ethnicity and social class), which as Irene noted may be a policymaker’s ‘nightmare’, but a necessity if inequities are to be addressed. At present CEDAW is the primary human rights mechanism, to what extent is it a case-in-point? Irene finished by leaving us with a question to ponder: Is ageism more socially acceptable, than other “ism’s” (e.g racism, sexism, ableism) in Aotearoa? Is it less socially valuable than other types of equality?

Irene Ryan PhD, NCWNZ Auckland Branch


Eid Mubarak (Arabic: عِيد مُبَارَك‎ ʿīd mubārak) is an Arabic phrase that means “Blessed feast/festival.” The term is used by Muslims all over the world as a greeting to celebrate Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha (which is in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah).

Photo of Eid Mubarak banner

On the 20 April 2024 some members of the Manukau Branch of NCW attended this celebration where activities included cultural performances, traditional cooking workshop, kids fashion show, face painting, henna, calligraphy and a food market.

A range of food from different ethnicities was available to purchase. Free coffee and other drinks were provided.

This celebration was provided by the NZ Ethnic Women’s Trust.

Judi Goldsworthy, President of NCWNZ Manukau Branch


Two members of the NCWNZ Wellington Branch have been recognised for their volunteer work and leadership.

Harita Gandhi-Kashyap receives award 2024
Harita Gandhi-Kashyap receiving her award at the Volunteer Wellington Mahi Aroha Awards 2024

Harita Gandhi-Kashyap has received a number of awards and honours in 2024. Harita’s contributions to NCWNZ include being the Wellington Branch Treasurer, founder of the Conversations with Wāhine radio show and podcast, and member of the Parliamentary Watch Committee. Harita also volunteers with Wellington Indian Association, Crohns and Colitis NZ, and runs another podcast Coconut Chats. She is an accountant in her day job. Congratulations to Harita for receiving the following awards and honours, recognising her unwavering commitment to her volunteer work:

  • Vibe Lifter Award from Raglan Food Co
  • Top 40 under 40 for 2024 for the Indian Achievers Club
  • 3rd Place for the Mitre10 MEGA Wellington Volunteer of the Year Award at the Volunteer Wellington Mahi Aroha Awards 2024

Wellington Branch President Aleisha Amohia has also had a celebratory start to the year. Outside of her membership with NCWNZ, she is a technical lead and software developer. She also holds advisory or board roles with InternetNZ and Innovative Young Minds. Congratulations to Aleisha for receiving the following honours and awards:

  • Finalist for the Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award at the Hi-Tech Awards New Zealand
  • Rangatiranga Tipu Award, recognising excellence in leadership, at Ngā Tohu Matihiko (awards celebrating Māori Excellence in Digital and Technology)
Aleisha Amohia receiving award 2024
Mel Gollan (winner of the Rangatiratanga Tōtara Award) and Aleisha Amohia (winner of the Rangatiratanga Tipu Award) at Ngā Tohu Matihiko 2024


In Memoriam: Patricia (Paddy) Rosaleen Byrne

Paddy ByrneThe NCWNZ Hutt Valley Branch mourns the loss of Patricia "Paddy" Rosaleen Byrne (3 September 1943 – 24 April 2024). Paddy was a Catholic Women’s League delegate to the Hutt Valley Branch from 1997 until she became an individual member in 2017. Paddy served on the Branch Executive as Treasurer from 2011-2015 and was a member of the Parliamentary Watch Committee 2009-2016. She also volunteered in the National Office, e.g., for the mail out of The Circular.

Quietly determined, Paddy was always helpful, practical and dedicated. Paddy was always in the background – a runner at the national meetings held in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, making sure things happened.

Paddy had a broad world knowledge and held strong opinions. She ensured the voice of Catholic women was heard in responses to Action Items, e.g., abortion law reform. Paddy will always be remembered as the person you could rely on, confide in. A person willing to lend an ear and provide words of wisdom in return. Not judging but caring, a special person who is missed.

Resources to share in meetings and with your networks

Dr Nicky Newton (member of NCWNZ's Safety, Health & Wellbeing Action Hub) offers a new website that includes interviews (audio files and transcripts) of amazing New Zealand women along with suggestions on how to use the content. Newton chose 12 feminists from Aotearoa/NZ as part of the ongoing Global Feminisms Project (GFP), overseen by her graduate school advisor, Abby Stewart at the University of Michigan.  The women featured on the site are:

  • Aleisha Amohia, Wellington
  • Norie Ape, Wellington
  • Ngāhuia te Awekotuku, Auckland
  • Barbara Brookes, Dunedin
  • Sandra Coney, Piha
  • Kerri Du Pont, Wellington
  • Prue Hyman, Wellington
  • Ang Jury, Wellington
  • Sue Kedgley, Wellington
  • Qiane Matata-Sipu, Auckland
  • Anjum Rahman, Hamilton
  • Rebecca Stringer, Dunedin

Visit the project website at

gold frond separator

One of the most significant tasks that NCWNZ has taken on since NZ's ratification in 1985 is to provide an alternative report to the UN's CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women). The 89th Session is taking place in Geneva 7-25 October 2024, and New Zealand is one of the countries whose reports will be considered. As of this writing, the date on which the NZ reports (from the government and from NGOs) has not been announced. A combined group of NCWNZ members and ally organisations has been working on an alternative report to submit by the end of August. Note that the UN does not offer a virtual participation to this session and any NZ participants will need to travel in person to Geneva. Watch this CEDAW page for further developments:

gold frond separator

From the ICW-CIF "What's Up" Bulletin (3 June 2024):

Readings to consider

The Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry – Wai 2700 – initiated in December 2018 to hear outstanding claims which alleged prejudice to wāhine Māori as a result of Treaty breaches by the Crown. The Waitangi Tribunal appointed Judge Sarah Reeves as the presiding officer who appointed Dr Robyn Anderson, Dr Ruakere Hond, Kim Ngarimu and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith as panel members to the inquiry. By 2020 Judge Reeves announced the central question being the alleged denial of the inherent mana and iho of wāhine Māori and the systemic discrimination, deprivation, and inequities experienced as a result. Four pou frame the inquiry: rangatiratanga, whenua, whakapapa/whānau, and whai rawa. Six research projects were commissed in April 2021 and a seventh added to provide funding for an audio-visual research project. Additional research projects are also being undertaken independently from the Waitangi Tribunal. All reports are due for completion by July 2024. To ensure wide regional coverage, the tūāpapa hearings were held in Kerikeri (February 2021), Ngāruawāhia (February 2021), Whangārei (July 2021), Whakatāne (July 2022), Lower Hutt (August 2022), and Christchurch (September 2022). In December 2023, the Tribunal released Te Kete Pūputu: The Online Guide to the Mana Wāhine Tūāpapa Evidence which summarized what witnesses shared with the Tribunal, including key themes, key quotes, whakataukī, and images. The final reports will be released at the end of August.

See more details at

gold frond separator

New research about online misogyny and violent extremism published by Te Mana Whakaatu | the Classification Office. They emphasised three key findings from the research:

  • "The threats posed by incel (involuntary celibate) ideology, along with other misogynistic and male supremacist ideologies, is becoming more widely recognised.
  • New trends in extremist beliefs are emerging, particularly among boys and young men. These include individuals adopting mixed and unstable beliefs as well as some who are not tied to any specific ideology but are drawn solely to violence itself.
  • Algorithms amplify misogynistic and extremist content, making it easier for vulnerable people to encounter and possibly adopt more extreme ideologies."

See more about this - and download the report (and summary report) from the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse:

gold frond separator

Poverty is making school students work 20, 30 or 50 hours a week whilst juggling school and some of them just drop out. The Child Poverty Action Group estimate there are 15,000 school children in this situation. Poverty-driven student employment is probably more likely than other student employment to come with poor conditions and/or be a long commute from home. Download the report here:

Stories to celebrate

CarolBeaumont-1001Spheres.pngCarol Beaumont represented NCWNZ in a new artwork to celebrate our 125+ year history of suffrage. This remarkable 1001 Spheres sculpture. was conceptualised by artist Chiara Corbelletto, allowing gender equality to be captured for future generations to enjoy. Go see it in person if you are able as this sculpture lies in the middle of Auckland’s Monte Cecilia Park. Check out this recent article


NCWNZ was part of an initiative led by The Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children chair and AVA (Anti-Violence Action) presenting a petition with over 20,000 signatures on 25 June calling on the Government to make stalking illegal. Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith formally accepted the petition outside Parliament and committed to introducing an anti-stalking bill this year. Previously, the Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children chair Leonie Morris had forwarded a draft bill to various MPs and ministries. Ginny Anderson (Labour Party) and Marama Davidson (Green) have the bill in hand - they were also in attendance on the 25th. See the video on NewsHub where NCWNZ's Bernice Williams is featured standing with the others during the press conference:


To celebrate Matariki 2024, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision presents Hauhake tū, ka tō Matariki, a special compilation of audiovisual taonga from their collection. See these videos (some dating back to 1921) showing the harvesting and preparation of kai at

Dates to note for July 2024

11 July - World Population Day "Communities and societies are stronger and healthier when women and girls are empowered to choose if and when to build the families they want."

30 JulyWorld Day Against Trafficking in Persons

UN Blue Heart Campaign logoThe Blue Heart Campaign of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime raises awareness around the globe of human trafficking and its impact on people and society. Females are particularly affected by human trafficking:
For every 10 victims detected globally, about 4 are adult women and 2 are girls. 9 out of 10 trafficked victims for sexual exploitation are women and girls. The Blue Heart symbol represents solidarity with the victims and the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell their fellow human beings. 

Quotation to ponder

"We have made some gains but it's far from over. There's still an awful lot of work to do not only for women but to benefit all of New Zealand society. Freedom from violence, in particular. Calling it domestic violence just pigeonholes it. It's much broader than that. And pay equity is still but a distant dream for many."

Christine Low, NCWNZ President
"113 years on, equality battle continues," NZ Herald (19 September 2006)

Whakataukī to share

Hauhake tū, ka tō Matariki. 
The harvest ends when Matariki sets.

The Matariki cluster of stars is connected with food and its appearance in winter is said to determine the bounty of the coming year. This whakataukī is used before winter begins to remind people to prepare themselves for the cold months ahead. See more about the many proverbs related to Matariki on the Te Papa webpage here. Dr Rangi Mātāmua, astronomy scholar, writes: "Fundamentally, Matariki is about three things: Remembering the people who have died since the last rising of Matariki, coming together to feast, connect and celebrate who we are, and planning for the year ahead in the hopes of a bright and prosperous future. That's the essence."



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].