President’s Kōrero, August 2022

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata!

This well-known whakatauki (proverb) asks the question “what is the most important thing in the world?” and answers, “it is people.” This wisdom deserves to be front-and-centre in all that we do.

We advocate for human rights to be applied to all people, not just a select few. We comment on the impact of policy decisions on people, reminding our MPs that they are the peoples’ representatives. The Board is also focusing on its people, by building a supportive team culture through training with LEAD, funded by the Lotteries Commission. We will be focusing on team building, and the roles and responsibilities of governance and leadership. We will then extend the training to other leaders in our organisation, with training in group dynamics, financial management and practical IT for branch presidents and Action Hub coordinating committees. We will provide more details are they are firmed up.

Our people strength is in our membership, and in the mahi that is being done in Action Hubs. It is now membership renewal time, and our collective success in encouraging members to renew or join will make the single biggest difference to whether we have a surplus or deficit at our financial year end on 31 March 2023. Please renew your membership by going online to and either paying by credit/debit card or filling in the form and paying using internet banking. You can also help by assisting other member who are less tech-savvy, by encouraging work colleagues and friends to join, or by ensuring your organisation has renewed as a member. Together we can make impact!

More members mean more people to get involved in the awesome mahi being planned and carried out within Action Hubs. As President, it is my pleasure and privilege to have the final approval of advocacy actions, whether it is a letter to the Associate Minister of Education requesting consent education to be mandatory, the involvement of our people with the Ministry of Health on developing the Women’s Health Strategy consultation document, or support for the petition to protect the rights of migrant sex workers. Adding our voice to other women-focused organisations, and amplifying the voices of our individual and organisational members, is how we are making a difference to policies that affect “he tāngata” – people (and in our case, emphasis on women and girls).

I would like to bring two upcoming events to your notice.

  1. Our Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled for Sunday 16 October, 2.00 – 4.30 pm, via Zoom. We wish to present the annual report, which will be similar-but-different to the multiple reports to conference that have been done in the past. This combined report will be aimed at both internal and external audiences, a chance to take stock of what we did in the year from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, and to show others how much a group of women on a mission can achieve.
  2. The International Council of Women and the NCWNZ Conferences will be held in Wellington in September 2023, hopefully around Suffrage Day (19 September). This conference will bring delegates from around the world, including the International President Martine Marandel and the ICW-CIF Board, and our Asia-Pacific sister councils. This is a rare opportunity, where you will be able to interact with dedicated feminists from around the world. We would like the event to have significant profile within Aotearoa, and to create impact around the kaupapa of gender equality. It will cost more than previous conferences (even if there were no other reason than the rising cost of food), so start now to find creative ways to support as many of you as possible to come together and take part.

Ingots Scrap MetalFinally, I’d like to give a shout out to the Good Guys at Ingots Scrap Metal, who came and took away the unneeded filing cabinets from our property in central Wellington (which still has one office to lease, if anyone is interested). Thanks so much for helping us out!

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