President’s Kōrero, February 2024

Tēnā tātou katoa,

Betty Ofe-Grant - AUT websiteIt 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 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


To read more articles from The Circular (January-February 2024) issue 645, click on the tag below.
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