NCWNZ Dunedin hosts “Inspiring Young Women Breakfast”

The Dunedin Branch of National Council of Women held its sixth annual “Inspiring Young Women Breakfast” recently, at which six women, successful in their chosen careers, spoke to Years 12 and 13 girls from 9 local secondary schools, about their journey to where they are, the obstacles they met and how they overcame them. Sixty-five students came at 6.45am to hear the speakers, who were from a range of occupations and whose journeys were very different.

photo of women panelists sitting at a long table
Panelists (l-r): Megan Gibbons (CEO Otago Polytech); Julia Imo (post-graduate studying bioengineering and founder of Wayfinder); Elisabeth Cunningham (Convenor of Breakfast); Emma Burke (Lawyer); Alison Lambert (Chef); Jay Phillips (Programme Manager of YES -Youth Employment Success); Abbey Brice (Auto Electrician).
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NCWNZ Manawatu hosts Dr Shalome Bassett

Margaret Sinclair-Jones and speakers at NCWNZ Manawatu meeting 2022
Back (l-r): Emma Buckle, Dr Shalome Bassett; Front (l-r): Margaret Sinclair-Jones (Chair), Dr Audrey Jarvis. Image courtesy of Geraldine Anne McCarthy.

The NCWNZ Manawatu branch meeting in October 2022 featured Dr Shalome Bassett, Principal Scientist at Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre in Palmerston North.

Dr Bassett introduced a recently developed genome sequencing device which was designed to reduce methane production by cattle. The device could lead to the reduction of burps and methane emissions in dairy herds. In discussing this, Dr Bassett thanked former Principal Scientist Dr Audrey Jarvis for her early research into lactic acid bacteria.

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NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch Suffrage Celebration 2022

Nearly a hundred people gathered at the Kate Sheppard National Memorial on 19 September 2022 to celebrate Suffrage Day in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Pointing toward the women portrayed in the monument, the keynote speaker, Mayor Lianne Dalziel, urged everyone to honour the historic activists by getting out and voting at midterm elections. (See the Otago Daily Times video of the event here.)

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President’s Kōrero, October 2022

The month of September was celebration month! Suffrage Day was celebrated around the two motu with many events. I myself was thrilled to be invited to the unveiling of the suffrage stained-glass window at the Whanganui District Council Chambers, commissioned by the Whanganui branch – kei te pai ō mahi. (See article on this commemorative window here.) It was a time when NCWNZ was out and about, visible and proud. Especially so at Parliament, when we were able to hold the postponed celebration for the 125th anniversary of NCWNZ’s founding. It was great to see so many members and guests there, with so many of those who have contributed over many years. Thank you to all who were involved in the organisation of the event, it was very special because of your efforts.

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Charts to Use: Child Poverty in New Zealand

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Child Poverty Report 2022, prepared by Bryan Perry, claims that data stretching from 2007 to 2021 show that New Zealand has seen a drop in the number of children in poverty. Poverty is defined essentially as indication of household resources being insufficient to meet basic material needs. The trend (see the charts below) has been falling for those households with children (i.e., ages 0-17) reporting “not enough” income for basics. This trend for New Zealand has been ignored by many who use a limited amount of data (e.g., just household income) or who insist that if only people got full-time work, their material hardship would lessen.  Instead, MSD’s main Household Incomes and Material Wellbeing reports show that not all households with low incomes are in hardship, and not all who report they live in hardship have low incomes.

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Photos of 125 Celebration in Wellington

A celebration of the 125th anniversary of Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa, the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) was held in Wellington on 13 September 2022, deferred from last year due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Hosted by Minister for Women, Hon Jan Tinetti, and sponsored by Countdown, the event took place in the Banquet Hall in Parliament and included presentations of NCWNZ Distinguished Service Awards. Photos and details about the event are below.

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Hope Has Two Beautiful Daughters - A Book Review

Book cover for Anne Thurston's _Notes from Inside_Notes from Inside: A courageous woman’s experiences of domestic violence and mental illness
A Book Review by Hilary Lapsley

Anne Thurston has given us the gift of survivor experience in her memoir of domestic violence, mental illness and recovery. Her story covers many decades. The formative events and impressions of childhood. Marriage, children and life on the family farm as it pitches down from idyll to jeopardy. And then through her process of recovery, activated by courage, curiosity, self-analysis and psychotherapy. Thurston has a great gift for description, honed by the memoir writing course she attended. Her warm depictions of childhood and the farming life are particularly vivid and sensuous.

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Gender Equity Sessions with Mt Pleasant Primary School

Equity cartoon from idhsustainabletrade workshopNational Council of Women Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch was approached by four Year 8 students (12-13 year olds) from Mt Pleasant School in Ōtautahi Christchurch for support in running some sessions with young children at their school, around gender equity issues.

The girls had chosen gender equity as a year-long topic for a programme of study that is a primary school version of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. The four girls had already painted the toilets at the school (which had been blue for boys and pink for girls) green, and had discarded a raft of picture books in the school library that were too obviously gender specific and had set new rules with the Board of Trustees for future book buying.

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NCWNZ Affiliated High School Group in Ōtautahi Christchurch

Christchurch Girls High School crestNational Council of Women Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch is working with Christchurch Girls High School (CGHS) around the idea of setting up an affiliated youth branch at the school. CGHS senior students have already been active in supporting issues that affect young women, in particular, around issues of sexual harassment. This call to action came about as a result of the 2021 survey that was carried out at the school by researcher, Dr Liz Gordon of Pūkeko Research Ltd (download the .pdf file of the report here). The responses to the survey showed that there was significant, ongoing sexual harassment being experienced by the majority of students of all ages at the school.

Senior students at CGHS have since set up a group called SASH (Students Against Sexual Harm) which operates both in their school and in some other Canterbury schools. 

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Seeking nominations for Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology

ECART logoManatū Hauora | Ministry of Health invites you to submit nominations for two laypeople positions on the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART).

ECART is established under section 27 of the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004 (the HART Act). Its purpose is to consider, determine and review applications for assisted reproductive procedures or human reproductive research. Further information on ECART can be found on their website ( A link to the advertisement can be found on the ECART website, here

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