NCWNZ Annual General Meeting 2023

The Annual General Meeting of Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa | The National Council of Women of New Zealand was held online on Saturday, 23 September. At this hui we were able to celebrate our achievements of the previous financial year, and to acknowledge our new National Life Members Christine Low and Jane Prichard - you can read more about these amazing women in a previous Circular article. Suzanne Manning, wrote in the President's introduction to the annual report:

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Wellington branch boasts new banners

WellingtonNCWNZ new purple and white banners 2023; at left: ALL THAT SEPARATES, WHETHER OF RACE, CLASS, CREED, OR SEX, IS INHUMAN, AND MUST BE OVERCOME. 
Kate Sheppard, Suffragist Leader and Founding President of NCWNZ; middle banner: JOIN US TO MAKE EQUALITY, REALITY; banner at right: MAKING GENDER EQUALITY REALITY
Three new NCWNZ banners debuted at a Wellington Branch event on 5th September 2023

The Wellington Branch has refreshed their NCWNZ banners with some beautiful new designs, developed by Wellington Branch Social Media Officer Ashlee Metcalfe. The banners were debuted at the Annual Women’s Debate 2023 in Wellington and easily stole the show.

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Speech on great-grandmother Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia at Suffrage130 celebration

Challen Wilson speaking at Suffrage130, Auckland NCW event 19 Sept 2023Challen Wilson, NCWNZ member and great- granddaughter of Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, gave this speech at the Suffrage 130 celebration hosted by NCW Auckland Branch at Te Hā O Hine Place on 19 September 2023. The speech is presented here with many thanks to Challen for sending it to us to publish for all to enjoy.


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Hutt Valley Branch Inaugural Dame Miriam Dell Dinner

Beryl Anderson August 2023
Beryl Anderson OMNZ presented a biography of Dame Miriam Dell

On the 30th August 2023, The Hutt Valley Branch held a dinner in the honor of Dame Miriam Dell celebrating the contribution she made to gender equality.

The funds raised from the evening went to support a Lower Hutt Suffrage Centennial Charitable Trust (SHE Trust) Scholarship.

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President’s kōrero: August 2023

Tēnā tātou e hoa mā, ngā mihi ki a koutou.

It is Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week coming up on 11-17 September, and I would encourage you all to learn some new kupu (words) and put them into practice during the week and beyond. Check out our NCWNZ social media, we will be acknowledging this special week.

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NCWNZ Governance Training Day

On Saturday 12 August, the Wellington NCWNZ office hosted a “governance for non-profit organisations” training. This was a new initiative, designed to support candidates to apply for the NCWNZ Aspiring Board member role.*

The seven participants were individual members or from NCWNZ affiliated organisations, and the grant from Lotteries MDF which has provided other governance training for NCWNZ enabled us to pay for them all to travel to Wellington for the day. The training was facilitated by Sandy Thompson from LEAD, who has been working with us for over a year now.

NCWNZ governance training 2023

The Board of NCWNZ and participants at the governance training day.

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Gender apartheid roundtable

On Wednesday 23 August, the Iranian Solidarity Group Aotearoa New Zealand held a policy roundtable discussion at Parliament and online, on the topic of the living conditions of Iranian and Afghan women and the use of the term ‘gender apartheid’. NCWNZ President Suzanne Manning was an invited speaker, and she attended in person along with Rayane Al Faraj, Board administrator intern. Carol Beaumont, Board member, and Julie Thomas, Parliamentary Watch Committee member, attended online.

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Teaching consent education in Aotearoa New Zealand - a report from the NCWNZ Education Action Hub

Logo on R&SE GuideIn April 2022, The NCWNZ Education Action Hub committed to a campaign to advocate for the compulsory teaching of consent in all state and state-integrated schools/kura in Aotearoa New Zealand. It all started with a request from the NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch which reported that after reports about various forms of sexual harm in local high schools, a survey about misogyny in schools was completed in 2021. (See the Circular article about the work by researcher Dr Liz Gordon here.) The young women asserted that they would organise into a student-led group called Students Against Sexual Harm (SASH) and that they would work to make consent education to be compulsory in all schools. Louise Tapper, a member of the NCWNZ Education Action Hub and current chair of the NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch, has been leading the Education Action Hub's focus on this issue.

The Action Hub members decided that they needed to find out what schools/kura were currently doing in relation to the teaching of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum. After conferring with the Minister of Education, the Action Hub members decided to ask the schools directly whether and how schools/kura were currently teaching about consent. A survey was developed by members of the NCWNZ Education Action Hub and field tested with educators across the nation. 

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Milestones: Wāhine and Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Te Tiriti o Waitangi has served as an important defining document in New Zealand history, making it unique in the British Empire - then in 1840, and continues in its impact today. Māori women signed te Tiriti; so far, up to 18 possible names have been identified and more are being discovered by researchers every day. Unlike the women among the white settlers coming to New Zealand then, wāhine Māori traditionally had a say in important matters of their people, especially in matters regarding authority over their lands. This tradition of leadership continues to fuel the activism to rectify systemic discrimination and end the misogyny that causes a range of socio-economic disparities especially for Māori, Pacifika and immigrant women in New Zealand. More importantly, the historical events and laws that breach te Tiriti have and continue to impact all New Zealand women today. Below are some milestones in New Zealand's history adapted and excerpted from "Historical events and laws which breach te Tiriti o Waitangi," pp. 58-68 in Treaty of Waitangi, questions and answers (Network Waitangi, 2018).

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Parental leave for directors – an issue of equity

Logo snipped from Governance NZ websiteA speech by Sue Kedgley ONZM, convenor of the NCWNZ Influence & Decision-making Action Hub and former member of New Zealand Parliament, delivered to the Women on Boards Summit on 17 August 2023. (See the whole program here.)

I can still vividly recall the jubilation I felt when Laila Harre’s Paid Parental Leave bill, which gave all women employees a statutory right to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, was passed in Parliament in 2002. It had taken years of lobbying and working with women’s groups to get the
legislation passed, and it felt like a huge milestone for New Zealand women. I was equally delighted when paid parental leave was extended to 18 weeks in 2016, and 26 weeks in July 2020. At the time, I assumed the legislation applied to all women in employment in New Zealand, and so it never occurred to me, or I suspect to most other MPs, that the right to parental leave did not extend to women who were company directors or to locally elected Councillors.

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