Debriefing on the Global Women Leaders’ Summit 2023

Woibex logo and website banner for 2023 summitAnmar Taufeek, Board member of the National Council of Women of New Zealand, was funded through a Lotteries Ministers’ Discretionary Fund grant to attend the Global Women Leaders Summit in Dubai in March 2023.

With the remaining funds, she reported on her experiences and her learnings to the members of the Good Deed Group, Auckland, in an informal gathering on 28 May.

Anmar describes the event below:

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In Memoriam: Queenie Ballance QSM

NCWNZ Nelson Branch mourns the loss of their Life Member Queenie Ballance who died on 16th April 2023. She was well known and respected by many in NCWNZ.

Queenie joined NCW Auckland in 1985, representing Federation of University Women. She was the convenor of the NCWNZ Environment Standing Committee from 1992-1998 and, through her leadership, the members of NCWNZ became much more educated and proactive about conservation and environment issues.  She served on the Auckland Branch Executive and was Branch President 1998-2000.

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Meeting with Hon Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan on equity for women with disabilities

Hon Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Lorri Mackness, Betty Ofe-Grant, 24 April 2023
(l-r) Hon Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Lorri Mackness, Betty Ofe-Grant, 24 April 2023

On Monday, April 24th, Lorri Mackness and I met with the Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Disability Issues. Lorri Mackness is a NCWNZ member and a leader of the Disabled Women’s Forum, and I represented the NCWNZ Board.

We discussed some of the work NCWNZ is doing in the disability space. Only a few days earlier, the Minister had announced $1 million funding boost for the expansion of a regional disability leadership model "Enabling Good Lives" piloted in demonstration sites in Waikato, MidCentral and Christchurch. (Read the press release here:

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President's Kōrero, April 2023

Tēnā tātou katoa,

To state the obvious, this is election year in Aotearoa. As such, the Action Hubs are switching gears from focusing on upcoming policy – which tends to slow down in the few months prior to an election – to encouraging people to use their democratic right to vote. A reminder that our position at NCWNZ is that we are “a-political”, meaning that we:

  • Do NOT support one party more than another
  • Do NOT tell anyone who to vote for
  • DO support women to run as political candidates
  • DO promote women’s issues as topics for election debates
  • DO support people to exercise their democratic right to vote.
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NCWNZ Tauranga UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) project

Logo for UN Decade of Healthy AgeingNCWNZ Tauranga has initiated a collaborative project to provide a platform for the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing Tauranga community activities. The work of the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030) aims to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.

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National discussions about family violence and sexual violence planned for May and June 2023

Te Puna Aonui logoAccording to a recent newsletter from Te Puna Aonui, their work on sexual violence workforce capability frameworks for government and non-government agencies requires input from our local communities, specific groups representing victim-survivors, and families. Their Interdepartmental Executive Board has conducted a literature review that identified themes that will inform a series of hui they are planning to conduct in May and June 2023. These discussions will purposely include "tangata whenua and with input from Pacific peoples, disabled people, LGBTQIA+, older people, ethnic, migrant, and refugee communities, and children and young people. ... To ensure people with the appropriate voices, skills and expertise attend the hui series, engagement with sector stakeholders have been initiated through ongoing discussions with Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together ( and Te Puna Aonui is reaching out to the communities engaging in the implementation of Te Aorerekura [National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence]."

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NCWNZ Economic Independence Action Hub on Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave is a government payment to help make up for lost income when you, an employee, has a new baby. It is also available to the self-employed. As usual criteria apply, but it is a legitimate right for all. Right?

Well, no, actually. Stuff reporter Uma Ahmed articulated this when she published an article "Directors hitting a bump when it comes to parental leave" on 8 February 2022 (reprinted in the Southland Times on February 9, 2022, and then followed up with "Why directors not being eligible for leave is an equity issue" (21 March 2022). Persons in elected positions, e.g., territorial authorities or directors of companies, are not eligible as they are not considered to be employees: they are contractors.

Who knew? Well some elected young women didn’t think to ask the question until after they declared their pregnancies. What did they find? There are no universal protocols to cover this situation.

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International Women's Day 2023 Activities

International Women’s Day 2023 was a real success throughout the Branches of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. Thanks to the generous support of the Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion community fund, we gathered communities around meaningful events celebrating diversity on one hand, and empowering women through financial wellbeing on the other. 

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Submission on the New Zealand Women’s Health Strategy

In March the NCWNZ Safety, Health and Wellbeing Action Hub led the development of a NCWNZ submission to Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health on New Zealand's first ever Women's Health Strategy. The Women's Health Strategy is a part of the Pae Ora (Health Futures) Act 2022 – the legislation for the country's new public health system.

NCWNZ branches and individual members made considered and informative responses to the Action Item and there was clear agreement on key points and priorities which were reflected in the submission.

Our submission emphasised the need for "early evidence of its [the Strategy's] impact, seen in real change for all women." We connected this inaugural Women's Health Strategy in New Zealand to international obligations, especially, New Zealand's commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Again Women (CEDAW).

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New e-book tells story of adoption, state care, donor conception and surrogacy in New Zealand

Anne Else 2023by Dr Anne Else, MNZM

Thousands of New Zealanders have had their lives profoundly affected by adoption. I am one of them: I was adopted at birth in 1945.

The book I needed to read about adoption did not exist. So, in 1991 I published A Question of Adoption: Closed Stranger Adoption in New Zealand 1944–1974. This has now been completely updated, expanded, and republished online as a new e-book by Bridget Williams Books.

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