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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Milestones: History of the right to vote in New Zealand regarding age

How young, legally, is an adult in New Zealand? In general, the law states that a person does not attain "full age" until reaching the age of 20 years. However, this question has a different answer in the law depending on the context. Here are some examples of different legal ages for adult responsibilities:

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16 or 18 years: When are you old enough to vote?

How old is old enough to vote? It seems that the question will be debated by Parliament some time this year.

This responds to a declaration by the Supreme Court [the Court] in November 2022. The Court granted a declaration that the provisions of the Electoral Act 1993 and the Local Electoral Act 2001, both of which provide for a minimum voting age of 18 years, are inconsistent with the right set out in section 19 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BoRA) to be free from discrimination on the basis of age. It held that these inconsistencies had not been justified in terms of section 5 of BoRA. The action was taken through the courts by the Make It 16 group which has conducted a long campaign to lower the voting age. So, what does this mean and what happens next?

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Women for the first time in all legislatures in the world

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has reported that, for the first time ever, there are women in national legislatures in every single country on Earth. You can download the report "Women in parliament in 2022: The year in review" from here:

Report cover, IPU \Women reached new milestones in parliamentary representation around the globe, and the context for women’s political leadership continued to expand. Gender issues and women’s rights shaped voter behaviour and electoral outcomes in countries from Brazil to Hungary and from Australia to the United States of America.

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NCWNZ reps at Irish Summer School

Ambassador Jane Connolly

Three of our members -- Emma Catteau (NCWNZ Board administrator), Amy Rice and Parminder Kaur from Wellington Branch -- participated in the annual Summer School organised by the Embassy of Ireland taking place in Wellington on the 10th and 11th of February 2023.

To celebrate both Brigid’s Day, Ireland’s celebration of the creativity and influence of women and girls, and the 130th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Summer School was focused “Agents of Change: A Reflection on the Legacy, Influence, and Role of Women and Girls”.

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