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Rural Women

JULY 2012


What do dog equipment, support bras and livestock brokering software have in common? They are all produced by our RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2012 winners, going to show the great diversity of businesses being uncovered by our Awards. This year’s Fly Buys Online Business Award and overall Supreme winner was Rose Voice (right) of The Real Dog Equipment Company in Ranfurly, which manufactures a wide range of dog equipment for sled dogs through to your domestic ‘pooch’, as well as for alpacas and horses. What started as a hobby has grown into an impressive business and The Real Dog Equipment Company even exports sled dog equipment to Alaska, the home of sled dog racing!


The judges said The Real Dog Equipment Company is an example of what can be achieved when you have a passion and are willing to follow your dreams, and they were impressed by Rose’s innovation and dedication to producing

4 Aftersocks FINZ Award and jumbo cheque

Leading the way Enterprising Rural Women Awards Zealand’s goal of ‘growing dynamic communities’. Since winning the award the local community council has said how proud it is of Rose ‘bringing positive benefit to the Maniototo’. Rose says this has probably been her nicest reward.

high quality products, as well as her input into the local rural community - Rose says she thinks she’s repaired every piece of sports equipment on her industrial sewing machines! She was keen to build her business in Ranfurly so that she and her family could return to her rural roots, and this fits well with Rural Women New

9 The future of the rural delivery service

continued page 3



Pets as Pawns links to domestic violence

Gifting closed rural schools to communities

Editorial Liz Evans Dear members and friends, Pay and conditions for home support workers in the community has long been a significant part of Rural Women New Zealand advocacy. Over the years, we’ve done everything from writing polite letters to protesting at Parliament in an effort to get some action on the distinct lack of equity and fairness in the current system of funding carers to provide an increasingly vital health service.

Now another crunch time is here and, this time, there needs to be a groundswell of action and indignation from people in the provinces. The Human Rights Commission has used its inquiry powers to examine equal employment opportunities in the aged care sector and has gathered evidence from 886 participants over a 12 month period in 2011-12. “Caring Counts,” the report of the inquiry which was headed by Dr Judy McGregor, makes 10 recommendations. Several of these have direct relevance to Rural Women New Zealand. What can we do from the grass roots to make another effective push towards changing attitudes towards home care and its funding?


Recommendation 1 - Leadership The Commission’s first recommendation calls for the Prime Minister to ensure that the Minister for Older People has a top ten Cabinet ranking to deliver better services, and to provide leadership and co-ordination across ministerial portfolios. RWNZ can also provide leadership, both nationally and in the regions, to further advocate for home care workers and their clients through our Consumer Reference Group and members generally. Recommendation 3 – Fair Travel calls for the Ministry of Health and DHBs to develop a sustainable and consistent fair travel policy which is annually reviewed and adjusted, and which covers the real and actual costs of travelling, including vehicle costs and time spent travelling. Again, RWNZ has been fighting for just this for many years. But, it seems too easy for those with the power to just shovel fair travel into the “too hard” pit and forget about it. How can we turn this recommendation into policy? Recommendation 7 – Transparency calls for District Health Boards to provide disclosure in their annual reports that makes explicit expectations about “passing through” annual funding increases and details the fair travel and equal pay provisions in aged care service delivery contracts. This is another area that RWNZ has frequently questioned and received no definitive answers. Every organisation, especially elected organisations, now has strict transparency reporting criteria as a mandatory component. Ask your DHB members about it.

Liz Evans, National President

Other recommendations in the report cover qualifications and training, pay, migrant workers and valuing carers. Participants in the inquiry offered suggestions about what was needed. Ideas included ensuring that the public at large is better informed about what is involved in aged care and celebrating aging at home with a National Home Care Day. One employee said: “We are embarrassed to say (we are) carers because no-one has any respect for carers.” Rural Women New Zealand has respect for carers. What we need to do is demonstrate that respect by getting the community behind us and making increased representations to DHBs and government agencies that things have got to change in this industry. If RWNZ organised community meetings to seek solutions, would you attend? We would like to hear your views and ideas. The time for head in the sand attitudes to home care is over. Kind regards, Liz Evans, National President, Rural Women New Zealand

Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2012 continued from page 1 Pictured far left - Lynne Le Gros of Telecom with Kylie Gibbard at the Awards ceremony in Hawera

Left - Liz Evans, Jenny Scott and Graeme Titcombe (CEO of Access Homehealth)

Congratulations to our 2012 Telecom North Island Award winner, Kylie Gibbard of Emkay Limited, a specialty bra manufacturing business based at Koputaroa near Levin.

The Access Homehealth South Island Award 2012 winner was Jenny Scott of Livestock Office, a stock agent brokering software company based at Bannockburn near Cromwell.

The Emkay bra is the result of five years’ extensive research and product development by Kylie and husband Darrell, and evolved from Kylie’s own need to find a comfortable support bra that she could wear all day on the farm.

The judges were impressed by the fact that after 20 years in the business Livestock Office hasn’t stood still, and is meeting today’s market using e-sales and mobile phone technology.

Originally designed for the 14DD+ niche market, the bras are now available in an 8B to 40HH sizes. After launching the Emkay bra just two years ago, Kylie has already broken into the Australian market and is rapidly building her stockist base in New Zealand. The Emkay bra is sold solely through stores, following retailer training. This personal approach is an important part of the Emkay sales philosophy and one that translates into an impressive 96 percent try on to purchase ratio. Our judges saw huge growth potential for this business, both here and overseas.

specialised livestock brokering software developed in New Zealand for local conditions. It also has potential to be used internationally, which is the company’s focus for the immediate future. The package includes debtors, creditors, cashbook and general ledger and can handle all types of sales including private, grazing and auction.

Livestock Office is the only

RERG champions rural learners Getting a fair deal for learners in rural communities is the role of the Rural Education Reference Group (RERG). Our national councillor Anne Finnie is Rural Women New Zealand’s consumer representative in the group, which includes non-governmental national organisations with a significant involvement in rural education. They meet three times a year. Anne says “RERG works collaboratively to achieve equality of opportunity for all, young and old, when advocating on issues affecting rural learning to education agencies and government.”

Recent discussion included the risk of identification of rural students in small schools from collated published data. ‘Gypsy week’ in dairying areas is another area that RERG would like the Ministry of Education to address, as presently funding does not move with the child, leaving some schools with extra children but no extra funding for some weeks. 3

Aftersocks - a winner from go to whoa!

Billy Kerrisk and Liz Evans present Evangelia Henderson of the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation with a $16,000 jumbo cheque

(l to r) Emma Barker, Kerry Maw, Justine Ottey, Jo Ottey, Belinda Coyle and Liz Evans

The accolades just keep on coming for our aftersocks™ Canterbury earthquake fundraiser, including our double success at the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand’s annual awards in May. Our first thrill at the FINZ ceremony in Auckland was the announcement of aftersocks™ as the winner of the FINZ Online Campaign award. But the real surprise of the night came when Rural Women NZ was announced as the joint winner, along with Ronald McDonald House South Island, of the FINZ Premier Fundraising Award for Excellence in 2012. FINZ CEO, James Austin, said the Premier Fundraising Award is only made if in the opinion of the judges it is truly merited. He said, aftersocks™ “was one of those rare campaigns – and award entries – that has ‘winner’ 4

written all over it from go-to-whoa.” At our national conference in Hawera, we were delighted to meet Justine Ottey, the person who originally approached us with the aftersocks™ idea, and her sister Jo Ottey, who helped us make it all happen - particularly from a technology point of view – developing the sales website and assisting our social media marketing. At national conference we also unveiled a jumbo cheque for $110,000, being the first donation we will make to the Christchurch Mayoral Fund from the 19,000 pairs of socks sold so far. We are organising a handover ceremony in Christchurch in the next few weeks. Since our FINZ award win, we have been encouraged to enter the Resource Alliance Global Awards 2012, to be held in Holland in October, and are busy working on our application.

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY Next steps a 50 bus trial A huge thank you to all members and branches who responded to our call for community feedback on support for 20km/h signs on school buses recently, to present to the NZ Transport Agency. Many of you went the extra mile, consulting with your local schools and other groups, and there was overwhelming support for the proposed active 20km/h signs. The responses, which are available on our website, (search for ‘School Bus Signs Feedback’) have been sent to NZTA and the Ministry of Education, who have asked Transport Engineering Research NZ (TERNZ) to apply for funding from the Road Safety Trust for a 50 bus trial as the next step.

Here are some cool tips from one of our School Bus Safety Colouring Competition entrants, Scarlett Hopcroft (9) of Takitimu Primary School in Nightcaps, whose entry is pictured above.

“On the bus we should never distract the driver because you could run off the road.

TERNZ says community support is vital, and though progress is slow, we are heading in the right direction.

Sit in your seat and don’t put your hands out

We are also presenting a joint paper with TERNZ at the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference in Wellington in October on the 20kmh signs trials. This will be another good opportunity to push for these signs to be approved.

you cross the road.”

Meanwhile, we’ve received hundreds of entries in our schools’ colouring competition, boosting community awareness of the 20km/h limit. Entries close 31 August.

Follow us on Facebook! - Go to and click ‘Like’

of the windows. Put your seatbelt on if you are in the front. Wait two power poles before All our colouring competition entries can be found on our Facebook page along with the children’s school bus safety comments.

Forestry success leads to Brainwave

A win at the NZ Landcare Trust Awards was the icing on a cake for our RWNZ Southland Forest Committee, on top of a welcome financial turnaround for the forest this year. The win was also a tribute to the forward thinking of Southland members from the 1940s who bought land and planted the forest to generate income for charitable purposes in Southland, says Rhonda Riddle, the outgoing forest committee chair. “How wise those early women were to start up what has turned into a goldmine.” Over $100,000 has been distributed to the Southland provincials over the last 12 months to distribute to worthy projects. Some of this money is being used by Southland inter-provincial to host a public seminar with Nathan Mikaere-Wallis and the Brainwave Trust in Invercargill on October 15th – the International Day of Rural Women. Nathan is a popular presenter who also lectures in human development at the Christchurch College of Education. He will talk about the importance of safety, consistency and nurturing in the first three years of a child’s life, and the lifetime of lost potential that comes with neglect and abuse. For details go to our website.


Flying the Flag at Fieldays Rural Women NZ had a stand in the Premier area of the National Fieldays at Mystery Creek in June. It was a great opportunity for president Liz Evans, vice president Wendy McGowan and national councillor Shirley Read (above), along with Emma Barker from national office, to highlight some of the activities we’ve been involved in recently, from aftersocks™ to leptospirosis research, sparking plenty of interest from the media and potential sponsors.

Liz Evans attended the Presidents’ lunch and was part of a discussion panel with Prof. Jacqueline Rowarth, Traci Houpapa, chair of FOMA, and Mandy McLeod, a consultant who specialises in succession issues. The panel discussed The Changing Face of Farming. Liz also had a slot on Fieldays’ radio and led two seminars on The Changing Face of Rural Women in Business, highlighting the changes, particularly since the mid 1980s, of farming, land use

and the roles women play on and off the farm. The seminars were a great opportunity to share the stories of our RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award winners over the last four years, and the ways the internet is breaking down barriers of distance and access to markets. Liz also spoke about the success of Access Homehealth, our wholly-owned healthcare company, which has over 3,500 carers across the country.

Tapa cloth gift

At our national conference, Marlborough members displayed an impressive tapa cloth they had been given by women in Tonga. Last year Theresa Veikoso spoke to the provincial about her Tongan homeland, which was our country of study for the year. Melva Robb said that after Mrs Veikoso spoke to the group, members were inspired to help the Tongan community in some way. They decided to give money to buy backing fabric for the tapa cloth, which is made from the inner bark of specially planted trees. As thanks for the gift of money, the Tongan women made a table top tapa cloth for the Marlborough members. 6

Inez Warmsley in Tongan costume, Liz Evans, and the tapa cloth in background

RWNZ speaks for rural communities in ETS consultations The Government recently announced changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), following a Review Panel report and community consultation that Rural Women New Zealand took part in. So we welcome news that the Government will defer the start date for surrendering carbon credits on biological emissions from agriculture, with a further review set for 2015. Horotiu member, Megan Owen, (above right) represented RWNZ at the Agriculture Emissions Dialogue group, led by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. She says she feels really honoured to have taken part. There was a core of about 15 people who were at most of the 11 meetings. Over the 18 months of consultation, tension between ‘green’ interests and primary producers evolved into trust, and frank communication led to discovery of common ground and respect, she says.

greenhouse gas emissions rate. Farmers know about water – they can relate to it, they have seen changes in it over time and they care about it. That is why, when shown methods to reduce their impact on water they are taking up the solutions and making a difference. Megan put forward RWNZ’s concerns about the negative impacts on rural communities, as well as individual farmers, of any onerous costs from the ETS.

“We encouraged the dialogue to see that water and greenhouse gas emissions were linked – when improving one we can improve the other.”

“The process was truly a dialogue with very different representations from all areas of New Zealand. I was proud to represent Rural Women in this forum.”

She says she felt proud when she read the ETS amendments to agriculture published by the Ministry of Primary Industries, recognising areas she’d been able to have an input into, especially the Government’s pull back on surrender obligations until there are technologies available to reduce emissions and until international competitors are also acting to reduce their agricultural emissions.

“We reiterated that farmers were passionate about their roles and took pride in caring for their stock, their land and their people. “We were honest that most farmers have no idea of their

Megan says, “I believe that we can be integral in rolling out a solution that New Zealand as a whole can be proud of.”

ETS - Don’t miss out! Time is running out to register post 1989 forest land into the Emissions Trading Scheme to take full advantage of backdated carbon credits. Woodnet, a Masterton based forestry consultancy, told members at national conference that while most major forest companies are registered, an estimated 80 percent of landowners who have more than 20 hectares of exotic forest or large areas of indigenous reversion, who could benefit from the ETS, have not registered. Picking the lucky winner of the Woodnet prize draw at conference with Elaine Orme and Margaret Willis of Woodnet

If you are not registered before the end of this year, you will miss out on the backdated allocation of credits from 2008 to 2012. These will revert to the Crown. For more information go to


PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES Outward Bound Challenge ‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Sharing words of wisdom is a daily ritual at Outward Bound and Billy Kerrisk says the Emerson quote is the one that really struck a chord for her when she did the course recently. After eight days of pushing herself physically and mentally, Billy came home a strong supporter of the programme.

“If only Outward Bound was part of the school curriculum – what a brave new country New Zealand would be,” she says. Billy, of Bainham branch in Golden Bay, says it was the adventure of a lifetime. “I have been taken to my limits (and beyond) on the Outward Bound Discovery course at Anakiwa. It will never be forgotten and I look forward to bringing the lessons I have learned and the strengths I have found into all facets of my life - personal, business and community.” Billy was part of Scott Watch 569 and her group of 13 ranged in age from 42 to 74! We asked her to tell us more about her experiences. Q: How did you come to go on the Outward Bound course? A: I saw an advertisement in Rural Women Outlook magazine last Spring offering one lucky member the opportunity to attend the eight day Discovery Course at Anakiwa, sponsored by RWNZ, and was delighted in early December to be informed by Noeline Holt that I was the successful applicant. Q: Why were you keen to do it? A: I face lots of mental challenges with running my own Ray White real estate office but lack in physical challenges – the body and mind are inextricably linked and I felt it would be good to face some of my fears – heights being one of them.


Billy Kerrisk found Outward Bound a life changing experience

Q: What were the highlights for you? A: Arriving at Picton and finding that the course starts NOW – “Get changed, get in the cutter and sail it or row it to Anakiwa with these 12 other folk you have never met!!” It was just such a buzz every moment of every day – they reckoned if you were not running you were about to be late! Also you never knew what was coming next – staying in the moment was the key. And boy did we fit a lot in – sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, high ropes course, tramping, and two nights in the bush on solo. Q: Did you conquer any fears during the course? A: Yes I discovered that I am not afraid of heights – it was just a rumour I had been telling myself for years! Also I have never slept in a hut so I conquered a “reluctance” of sharing a bedroom with complete strangers (earplugs were a great help!) Q: Was Outward Bound a life-changing event? A: Appreciating living “in the moment” was big, realising that you can do anything you put your mind to with practice and perseverance was HUGE. Outward Bound for me started back in January when I started training – you had to be able to run at least three kilometres at least three times a week and that was a huge challenge for me. Not only did I succeed in that challenge but ran 11 kilometres at Anakiwa. What really hit me though was when I was on solo in the bush, I had time to reflect on my values and realised that I spend far too much of my time working for others and not enough time with my teenage daughters. So I have begun making more effort to spend time with them and I have challenged them to find exciting new things for us to do together.

Succulent beef and lamb delights Hokonui near Gore was the setting for a gourmet adventure with Beef+Lamb ambassador chef Ben Battersby in July.

Tastebuds were tempted by exotic flavours such as parsnip and liquorice puree and poached rhubarb with London Porter ice cream, as well as melt-in-the-mouth main courses using beef cheeks and locally-produced lamb topside during the Hokonui Beef+Lamb demo. The gathering was one of Easy does it! RWNZ member a series of ten Beef+Lamb Catherine Sandford plays the role of Chef’s assistant to Ben Battersby cooking demonstrations hosted around the country by Rural Women New Zealand, which are attracting full houses and great feedback. In Hokonui, the Central Southland College’s technology rooms provided an excellent venue, as Ben Battersby, who can usually be found at the True South Dining Room in Queenstown, shared hot tips on using interesting ingredients and latest food techniques. promoting RWNZ

The demo was also an opportunity to tell the 23 nonmembers who came along all about our great organisation.

Ben’s Cardrona merino lamb tagine with falafel, cauliflower couscous and black olive - You’ll find the recipe on our website -

Yvonne Tweedie gave an entertaining run down on our aftersocks fundraiser, breast cancer support and school bus safety campaign, and Ben gave a good plug for our latest recipe book, A Good Harvest, which was on sale.

A Good Harvest in high demand High teas are back in fashion, and Orini-Netherby and Horotiu branches held one recently to celebrate and promote our latest cookbook, A Good Harvest, which taps into another food revival the art of preserving, pickling and jam making. More than sixty guests came along to ‘The Laughing Peacock’ in Orini to sample tasty chutneys, pickles, jams and jellies, all made from the recipes in the book - with more on sale to take home. Megan Owen gave a brief insight into the work of Rural Women in the community and introduced Patricia Sanson, Mayoress of the Waikato District Council, who congratulated our members. Since the launch of A Good Harvest in March sales have passed 7300 copies, of which RWNZ has purchased 2580 books – thirty-five percent of the total sales.

Laurel Blisset and Jean Taylor at the Laughing Peacock high tea and cookbook promotion


Painting the human face of leptospirosis Fiona Gower spoke for Rural Women NZ at the NZ Veterinary Association Conference in June, telling vets about the impacts of leptospirosis on rural families.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of leptospirosis infection in the world, and when people catch the disease it can be quite devastating, Fiona Gower told the vets conference. She had heart-rending stories of people who’d caught the disease, of the months and even years taken from people’s lives, and the long term impacts on their health and financial situations. One said, “After I contracted lepto my husband was so terrified of the disease he sold the farm.” Another said “In the first week I thought I would die; then I wished that I had.” Fiona told the conference the emotional stress on a family of having a sick spouse, parent or child is huge – not knowing when or if they will get better. The disease is widespread in our farm animals, meaning vets, farming families and meat workers are all at risk.

Fiona Gower has a blood test at the vets conference to see if she’s been exposed to leptospirois. All the vets were encouraged to do the same, and Massey researchers would like to test farmers at some stage to get a better picture of leptospirosis in our rural communities.

Now we are chairing the Farmers Leptospirosis Action Group, which is conducting SFF-funded research into leptospirosis at Massey University, looking at the costbenefits of vaccinating sheep and cattle.

Strengthening links between the research and medical sectors and the rural community is key to eradicating Blood tests show that 50 percent of mixed age sheep lepto, which is why Massey and beef cattle test positive for the “After I contracted lepto my University is working closely with disease, alongside 34 percent of husband was so terrified Rural Women New Zealand. deer and 14 percent of farm dogs. Interestingly, the Ballum strain was of the disease he sold the In people, early diagnosis and the most common type seen in treatment are important in farm.” 2011, which is found in rodents. minimising its severity and longterm effects. There is believed RWNZ and lepto research to be under-reporting of the disease by as much as Rural Women NZ has had a long association with 47 percent, with doctors not always recognising the leptospirosis research and education, beginning in the possibility that the flu-like symptoms could be lepto. 1970s when leptospirosis badly afflicted dairy workers, following the introduction of herringbone sheds. The We strongly suggest that rural people presenting at their disease is passed on through bacteria shed in urine of GP with non-specific symptoms should always request infected animals. that a test for leptospirosis be included in the blood test line-up, (although antibodies will not be present for two At that time, our members raised the very significant to three weeks). sum of $150,000 to fund research that led to the development of vaccines for dairy cattle and pigs at In people the mild form of lepto is a minor flu-like Massey University. sickness, but without the respiratory symptoms. The severe form may include extreme headaches, high fever, With the death of a meat worker at a sheep-only plant nausea, muscle pain, breathing and vision problems and in 2006, Rural Women members mobilised once again, diarrhoea. About half of people with severe lepto are raising $107,000 for further research by Massey scientists hospitalised, and there can be permanent complications into transmission pathways from animals to farmers and from kidney or liver damage. meat workers. 10

THE FUTURE FACE of our Rural Delivery service NZ Post is in discussions with Rural Women New Zealand about changes to the rural delivery service, as the company faces a continuing drop in mail volumes with customers turning to email and the internet. Peter Fa'afiu and Stu Kane of New Zealand Post Group came along to our national conference in Hawera to talk about the challenges and options, and to hear the views of our members on what should happen. The volume of mail carried by NZ Post has fallen by 20 percent in the last ten years. And in just the last year there were 40 million fewer mail items popped in our letterboxes. The company estimates that mail volumes will halve by 2018. At the same time costs have increased, as there’s been a 20 percent growth in the number of addresses NZ Post is required to deliver to at least five or six days per week.

place since 1998. The changes are likely to take place in years, rather than months, but NZ Post wants to consult with rural communities now, to find out your views. Receiving daily newspapers is something rural people would miss, as well as the daily pick up service. The mail box is as much a means of delivering mail as receiving it. One growth area for the company is the number of parcels being delivered, which NZ Post predicts will increase by 33 percent, or seven million parcels, in the next five years. “There are a lot of small to medium businesses going on in rural areas now,” says Liz Evans. “We have found that in our own Enterprising Rural Women Awards, that people are relying on a fast, dependable courier service.” Rural Women New Zealand would not want to see a high price for parcels introduced.

One proposal is to reduce the postal delivery to three or four days a week. Other options include grouping mail boxes at road junctions and annual fees.

What do you think is the way forward for the rural delivery service?

Before any changes can be made NZ Post must seek an update to its Deed of Understanding with the Crown, which has been in

Email us at enquiries@ or write to RWNZ, PO Box 12-021, Wellington.

Reduce the service to 3 days a week

An annual fee (of say $50)

Group mailboxes at road junctions

Any other ideas?

Post man pat-on-t he-back Awards

Whatever the shape of the future, one thing’s for sure, our rural delivery contractors play a very special role in our rural communities, and we’d like to celebrate this. That’s why we’d like to hear your stories about how your postie goes the extra mile. This could be on a particular occasion or extra services provided on a regular basis. This competition is open to anyone who receives their mail by rural delivery, so spread the word! The top 10 entries will be published on our Facebook page, while the best story will win a prize pack of NZ Post pressie cards, courier packs, stamps and NZ Post Children’s Book Award winning books. To enter go to:

Step 1

‘Like’ our Facebook page

Step 2 Click our Facebook link to the Postman pat-onthe-back Awards, and follow the instructions.


PETS AS PAWNS When women are considering leaving a violent relationship many think twice because of fears that their pets and other animals will be hurt or killed. Rural Women NZ is raising awareness of the link between animal abuse and domestic violence, following a joint SPCA / Women’s Refuge study Pets as Pawns that shows strong connections between the two. We held a meeting at our offices with representatives of the Veterinary Association, Police, NZ Young Farmers, and SPCA to discuss next steps. Noeline Holt says, “When it comes to animal cruelty and family violence in a rural setting, it’s not a case of picking up the cat and packing your bags. We need to find solutions that work for rural.”


We believe we can play a useful role in raising awareness of this difficult issue. It was a topic we discussed at our Growing Dynamic Leaders course in February that saw some members planning to set up an informal network of safe “Concerns about the welfare of animals was houses in their communities, letting other women sometimes greater for rural know that if ever they needed “Domestic violence affects a place to stay they were victims of violence as they usually lived further from a all socio-economic groups, welcome. refuge and cared for animals but it can be more difficult We’re also in touch with the that were too big to put in a to address in a rural setting organisers of the ‘It’s Not OK’ cage and take with them,” said campaign, to develop joint where ‘everyone knows Dr Williams. resources that are relevant to everyone’. ” The Veterinary Council is rural people. developing guidelines to inform RWNZ groups may also like to arrange for vets about animal abuse and domestic violence education opportunities by acting as facilitators and help them deal with it in practice. They agreed for community meetings with speakers from they must talk about suspicions with one another, Police, SPCA, Women’s Refuge etc. and seek assistance from agencies such as the NZVA’s Animal Welfare Coordinator, Virginia Williams, said vets had long been aware of the link between animal abuse and family violence, and there was much work under way to help stem this.

SPCA. They are also working on new guidelines to be published by the end of the year. The link between violence towards animals and family members is clear. Half of the refuge clients interviewed had witnessed animal cruelty as part of domestic violence. One in three women reported delaying leaving violent relationships because they feared their animals would be injured or killed.


Domestic violence affects all socio-economic groups, but it can be more difficult to address in a rural setting where ‘everyone knows everyone’.

The SPCA/Refuge report is available on our website: Search for ‘Pets as Pawns’

RWNZ calls for action on homecare injustices Rural Women NZ says the Government doesn’t appreciate the crisis now facing NGOs working in the home-based older persons sector, and we’re calling for action, now. The impacts of Government policies were highlighted in a recent report by the Human Rights Commission ‘Caring Counts’, after its inquiry into the aged care workforce. The report is available on our website. At our national conference, delegates passed two remits calling for a fair deal for homecare workers and NGO homecare providers. TRAVEL AND INFLATION COSTS We urged the Government to reimburse workers’ travel at the IRD mileage rates for business use of a vehicle; and secondly to hold DHBs accountable for ensuring that all funds received for homecare services, including inflation adjustments and travel expenses for care workers, are passed on to service providers in a timely fashion, as intended by Government. NGOs are struggling as the Government increases the minimum wage and employer contributions to Kiwisaver, and yet provides no additional funding to meet these new costs. DHBs also fail to pass on inflation increases. Some have not passed on an inflation increase for three years. NGOs have strived for many years to gain meaningful dialogue with government in

an attempt to address these injustices, with little success. The Human Rights Commission says fixing the problem of pay inequalities between those employed by DHBs directly, and those employed by NGOs would cost approximately $140 million a year, and it recommends a stepped approach to implement fairness on pay rates over three years. It says the costs of pay parity would be offset by savings in recruitment costs, given the current high turnover of carers, and a reduction in hospital admissions through improved care of older people in the community. RWNZ says it’s not acceptable for Ministers to say, once again, that the issues will be addressed when the country’s accounts are in a stronger financial position, while some DHBs continue to exploit the NGO sector and its workforce. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT ACCESS? • Let people know that if a person is entitled to homecare support on discharge from hospital, they should ensure they have a care plan in place before they go home. • Spread the word that people leaving hospital are entitled to a choice of homecare provider; it is not up to the hospital to decide. • Request Access brochures to distribute in your community, e.g. doctors’ surgeries, Grey Power groups.

How do I get home-based care for myself or a family member? To receive government-funded home-based healthcare you need to be referred, usually by a GP, for an assessment by a District Health Board, Ministry of Health agency or ACC. Once approved, you then select one of the organisations contracted by the government agencies.

Access Homehealth is contracted by 15 DHBs, and also provides services for the Ministry of Health and ACC. Access Homehealth’s skilled team of nurses and support workers provide a broad range of services, including

personal care, nursing services, and household assistance. For more information go to: or call 0800 284 663


Save a Mate Alcohol and drugs are a very real risk for our young people, and those in rural areas are not immune from their effects. Sadly, in recent weeks more than one young person has died as a direct or indirect result of drug or alcohol use, and a number of others have been harmed. Red Cross has introduced a programme called SAM – Save A Mate – to address the harm and try to reduce and avoid it. Red Cross Area Manager Adrienne Transom spoke to the Tutaenui branch in June about the programme, and what it involves. The focus is not on “just saying no”, but acknowledges that young people will experiment, and arms them with the information they may need to save a mate’s life, and to make more informed decisions for themselves.

by Belinda Howard of Tutaenui branch

The programme is run by trained facilitators through high schools. One school in the Rangitikei area has already signed up to put all its students through Jean Coleman (Tutaenui Branch President), Bill Down the programme (Turakina Maori Girls College), Janette Walker (Researcher) this year, and to run and Adrienne Transom (Red Cross) follow-up sessions in future years for new SAM is an interactive workshop, students. Adrienne hopes other and teachers are asked not to schools in the area will also take attend, to allow young people up the programme. to talk openly and honestly SAM looks at what the effects of alcohol and drugs really are, risk factors around abuse and overdose, and symptoms of and best response to an overdose (basic first aid). “A lot of students just don’t know what the effects are,” Transom said. “When we tell them how long alcohol or marijuana stays in their system, they’re often shocked.”

about their own experiences. There’s no charge for schools. The only commitment they need to make is a few hours of students’ time.

SAM IN YOUR AREA Check whether Red Cross offers this programme in your area, and encourage your local school to take it up.

Community role in Rural Catchment Management Rural Women New Zealand has been at the heart of several projects to manage the effects of land use in order to protect our waterways, through our involvement with the NZ Landcare Trust. These projects have highlighted the importance of working with communities to find local solutions to local problems. So a new publication just


out from the Trust – Rural Catchment Management: A guide for partners - will be a welcome new tool in the box. The guide covers common themes that run through successful catchment management projects, with a focus on effective community consultation. For more information go to catchmentguide

RWNZ says Gift disused schools to community Oraute School, one of several closed schools in rural Northland - photo APN

Rural Women New Zealand is calling for the Minister of Education to gift or lease closed rural schools to local communities. In many rural areas, shrinking populations are leading to changes, with schools closing and merging with others. But all too often that means buildings are disused and become a target for vandals. Rural Women NZ has received strong public support for the idea of gifting or leasing the schools to local communities at a peppercorn rental. National president, Liz Evans, says the buildings could be used for playgroups, as a venue for adult training or workshops, or to bring rural children together for correspondence or teacher-led school lessons as well as extra-curricula activities.

“It could mean an alternative to long bus journeys to take children to other schools outside the district.� The Government is promoting community solutions to community issues, and gifting unused school buildings could lead to creative and smart uses of these assets. By making the most of disused school buildings, we can help to grow resilient communities, without blowing the budget. Some communities are looking at fundraising to retain a qualified teacher and others are investigating business partnerships to keep their rural schools open. There is a five year moratorium on disused school buildings being sold, in case there are significant changes in a local community and more children arrive. But this policy may be

reviewed as the Ministry of Education is facing huge costs to repair leaky school buildings, as well as earthquake-damaged property in Christchurch. In the past, some communities have raised funds to purchase surplus buildings, but wherever possible classrooms are relocated to schools that have rising rolls and needs – including buildings that were sent to Christchurch last year. When schools close land titles are also looked at, often identifying land gifted for a school many years ago. The Ministry of Education currently has some 40 school properties up for disposal. Many are being offered for sale to the former owners of the land or their descendants for current market value. Others may form part of Treaty settlements. 15

Toolbox helps navigate Government maze On 19 June our national president, Liz Evans, and Wellington Zonta president, Jen McKinlay-Birkin, hosted an evening celebrating Mai Chen’s new Public Law Toolbox. Mai – a prominent constitutional lawyer - spoke about the book, which looks inside the New Zealand system of government and tells people in detail how it works, without jargon and complex language. The book is a great resource for any organisation that needs to deal with our policy and decision makers.

Mai Chen (right) and guests at the Public Law Toolbox event

Over 40 people attended the evening in our Wellington boardroom, and it was also an opportunity to promote our latest cookbook, A Good Harvest, with tastings of relishes, pickles and chutneys to go with a wonderful variety of cheeses.

Fast broadband boost for rural schools but can they afford it? The Government is providing $8 million in 2012/13 to help schools connect to the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network. By 2016, 97.7 per cent of schools and 99.9 percent of students should have access to the internet at very fast speeds. The remaining schools, which are in the most remote locations, will receive a high-speed wireless or satellite connection. This is the good news. But what about affordability? The $8 million funding in this year’s budget will 16

cover the cost of the fibre connection from the school boundary into the school, but will small rural schools be able to afford the monthly broadband costs?

Rural Women New Zealand has consistently called for a level playing field so monthly charges are the same for rural as for urban customers. This is vital if our children are not to be disadvantaged in an online learning world.

Tell us what ultra fast broadband would mean for your school, and whether affordability is a factor in taking up this opportunity.

‘Grow Your Own’ grants and the Farmlands Ladies Nights 2012 ... Make it a date and join us for evenings of fun and great food ideas at the Farmlands Ladies Nights 2012 with Annabelle White, aka ‘the cuddly cook’. Afterwards, Rural Women New Zealand will again be partnering with Farmlands to help distribute the proceeds from the Ladies Nights to six lucky North Island rural schools. ‘GROW YOUR OWN’ PROJECT GRANTS The six $2,000 grants will be distributed for ‘Grow your Own’ projects such as vegetable gardens or orchards, and can be used to buy plants and equipment. So make sure your local school enters with details of their ‘Grow your Own’ project, to be in to win a great prize pack including a copy of A Good Harvest, equipment from McGregor’s Gardening, seeds from Yates as well as $2000 in cash. To apply for a ‘Grow your Own’ grant go to


Tickets for the Farmlands Ladies Nights are available from Farmlands stores, or by calling 0800 327 636.

Check out our online store aftersocks

Kiwis love fresh fruit and vegetables, whether it’s

u ce prod seasonal e Making the most of mor ves and jams, pickles, preser

Recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand ISBN 978-1-86979-786-7

A Good Harvest

growing a few herbs, buying produce from farmers’ markets and roadside stalls, or tending a vege garden or orchard. But how can we make the most of this seasonal bounty? For A Good Harvest, Rural Women New Zealand members have gathered over 300 tried-and-true recipes for seasonal produce, as well as handy tips for preserving food. These are recipes that really work, often passed down through the generations or jotted in hand-written notebooks. There are also helpful growing tips for each vegetable or fruit, to ensure a bumper crop. From delicious jams, preserves, chutneys and pickles, to cakes, sauces and more, A Good Harvest is the perfect recipe collection for the cooks and gardeners of today — people who like to know what’s in the food they eat and where it has come from. Rural Women New Zealand was formed in 1925. Today its members help create dynamic rural communities through advocacy, educational opportunities and strong social networks.

cookbooks A Good

Harvest Recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand

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poetry and short stories


Korean Visitors

New Zealand Farmer from Ragwort and Thistles

When they say New Zealand Farmer they usually mean the man, tractor, gumboots, ATV, master of the land. But there’s another farmer, quite equal to the first, who holds the farm together through good times and the worst. Cameras were working overtime as New Zealand’s beautiful scenery proved a hit with a group of 21 Korean women horticulturalists who visited the Waikato in May. Rural Women New Zealand was asked to talk to the group, along with Dairy Women’s Network. National councillor Shirley Read and Janet Williams of Rukuhia branch (above centre) gave a presentation, and the women were very interested to hear about Access Homehealth, our school bus safety campaign, and breast cancer advocacy. Tony and Semi Kim from New Organisation Vision organised the educational tour, with Tony translating Shirley Read’s presentation as she spoke. Janet Williams says, “The ladies were very moved on the school bus issue, but the Let’s Get Plastered for Breast Cancer Campaign was a challenge for Tony to translate, so his wife Semi did that one!”

They’ve kept the home fires burning, put a hand to any task, stitched broken lives together, accomplished more than asked. Weaving the threads of tattered dreams to create a better life yet history gives no identity, known only as ‘the wife’. They worked the land, they worked the home, their work was never done. The backbone of our country, long past the setting sun. When they say New Zealand Farmer please think outside the square, take notice of the women for they were also there. When they say New Zealand Farmer do they think about the brand, for women were, and women are, the fabric of our land. Heather Paton, Palmerston

Look out for kea The kea is one of our iconic birds, but their numbers are on the decrease, with as few kea left in the world as there are tigers. The Kea Conservation Trust is keen to enlist our help. So if you live in the South Island, or are planning an alpine or ski holiday, keep your eyes open for this cheeky parrot.

Kea - photo by Rogan Colbourne - DOC


The Trust would like to know if you’ve seen kea recently, and if so where? Were they being attracted by any particular material, food or pest control? Were the kea you saw tagged with ankle bands?

Threats include stoats and possums that predate young birds and eat eggs, while the kea sometimes eat things that do them no good, including lead nails from roofs. Another worrying trend is that kea should live for 30 years, but many are now dying at only four or five years old. The Kea Conservation Trust has several projects on the go to help protect kea, including bird repellent that is to be included in all 1080 poison. For more information go to

Turning the tide for a rural school Michelle Cameron was an inspiring speaker at our region 4 conference, talking about how she and the community turned around the fortunes of James Cook School in Marton and presided over impressive roll growth from 71 students in 2008 to 170 today. We invited her to share her story on the introduction of the R.I.C.H.E.R. values that have been part of the school’s core culture since 2009. These are based on respect, inclusion, co-operation, honesty, endeavour and resolution. She says, “some may ask what James Cook School and Rural Women NZ have in common? On the surface very little. However your vision of ‘Growing Dynamic Communities’ connects to who we are. A vision to build dynamic communities of leaders who will stand for what is right and have the skill to lead us into the future. The endeavour to be the best that we can be and the passionate resolve to see things through.” James Cook is a multi-cultural, semi-rural school located in the

Rangitikei town of Marton. It is a school with strong foundations and a passionate parent community and staff who, in earlier times, were willing to fight for the right to stay open when pending closure was looming. “In 2008 I had the privilege of accepting the principal’s position. Spending time with students, staff and community members to hear their aspirations was vital in the first few months. Our community wanted their children to stand tall, value themselves and others and lead by example. The school’s long standing mission statement of ‘Achieving excellence through aroha, endeavour and resolution’ needed to be lived. We needed to pull together for this to happen.” In 2008 the school’s vision became ‘Building an interdependent community of engaged learners who go forth to influence the world round them’. To ensure the vision was more than words on a piece of paper more courageous conversations were had.

Michelle Cameron, principal of James Cook School in Marton

“We had to agree on what core values we were going to stand for. Time debating why each core belief was important in the past, in the present and in the future was valuable.” Our vision is now our reality. We are an interdependent community of engaged learners who go forth and influence the world around us in a R.I.C.H.E.R way. Our mission statement is alive and well. We have high community engagement. Our Board of Trustees and staff are committed to continued improvement and we have a growing roll.

Shrinking rural communities a challenge It seems our work in “Growing Dynamic Communities” is going to be as vital as ever in light of a continuing population flow to towns and cities.

change but leads on it too.

For us it will mean greater action and advocacy to ensure rural communities remain vital places where people will want to live, work and run a business.

The biggest losses of rural population in the decade to 2006 were in Selwyn (-6.08 per cent), Franklin (-3.22), Tasman (-2.51), Tararua (-2.16) and Central Otago (-2.05).

Rural Women New Zealand has had many successes over 80 years because it not only recognizes

Population patterns were highlighted by expert Dr Jacques Poot during a Fieldays seminar on our increasing urbanisation.

The biggest district population gains in that period were for Carterton

(3.01 per cent), Kaikoura (3.06), Waimakariri (3.66), Westland (4.10) and Queenstown Lakes (4.3). Future growth will be very uneven, with Auckland getting 60 to 70 per cent of all growth between 2016 and 2031, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Wellington getting around 7-8 per cent, and Canterbury around 10 percent. Otago is expecting two per cent and Northland around one percent. All other regions will have zero or negative growth. 19

SPEEDS past schools Speeds campaigner Lucinda Rees says plans to trial reduced speeds outside some rural schools are a waste of time, and action should be taken now. Lucinda took part in a school bus and road safety forum we held in Wellington last November. She led a walking bus protest outside Swannanoa school in North Canterbury as part of Road Safety Week, which prompted a survey in the Press newspaper on the question: • “Should speed limits outside schools be 40km/h or less?” Respondents were strongly in favour of an across the board 40km/h limit outside all schools, including rural schools. They said: • Yes - it’s safer - 414 votes, 84.1%

Lucinda Rees (back left) with children from Swannanoa school’s student council who helped organise the walking bus protest

• Yes - but not outside country schools - 19 votes, 3.9% • No - the speed limits are fine as they are - 59 votes, 12.0% (Total 492 votes) Lucinda says, “Our neighbours in New South Wales have 40km/h speed limits outside all schools, rural as well as urban. “Here in New Zealand the NZ Transport Agency has announced that they will be trialling reduced speeds outside some rural schools and only one that I am aware of will be lowered to 40km/h. Why do we need trials, when other countries with similar road systems to ours are looking at further reducing their speed limits?”

if a child is hit by a car travelling at 50km/h the outcome is likely to be fatal. The World Health Organisation recommends speeds of 20 to 30km/h near children. In Hamilton there are 40km/h zones around all schools, which city councillor Dave Macpherson says are now well accepted by the public. “I don’t believe we have had one serious accident since they were bought in, and the slower speed ‘culture’ is starting to pay dividends in our city. “It’s about time all rural areas received the same benefits, I would have thought. The safety of vulnerable road users is surely more important than the ‘right’ of drivers to travel at high speeds?”

Roads outside New Zealand schools range in speed limits from 20km/h to 100km/h, though

Journal of Rural Women New Zealand


Tell us your views: Should speed limits outside all schools be 40km/h or less?

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RWNZ Outlook July 2012  
RWNZ Outlook July 2012  

RWNZ Outlook July 2012