Outlook Making cheese is something the Harper women have done for generations, originally bringing their skills to New Zealand from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, the home of English stilton cheese. It’s been a recipe for success, culminating in Lisa Harper of Sherrington Grange taking away the Supreme Winner trophy at the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2011 in May. Lisa learned cheese making from her grandmother and mother. Growing up it was just another regular household task, “It’s like vacuuming. Cheese and I have grown up together!” Lisa spent her childhood on the family farm at the head of the Mahau Sounds in Marlborough, and received her education through The Correspondence School, before setting off for Wellington to do a science degree.
The taste of success
Enterprising Rural Women Award
continued page 6
Lisa Harper of Sherrington Grange in the Mahau Sound, Marlborough, winner of this year’s RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award
4 RWNZ funds breast cancer research
9 Cooking up a storm to feed www.ruralwomen.org.nz Farmy Army
Otago Central Rail Trail Challenge
School bus signs up for approval with NZTA
Editorial Liz Evans Dear members and friends, We all know rural women of intelligence and experience who work hard – at home, through employment and in their local communities. But, is that enough to warrant a place on a board of directors? Much of the voluntary and “unsung hero” work women do is regarded as difficult to measure and value, particularly by the people in city suits. These people, especially those in central government, tend to rate academic rigour, corporate knowledge and sometimes celebrity, most highly. Of course, no one can argue that financial and business skills are not vital components for successful governance boards. But, in the interests of balanced decision making for a well informed and inclusive society, surely there is room for community and consumer-based voices on many government appointed committees and boards? Before our recent National Conference, we polled members for information to include in a “State of the Rural Nation” presentation. One of the questions was: What is the general status of women in rural New Zealand in 2011? Influential and recognised? – or is there still a way to go? From the responses it seems there is still quite a way to go. 2
Recognition and influence are still missing in action at some levels – particularly in the board rooms, including those in the rural sector. Members said that while we have certainly achieved equality in the “doing the work” sense, often we are not yet seen as equal business partners, nor even worthy of equal pay. The glass, or “grass” ceiling for rural women still exists, especially where farmer dominated boards still seem to be typically boys’ networks. Women are still not valued for the diverse skills we are able to offer. It was generally agreed that there is room for women in the board room, but in some cases, the women themselves are responsible for the lack of recognition. Women have to get themselves out there – be motivated, willing to study, and ready to accept responsibility outside of the family circle. One survey respondent said: “Rural women generally are seen as part of the workforce with few stand-out leaders. Leadership can be a struggle as old conservative values still hold very true – that is: a woman’s place is the home and family, then help on the farm, lots of community service, then maybe something else if they’re not needed elsewhere first.” Sobering comments – but still true in many cases. When I attend functions and meetings in Wellington representing Rural Women New Zealand, I often see these same attitudes subtly, and not so subtly, illustrated. At our national office, we receive information regarding the formation of government appointed boards and national committees consulting on, for www.ruralwomen.org.nz
Liz Evans National President
example, animal welfare issues or the implementation of the Rural Broadband Initiative. Usually there is little, or no, place for a rural woman or consumer role on these committees. If a rural perspective is sought, often it is a business-based organisation which is invited to the top table - even when the consultation is about rural schools or community services.
Rural Women New Zealand is an organisation that provides opportunities - especially for leadership. Members just have to make the most of these opportunities. Another source of support is the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The Ministry is looking for women to put their names forward for their Nominations Service database. The Nominations Service has identified some key points of advice that can help build a successful governance career, especially for those of us who are not merchant bankers, university academics or have high media profiles. The key points include: be persistent, communicate your
strengths, experience counts, foster your reputation and the importance of networking. See www.mwa.govt.nz/womenon-boards for more details and individual experiences. Potential directors on the Board of RWNZ’s Access Homehealth Ltd are given the following set of generic attributes relevant to the governance role: • Think and describe a future state – visionary • Challenge assumptions and think creatively about future opportunities – creative and
• Critically think things through and see the implications and impacts – reasoning
• Make sensible and astute business decisions – sound
• High ethical standards in personal and professional roles –
• Express oneself clearly and thoughtfully – a good
• Influence people and ideas – leadership
Liz Evans with Don Nicolson, immediate Past President of Federated Farmers NZ, and Bruce Wills, its newly elected National President
• Provide the necessary time – commitment to the
• Understand the virtues of common sense - pragmatic Sure, relevant financial and business knowledge are important for boards of directors. But increasingly so is commitment to humanity, ethics, and values. Kind Regards, Liz Evans, National President
On the first day after our launch of aftersocks, 100,000 people visited our aftersocks website and thousands of comments were posted on the aftersocks Facebook page, congratulating us on this wonderful fundraiser to support the Christchurch Mayoral Fund. We sold 6,000 pairs in the first three weeks, and increased our sock order with the NZ Sock Company in Ashburton several times over, as demand goes global.
Interestingly eighty percent of the socks are being bought by or for Cantabrians, helping to warm hearts as well as toes in the garden city. As long as there is demand, we plan to keep going with this very effective fundraiser, and are currently organising a new line of children’s aftersocks. We’ll keep you posted!
Buy your aftersocks at www.aftersocks.co.nz 3
LET’S GET plastered A jumbo cheque presentation to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation at National Conference 2011 was a fitting finale to our wonderful Let’s Get Plastered for Breast Cancer campaign. We sold 1600 plastering kits and members held more than 20 events around the country to display the colourful breast sculptures produced by creative members, to promote breast cancer awareness. Our campaign raised $16,000 for the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF), and the originator of the Let’s Get Plastered for Breast Cancer idea, Billy Kerrisk from Bainham branch, was there to see it presented. NZBCF Chief Executive Evangelia Henderson thanked Rural Women New Zealand for the amazing support and said the funds would go to a worthy cause that will help many rural women in the future. The money is to be used for a research project being conducted at Otago Univesity by Associate Professor Susan Dovey (left), who is researching whether rural women from Southland and Otago followed different pathways in breast cancer treatment and if they made different treatment decisions from urban women. “If there were these differences, we thought it would be important for people involved in health services here in New Zealand to understand why they happened so that things could be adjusted to ensure that rural women received the best, most timely care our health system can deliver. “We started by studying the medical records of women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and who died during a 12-month period a few years ago. We were really pleased to see
Billy Kerrisk and Liz Evans present Evangelia Henderson of the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation with a $16,000 jumbo cheque
from this analysis that there were no overall differences in the care of rural and urban women in this region. Since then, we have conducted a survey and we have just finished a pretty intensive round of interviews. This has provided important new information about why women make the treatment decisions they do.” The study is due to finish in a few months when the data will have been analysed and results published. “We are thrilled (and humbled!) to have been the beneficiaries of Rural Women New Zealand’s Let’s Get Plastered for Breast Cancer campaign, just as we have been thrilled and humbled by the high level of participation in the study from women who are obviously going through very stressful times in their lives. Often researchers do their work quite isolated from the people who ultimately stand to experience the impact of the research, so it is a real privilege to feel the continued interest of rural women, and women with breast cancer.” Rural Women New Zealand was also recognised at the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand’s (FINZ) Fundraising Excellence Awards 2011, receiving a Merit Award in the Kiwibank Special Events Charity Fundraising Award for Excellence. In presenting the Award at a function at the Beehive in Wellington, Susan Fogarty, FINZ’s Communications Manager, said: “Well done indeed – you are most deserving of recognition for your doubly-effective efforts.”
ACWW CHALLENGE Women Walk the World Be part of a world-wide phenomenon and join in our ACWW Women Walk the World challenge! Visiting South Pacific Area President, Ruth Shanks, outlined the plan for this event at National Conference 2011. She said on ACWW Day, 29th April 2012, members throughout the world are being asked to join in ‘Women Walk the World for ACWW’. The aim is to promote the work of ACWW as well as increase funds through sponsorship of the walkers. “The walk could be an organised ramble, a walk around a neighbourhood, a stroll in a park or whatever you like.” We are keen to set our own challenge as part of this event, to walk the length of New Zealand! New Zealand is approximately 1600 kilometres long, so if each of our seven regions arranges walks totalling 230 kilometres in length, we will have walked the entire length of the country. This could be a great way to encourage health and fitness and have lots of fun along the way, as well as promoting our organisation and ACWW. Make sure you let national office know your plans and we’ll help with publicity for your events.
For more information go to www.acww.org.uk.
TAIHAPE members One Step Ahead
Confusion with dates meant TaihapeRangiwaea members have already done their ACWW walk, having met up this April to climb Mt Stewart. Pictured from left are Betty Tierney, Kay Coles, Henry Collier, Winsome Smith, Cynthia Collier, Glenys Williams, Louise Dowman and Jo Donovan. “It’s not often Taihape-Rangiwaea is sooooo far ahead of the play” laughed Jocelyn Fannin.
Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was set up in March 2010 to continue the legacy of the late Dr Pat Farry, a tireless champion of rural health education. The late Dr Farry (right) devoted much of his career to advocating for improvements and funding for rural medicine. The highly successful Rural Medical Immersion Programme was one of Dr Farry’s initiatives. The Pat Farry Rural Health Trust will give out grants and scholarships to individuals and groups for continuing education or research in rural health, with the aim of supporting the sustainability and quality of health services to rural communities. The Trust is seeking fundraising support not only from medical and healthcare companies but also from those involved in the rural sector, such as Rural Women New Zealand. It is hoping to raise a further $100,000 this year. www.ruralwomen.org.nz
Enterprising Rural Women Award winner Lisa Harper of Sherrington Grange, cheesemaker extraordinaire
continued from page 1
Lisa began her working life travelling the country as a research scientist, but returned to the farm eight years ago to help out ‘for a few months’. It became a labour of love, and Lisa has transformed the flagging fortunes of the sheep farm by developing cheese making into a business to complement the farm stay accommodation she and her mother run. Lisa says she loves feeding people, and her farm guests were often fascinated by the cheeses she served at dinner and wanted to see how it was made. Quick to see a new business opportunity, Lisa now runs cheese making classes that evenout the seasonal cash flow, attracting guests to Sherrington Grange all year round. Lisa’s also a regular at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, where people are treated to tastings of her cheese. “I get to feed people for three hours. It’s like a weekly date!” Lisa describes her range of cheeses as mild, medium, and “deadly”, depending on how long they age for. “I consider myself a cheese ager, not a cheese maker, because my job is to make sure the cheese ages properly and develops to what it’s supposed to.” Back on the farm the cheese making process continues through the week. “We lovingly coax fresh milk into cheese in our tiny farm dairy from recipes more than two centuries old,” says Lisa. “Each cheese is hand-crafted using traditional methods which have been discarded by modern dairy factories in the quest for efficiency. “We choose to make only limited quantities of cheese, using the old ways, because we believe it creates a better product - this is the way cheese was before mechanisation and standardisation became the norm. Sherrington cheeses look, smell and taste the way they were meant to.” 6
Liz Evans says the judges were impressed by Lisa’s commitment to food safety and the need for strict adherence to food safety regulations. “As someone with a scientific background and qualifications she was unequivocal about the need for this, even though it might be costly and involve extra work,” says Liz. Lisa’s win has received extensive publicity on TV, in provincial and farming newspapers and trade journals, as well as from overseas publications such as the USA goat industry magazine, and has been an excellent way of promoting RWNZ. NESTLING
Runners up in the 2011 Award were North Island winners Nestling Limited, run by sisters Bernadine Guilleux and Maria-Fe Rohrlach. Their Rotoruabased business makes baby slings and pouches from merino wool and organic cotton. The judges were particularly impressed with the business’ use of New Zealand raw materials, as well as their online marketing strategies which connect them in a very personal way with their customers. We thank our Award co-sponsors, Access Homehealth Ltd and Telecom for their support.
For more INFORMATION
New Cookbook We are excited to be setting out on another publishing venture with Random House, with a cookbook focusing on jam, pickle, sauce, pesto and preserves, as well as perennial favourites for dealing with excess garden produce. The book will feature members’ delicious recipes, growing tips and photographs, and will be published in time for Mothers’ Day 2012.
National Conference 2012 Mark your diaries! Our next national conference is to be held in Hawera, South Taranaki, from 21-24 May 2012. An enticing presentation at this year’s conference featuring scenic shots of this beautiful part of the country saw many members making plans to book a holiday break for a few days after National Conference next year. Why not make it a date and come along too?
Equal Pay Amendment Bill
Breast Cancer Action - 2011
Rural Women New Zealand is part of the Pay Equity Steering Coalition, and we support the new Equal Pay Amendment Bill, which has been introduced to Parliament as a Private Member’s Bill by MP Catherine Delahunty.
In October, for Breast Cancer Action Month, Rural Women New Zealand will launch Mammory Memories, making plastering kits available to women who require a mastectomy.
Despite having the Equal Pay Act since 1972, there is anecdotal evidence that many women are still paid less than men doing the same job. But statistical information is difficult to come by.
The idea came from several women about to undergo surgery who contacted us during our Let’s Get Plastered for Breast Cancer campaign. More information will be available via our website, the RWNZ Express and our e-newsletter nearer the time.
The purpose of the Bill is to remove discrimination in pay rates between men and women in the same jobs by making statistical information relating to rates of remuneration publicly available.
Te Kura - new entry criteria Te Kura, The Correspondence School, has announced new entry criteria for early childhood students. Any family whose child does not qualify for entry into Te Kura’s Early Childhood programme under the existing criteria is now able to apply under a gateway managed by the Ministry of Education. Contact your nearest MOE office for a referral.
FFNZ Board appointment Congratulations to Canterbury Rural Women New Zealand member Jeanette Maxwell on being elected the Federated Farmers NZ Meat and Fibre chair. This is the first ever appointment of a woman on the FFNZ National Board.
Canterbury earthquake support After the September 3rd Canterbury earthquake RWNZ members raised $10,000 to support people affected by the disaster. This amount swelled to $20,000 with a generous donation from the Queensland Country Women’s Association of $8469. The South Australia Country Women’s Association International Committee also gifted $1,000 for knitting wool for garments to be sent to Christchurch. We thank both groups for their fantastic support. We are working through the process of how this funding will be put to best use.
Leptospirosis update Anne Finnie, our Lower North Island National Councillor, now chairs the Farmers’ Leptospirosis Action Group (FLAG) a farmer-led group that includes Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb, NZ Veterinary Association and Deer Industry. Anne has taken over the role from Joan Black who chaired the group from its inception. After three attempts FLAG has been successful in receiving funding from the Sustainable Farming Fund for a project that will include research on the impacts of the disease on families and enterprises. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of human leptospirosis in the developed world. The disease, which is passed to humans through the urine of sheep, cattle, pigs, rodents and deer, can attack the kidneys and liver and, in some instances, cause death. In 2008, members raised over $107,000, which now funds two PhD students who have joined the research team at Massey Epicentre on the latest lepto project. The new research aims at a betterinformed rural community through two main components - raising awareness of the disease and investigating its potential production-limiting effects on commercial sheep and beef farms. Earlier research with funding support from RWNZ (then WDFF) in the 1980s enabled the development of vaccines for dairy cattle and pigs and led to a significant drop in incidence of the disease in humans. In contrast, vaccination of sheep, deer and beef cattle is uncommon, mostly due to lack of awareness and uncertainty about the possible impacts of the disease on families and enterprises. There is no vaccination for humans.
TOP DAIRY FARMERS assist migrant workers Sharron and Alan Davie-Martin are top notch dairy farmers. In May they received the highest New Zealand industry accolade, the Supreme Award in the 2011 Dairy Business of the Year competition. Last month they travelled to Melbourne where they went head to head in a Trans-Tasman Challenge against the Supreme Winner of the Australian Dairy Business of the Year, and won! While these awards focus on costs, profits and return on capital, Sharron, a member of the RWNZ Amuri Dinner Group, is also very concerned about the human face of dairying, which increasingly is the face of a migrant worker. There are close to 1600 migrant dairy workers in New Zealand, 500 of whom live in Canterbury. Southland has 450 and Waikato 170. Half come from the Philippines with others coming from Fiji, Chile, South Africa, India, Britain, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Uruguay. Most of the dairy workers have temporary work permits under the Immediate Skills Shortage List. Sharron says as an increasing number of migrant dairy workers arrived in Amuri to provide much needed labour, she became concerned about the way some were being treated. She puts the problems down to cultural differences, misunderstandings, language skills and lack of basic concern on the part of some employers. Whatever the problem, she was determined to do something to help. “We saw [migrant workers] were filling a huge gap in our market as far as staff went, but weren’t necessarily being treated well and we wanted to see whether we could help. Sharron and friend Alex Thompson put together a ‘Welcome to Amuri’ pack covering as many of the issues and information needs of migrant workers as they could think of. The idea is for the farmer and the staff member to sit down together to go through the booklet, which includes information on topics as diverse as where to buy school uniforms to the need to register at the doctor’s. Because living conditions may be very different here, Sharron says employers 8
Alex Thompson (left), migrant dairy worker Stella Sales (who works for the Davie-Martins) and Sharron Davie-Martin (right) with a ‘Welcome to Amuri’ pack. (Front Robert Thompson)
must be prepared to discuss all the basics, from opening curtains, to where to put the rubbish and what can go down the sink. While many of the migrants come from a farming background, their experiences and skills can be very different, so patience and training are important. They may never have ridden a quad bike and in the Philippines, says Sharron, “a big herd is six buffalo.” Sharron says employing migrants is not the same as employing local staff, and farmers need to consider their needs, be that supplying firewood, or helping them set up house. Often they arrive around ‘gypsy day’ in the middle of winter without warm clothing. They need a few days and some assistance to settle in to their new life. Sharron says women are key to assisting migrant workers to settle in. “Men are busy running the business and we tend to be the HR people. “They will never say ‘no’ to you. As long as you keep asking them to do things, they will keep doing them. It’s easy to take advantage of these people because they are so willing. It is us as women that have to be there watching this sort of thing.” Sharron says the ‘Welcome to Amuri’ booklet has been well received and the Amuri Dairy Employers’ Group plays a big role in the organising and funding of community social events, bringing people together so they are not so isolated.
Cooking up a storm to feed Farmy Army When ‘Farmy Army’ members rolled up their sleeves to clean up the liquefaction in Christchurch after the June earthquake, RWNZ member Helen Heddell again launched into action to organise the catering crews to ensure noone was working on an empty stomach.
By the end of the week Helen had co-ordinated the cooking of 1200 hot dinners, been up at dawn to cook breakfast for the volunteers and arranged packed lunches for the hundreds of workers as they left for another long day shovelling silt. Helen says ‘don’t ask how my feet are!’ but otherwise she’s very happy with the support she and caterer Nicki Geddes have had for the huge logistical exercise. She says lessons learnt from the clean up in February helped. “We have simplified it right down,” EARLY starts
For a week Helen’s day began at 7am at the Canterbury Showgrounds, cooking omelettes, bacon and muffins for those who camped overnight. Twenty helpers then turned up each day to help with whatever was required. They began by
Individual RWNZ member Helen Heddell (foreground) and Cathie Stephens of Selwyn Dinner Group plan their day at the Canterbury Showgrounds. Photo Ashburton Guardian
making packed lunches for the Student Volunteers and the Farmy Army, who set out with wheelbarrows, diggers and bobcats to clean up the
“Rural women have been very supportive with many city folk pitching in as well.”
The amount of baking that came in was ‘phenomenal’. “It is amazing, we had four wheel drives turning up every half hour full of it.” Two transport companies and one stock firm collected baking from as far afield as Southland.
grey liquefaction that covered many of the city’s streets and gardens.
Mid-afternoon, preparation for the evening meal began, with hearty food on the menu.
“Rural women have been very supportive,” says Helen, with many city folk pitching in as well.
“We had 12 women from Oamaru, and a group from Hawke’s Bay turned up out of the woodwork.”
Helen arranged sponsorship of the meat from the meat companies and processors, as she did for the February clean up. “They have been fantastic. People have just been so good.”
National Conference 2011 National Conference 2011 saw
members from all around the
We welcomed our new Finance Chair, Marie Appleton, and acknowledged the huge commitment and input made by our outgoing Finance Chair and National Councillor, Jacky Stafford, to the leadership of Rural Women New Zealand over the past 14 years. Lady Satyanand and Jacky Stafford were presented with National Life Membership.
country gather at Waipuna, Auckland at the end of May.
Conference is a great way of re-energising ourselves and celebrating milestones, as well as a chance to have fun together, make new friends and catch up with old ones. Key highlights included the launch of our newly refreshed We also farewelled and brand; the presentation of a sincerely thanked National jumbo cheque to the NZ Breast Councillors Sue Saunders and Cancer Jocelyn Foundation “Yet another exhilarating McIlraith, from our experience with Rural who were Let’s Get Women. I have returned made Plastered home feeling cherished and National for Breast Members Cancer empowered.” of Honour, campaign; and welcomed new National the Enterprising Rural Women Councillors Shirley Read Award 2011; presentation (Taranaki/Waikato) and of national honours; a hotly Margaret Pittaway (Otago/ contested speech competition; Southland). a stimulating leadership debate, and many thoughtBeaumont member Kim provoking presentations from Murtagh, who attended speakers and conference conference for the first time sponsors. this year said in a post on her We were privileged to have ACWW South Pacific Area president, Ruth Shanks, with us for conference and her colourful slides reminded us that we are part of a bigger sisterhood of women working together for rural families and wider communities. We thanked and farewelled Lady Satyanand as patron of Rural Women New Zealand. Lady Satyanand has been a very active supporter taking a keen interest in many of our activities and meeting many members during her time at 10
Facebook page, “Yet another exhilarating experience with Rural Women. I have returned home feeling cherished and empowered. I won the Tutaenui Bell, which is a gorgeous hand-crafted kauri bell that sits on a swamp kauri base. This is the prize for the novice speech competition. I was second overall, with five regions represented.” Congratulations to Kim and to our overall speech competition winner, Fiona Gower, who won the Tarrant Bell for the third time. www.ruralwomen.org.nz
Remits passed We are writing to Ministers to seek action on the following remits that were passed at National Conference: That RWNZ requests that the Minister of Social Development and Employment urgently raises the amount that beneficiaries may earn in addition to their approved benefit entitlements to at least $150 gross per week when averaged over twelve months without penalty. That RWNZ advocates that research be undertaken on the impact on New Zealand society of student loans. That RWNZ writes to the Government asking how the Amended Overseas Investment Act 2005 addresses concerns regarding the sale of large tracts of land to overseas investors. That RWNZ requests the Government to provide more protection to New Zealand by increasing the strength and accountability of our border biosecurity defence systems. That RWNZ requests the Government delay further implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme Act so that its full effect on New Zealand agriculture and rural communities can be more clearly assessed and reported. A Constitutional Remit was also passed that “Any member who has held office on a Rural Women New Zealand Committee and with relevant financial management and planning and organisational experience (to be defined in RWNZ By Laws) is eligible to be nominated by the membership for the position of National Finance Chairman. The position may be held for a maximum of six years.”
TRIPLE ‘F’ challenge The third assault of the Otago Central Rail Trail by Rural Women New Zealand at the end of April was an awesome event to have been part of, says organiser Pat Macaulay. “All the participants agreed that you could easily add a fourth ‘F’ to the challenge title – ‘Fitness, Fun, Friendship and Fantastic experience!” Ninety-two members and friends joined in the three day event, including 28 walkers, 54 bikers and their support crew. Participants came from all parts of the country and as far afield as Australia, including a team of three sisters who took up the challenge for the third time. Central Otago turned on perfect weather for the riders and walkers, who received a special welcome to the area by Mayoress Bernie Lepper, and Daphne Hull, chair of the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust. Mayor Tony Lepper also joined the bikers and walkers during their lunch break at Galloway. Celebrity chef Jo Seager gave a talk at Omakau about her involvement with Hospice New Zealand, and a charity auction raised approximately $4,000, which will be shared between the Otago and Southland Hospices.
Riders set off at the start of the Trail
Jo Seager also joined the group on their visit to the International Curling Rink at Naseby for an evening of fun on and off the ice. Leaving Ranfurly Railway Station on Sunday morning, Maniototo baritone and high country farmer David McAtamney, sent everyone on their way to Middlemarch with a rousing rendition of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”. Local East-Otago Waikouaiti member, Aileen Winmill, took part with a team of friends from the area. With Aileen’s initiative a further $1,000 was raised for the Otago Hospice as four local businesses sponsored this team.
Freedom Campers getting the message Cleaning up our rural roadsides and beauty spots has been high on the agenda for Rural Women New Zealand for several years, so we’re pleased the issue is getting national recognition in the Freedom Camping Bill, which has just had its first reading. The Bill will give councils and DOC new powers to decide where camping is allowed and where it is restricted to campervans with toilets. The current system of 67 councils having their own by-laws is clearly not working, with members reporting rural roadsides and parking areas often trashed with waste and human excrement. A survey of Rural Women New Zealand members this time last year drew dozens of responses, with 12
tales of toilet paper and rubbish being left behind by people travelling our rural roads. The Freedom Camping Bill will allow for instant $200 fines to be issued to illegal campers, or their vehicle, for parking overnight in undesignated areas.
Green Ribbon Award We congratulate the NZ Landcare Trust, which received top honours in the ‘Caring for our Water’ category in the 2011 Green Ribbon Awards, announced at Parliament in June. Rural Women New Zealand is one of seven trustees on the NZ Landcare Trust Board and many RWNZ members work at grass roots level alongside the Trust.
The Trust works with farmers, landowners and community groups to improve the sustainability of our landscapes and waterways. Board chair Richard Thompson paid tribute to the Trust’s dedicated staff who focus on delivering the Trust’s vision of ‘sustainable land management through community engagement’. These staff include RWNZ member Barbara Stuart, who works as a Regional Co-ordinator in the top of the South Island. She told us about her work with the Trust and with Rural Women New Zealand groups in the area.
Based in Cable Bay, RWNZ member Barbara Stuart is the Regional Co-ordinator responsible for Landcare projects in the Nelson/Marlborough area. We spoke with her about her work after the Green Ribbon Award win was announced. Barbara is full of praise for the support of RWNZ members in her region. “The Rai Valley Rural Women are absolute Trojans in working on water quality and we’ve had great support from Bainham as well.” Barbara says her role is to support private landowners in sustainable land management, working with communities where water quality problems have been shown to exist.
Barbara Stuart, NZ Landcare Trust Regional Co-ordinator
through fencing systems; there needs to be sufficient effluent storage capacity, with councils pushing for “Our job is to help our farmers to deal with that. We two to three months; and the like our farmers to be the leaders, “The Rai Valley Rural Women effluent should be spread on so they commissioned their own the land at low rates when the are absolute Trojans in scientific reports and together working on water quality and soils can take it up to capture the they all sat around and decided we’ve had great support from nutrients, thus saving the farmer how to deal with it. It’s a bottom money. Bainham as well.” up approach, working with landThis month the Trust is launching owners and land care groups to new fact sheets to help maintain and improve water help them to resolve their own industry issues.” quality in Golden Bay. The fact sheets are tailored to Barbara sees it as important for farmers to get the the local area and farmers have helped to write them. right advice, so they spend their dollar once and well. “I am really proud to say that when it comes to In the Rai Valley, AgResearch, Dairy NZ and Fonterra environmental issues, it is the farming women who specialists have provided technical advice to ensure ‘get it’,” says Barbara. “They are so receptive. They the systems put in place will work in high rainfall areas nurture their land as they nurture their families. There on valley floors. is a whole new way of thinking and it is about tapping The three key messages being promoted by the into that innovation in rural communities to make that Trust are that livestock needs to be kept out of water next step forward.” www.ruralwomen.org.nz
Public access signs
now available Rural property owners who allow public access across their land will soon be able to signpost contact details and access conditions, thanks to a partnership between Rural Women New Zealand and the NZ Walking Access Commission. By the end of July we will have the public access signs available for members to display on fences or gates to show access points. Conditions, such as ‘no dogs’, ‘no guns’ or ‘closed during lambing’ can be marked on the signs using waterproof pictorial stickers, which will also be supplied. The free signs include space to put a contact phone number to ring for people to ask permission to enter a property. To meet health and safety requirements, the signs also have space to write in details of hazards such as “tree felling in progress from day x until day x”. Alternatively, landowners may restrict access to those who call first to request permission. In that case, hazards can be outlined over the phone when someone calls.
ACROSS PRIVATE LAND
CONDITIONS OF ACCESS
THIS SIGN IS SPONSORED BY:
land, and the inclusion of contact details will make it easier for people to seek permission when required. The signs will be used to mark access across private land only. They are not be used to identify public land, such as unformed legal roads or marginal strips. The Commission is also developing an online mapping system, and will mark the location of landowner-approved access points on the maps.
The NZ Walking Access Commission is sponsoring this project as part of its goal of increasing access to the outdoors. Rural landowners in New Zealand have a tradition of granting access to those who ask, but access to privately-owned land is a privilege, not a right. Landholders can exclude anyone from their land for whatever reason, at any time. By displaying a sign showing an approved route and access conditions, we hope the new signs will help reduce conflicts over public access to private
HOW TO GET YOUR SIGNS To request RWNZ-branded walking access signs for your own property, or for distribution in your community, please email email@example.com or call national office - (04) 473 5524
Survey results for Bulletin Aotearoa Thank you to all readers who took part in our recent Rural Bulletin survey (now Bulletin Aotearoa). We received many great comments about the value of this publication, and we acknowledge the excellent work of our editors Paddy Twist and Craig Matthews, as well as the support of Bulletin 14
“As a former MP and Ministerial adviser who still needs to keep abreast of what’s going on, I find it really valuable.” “I think it is perhaps the best www.ruralwomen.org.nz
magazine in New Zealand. Very informative, not perhaps very showy or attractive in format, but with wonderful information that I can trust fully.” “I think it is an excellent document that I have not seen the equal to since I began receiving it.”
2011-2020 Decade of Road Safety The United Nations has declared 2011-2020 the “Decade of Action for Road Safety”. This UN push for improved road safety ties in well with Rural Women New Zealand’s campaign for new 20kmh active signs to be installed on school buses. Illuminated
buses, which have remained unchanged for 30 years. Several versions of the prototype signs being trialled by TERNZ were on display at National Conference 2011 in Auckland.
TERNZ encouraged feedback on the signs from our members through 20kmh signs on a written buses have been shown to survey, have a big impact on driver which many completed. behaviour
Illuminated 20kmh signs have been shown to have a big impact on driver behaviour in trials recently undertaken by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ).
Rural Women New Zealand is keen to see the signs introduced as approved signs to improve the shocking statistics of school children being injured or killed off school
TERNZ’s report and recommendations have now been presented to the Road Safety Trust and the NZ Transport Agency’s Signs Committee. We are hopeful a 20kmh active sign will be adopted as an approved sign without further delay.
We recently made a submission on the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2011, where we advocated for introduction of new 20kmh active signs, and supported the extension of the current 20kmh rule to 20 seconds before the school bus has stopped and 20 seconds after it has pulled away. Currently the 20kmh rule only applies when the bus has stopped and children are getting on and off. However many accidents happen after the bus pulls away.
Communities Knitting Together There has been a heart-warming response to our Communities Knitting Together project to support Cantabrians after the earthquakes, with knitting pouring in from members and friends all over the country. Canterbury councillor, Kerry Maw, has delivered several mini-van loads of beautifully-knitted warm items to community, church and school contacts who’ve been giving them out as quickly as they’ve arrived.
“Some of the women had tears in their eyes, they were so overwhelmed,” says Kerry. Groups who’ve helped distribute the knitting include Birthright, the Salvation Army, the Aranui Community Trust and the Dallington Hub Community Group. “They have been blown away by the support,” she says. The mountains of knitting included hats, scarves, jerseys, booties and slippers, as well as knee rugs and peggy square blankets. Kerry Maw,Photo Ashburton Guardian
“I knew there would be a really good response, but I was surprised at just how much people got into it!”
Families in need PIAKO-WAIKATO Pull out the stops
Margaret Townsend of Piako-Waikato East provincial promoted the Communities Knitting Together project by word of mouth and through her local community newspaper and was amazed at the number of items she received. A mammoth one hundred and eight boxes were filled with knitting, blankets and warm clothing that arrived from neighbours, friends, family and the wider community. A local carrier transported the knitting and clothing to Canterbury free of charge. “It was absolutely brilliant,” she says.
Cathy from the Aranui Community Trust says the knitted items they’ve received from Rural Women New Zealand knitters have been given directly to families in need through the Trust’s nurses and earthquake co-ordinators, as well as through church groups that the Trust links in with. “Families are over the moon because it’s really cold here.” She says hundreds of beanies and babies’ bonnets have been distributed. “Jerseys go as fast as they come in.” More can still be used.
Our Communities Knitting Together project has now finished, but if anyone would like to continue knitting for Christchurch, we have a list of community groups where items can be sent directly. Please contact national office for details.
Agricultural Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Group We congratulate Horotiu RWNZ group member Megan Owen on her appointment as a consumer representative on the Motu Economic and Public Policy’s working group that is looking at agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions. Rural Women New Zealand nominated Megan for this position and it is a good example of the leadership opportunities that can come out of RWNZ membership, says Liz Evans. Megan sharemilks with her husband near Hamilton. She has a Bachelor of Technology degree and worked for 15 years in the dairy industry for four of the companies that went on to form Fonterra. Megan has experience in factory management, supply chain management and process technology, and is the facilitator of the Horotiu RWNZ group in Waikato.
The dialogue group set up by Motu, New Zealand’s leading independent, non-profit, economic and public policy research institute, is looking at longer term responses and ensuring that agricultural emissions are looked at in a way that is robust, efficient, effective and fair. As a first step, we asked what your views are on agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions. We sent out a questionnaire to members who are on email, and Megan has been thrilled by the number of responses - over 200 so far. “An awesome effort from the team”.
What you said Almost half of the responses came from members who were directly involved in the agricultural sector, generating an income from the land, and there was a high level of awareness of agricultural emissions trading (96%), but only 9% of you feel well informed. Most of you (58%) feel you don’t have a complete picture and want more information, while 29% of you have had some information but feel it is biased and not trustworthy. Agricultural Emissions and the trading of credits is based on the premise that we can influence the climate. 21% of you agreed that climate change is real and we need to act on it decisively. A further 29.3% felt that
climate change may be real and we need to take steps to mitigate it where we can. Another 29% of you felt that while climate change may be real we won’t make an impact by changing how we farm, and 14% said climate change is not an issue and we won’t make any impact by changing how we farm. Finally 6.1% of you thought that climate change is not an issue and all things relating to it are a hoax. On the last question we posed, “If New Zealand were to be emissions-neutral (i.e. we could show that NZ did not emit excess carbon), what impact do you think that would have?” 9.4% of you felt that many people would pay a premium for our products increasing our margins at the farm gate. But most of you saw no benefit www.ruralwomen.org.nz
to the farmer: 57% felt some people would pay a premium for our emissions-neutral products but we would not see increased margins at the farm gate; and 33% of you felt there would be no difference to the price we could achieve in market. Motu will focus on on-farm mitigation and emissions trading but also other policy options, technology change, non-regulatory options and the interaction with complementary policy goals such as water quality. The dialogue process will focus on achieving technical consensus rather than gaining political consensus.
For more information go to www.motu.org.nz. 17
International Day of Rural W On October 15 we celebrate the International Day of Rural Women. This year our theme is “Enterprising Rural Women in the Pacific”, and it’s a great opportunity for us to learn more about some of the wonderful initiatives women are taking to help each other in South Pacific nations, and ways in which we may be able to help.
Those of us who were at national conference heard of some inspirational projects from Ruth Shanks, South Pacific Area President of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). Since then, through Ruth, we have made contact with some of the women involved to find out more. rural women’s development initiative, papua new guinea Lily Besoer runs the Rural Women’s Development Initiative (RWDI) in Papua New Guinea, and she sends greetings to Rural Women New Zealand. The RWDI has several projects on the go including a savings and loans scheme with 200 members. Many of these are poor women without access to commercial banks. Through the scheme the women can save small amounts and obtain loans against their savings. The RWDI runs a rehabilitation programme for internally displaced women refugees who are victims of tribal wars and conflicts, and for survivors of gender-based violence and torture related to alleged sorcery or adultery. The RWDI provides support and a collective voice to raise these issues with the 18
The RWDI has three pre-schools catering for 160 children from 3-7 years of age
Government. This year the RWDI has set up an ‘Empowerment Program for Young Women’ which is an extension of its skills development programme covering sewing and the growing and marketing of vegetables. The RWDI has also set up three pre-schools catering for 160 children from 3-7 years of age. we can help If any RWNZ groups would like to support the RWDI, Lily Besoer has suggested the following projects that we could help with: • Funding financial literacy training for the women, being www.ruralwomen.org.nz
very basic training on how to manage loans and mini projects. • Funding training such as sewing, vegetable farming and marketing, livestock rearing (pigs, poultry and fish farming), and sewing machine repair. • Contributing towards the savings and loans so that RWDI can support more women, as the interest is growing and women visit their office daily seeking its services. • Contributing towards the three pre-schools, which need basic materials and toys.
al Women - 15 October 2011 NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN, TUVALU Pulafagu (Paula) Toafa, Coordinator of the Tuvalu National Council of Women, also wrote to us to tell us about their sewing project. The project is being funded by Country Women of Australia, under ACWW, which enabled two Tuvalu women to undergo training in Australia. Paula says the skills they have brought back are now being put to good use, as the women run sewing workshops on Funafuti. The women then hope to travel to the seven outer islands to teach more women how to sew bags, pillowcases, purses, doormats etc, as well as how to maintain their sewing machines. Paula says the women are thankful for these workshops, which enable women to learn new skills and sell their goods. They too would welcome any financial support from RWNZ groups who wish to become involved in their upskilling project. COUNTRY WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION, JIWAKA, PNG Gertrude Andrias of CWA Jiwaka has also written to tell us of her organisation’s work to bring sustainable development to the women in rural areas by promoting community development programmes through skills training, microfinance and community banking, and a housing scheme to promote healthy lifestyles
Micro credit schemes enable women to set up small businesses, including vegetable and livestock farming.
and increase family cash income. In the last five years many women have benefited from the micro-finance programme, she says.
“They were given seed loans which enabled them to do small cash income-generating programs. These funds helped them to pay school fees, medical bills, wedding ceremonies, building homes etc.” “On behalf of the CWA Jiwaka, I take this time to thank New Zealand Rural Women for showing your interest to www.ruralwomen.org.nz
supporting our small microfinance program. Whatever help you support will benefit the rural women in a great way.”
CONTACT DETAILS For further information and contact details for these Pacific Island women’s groups, contact Emma Humphrey in National Office: Email: emma.humphrey@ ruralwomen.org.nz or phone (04) 473 5524.
WOMEN ON BOARDS New Zealand may have something to learn from Australia when it comes to getting women on boards. In May, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Hon Hekia Parata, met some of Australia’s top business leaders to understand how dramatic changes in Australian business culture are driving a surge in the number of women on company boards. Under Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) rules introduced last year, companies are required to set measurable targets for the advancement of women into senior management and board roles. Businesses across the Tasman are responding positively because they see advantages for themselves in having more women in leadership.
Minister of Women’s Affairs, Hon Hekia Parata
pushing the change. There’s a champions group of 12 business leaders – including the CEOs of Qantas, Telstra, IBM and New Zealander Sir Ralph Norris, CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
“These changes are largely driven by male “There is also an effective mentoring programme, business leaders, who are which involves 56 of the top building gender equality “Helping to establish a chairs in Australia.” into the strategies of their champions group is certainly companies,” says Pamela The NZ Ministry of Women’s one of the options, because Cohen, Director of the Affairs is investigating ways what Australia tells us is Nominations Service at the of getting greater business that change really takes off Ministry of Women’s Affairs. involvement in increasing when it is business leaders women’s leadership here. The targets set are often themselves that take the ambitious, with senior “Helping to establish a managers being offered champions group is certainly lead” incentives to achieve one of the options, because them. For example, the what Australia tells us is that Commonwealth Bank of Australia has a target change really takes off when it is business leaders of 35 percent women in senior management themselves that take the lead.” roles by 2014 – and to achieve this, 65 percent of New Zealand women can also promote change appointments over the next three years will need as individuals and collectively. They can use to be women. their positions as shareholders and employees According to Ms Cohen, the key to faster change to ask why the companies with which they are in Australia is that the business leaders themselves associated are not making full use of women’s see the advantages – including better productivity skills, and they can join and support organisations and improved business performance – and are that are working for change.
Journal of Rural Women New Zealand
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