Dear NCWA members, supporters and friends, our NCWNZ sisters across the Tasman have issued their October Newsletter “The Circular”. A copy is shared below.
NCWNZ ‘The Cicrcular’ October 2022 (extract)
The month of September was celebration month! Suffrage Day was celebrated around the two motu with many events. I myself was thrilled to be invited to the unveiling of the suffrage stained-glass window at the Whanganui District Council Chambers, commissioned by the Whanganui branch – kei te pai ō mahi.
It was a time when NCWNZ was out and about, visible and proud. Especially so at Parliament, when we were able to hold the postponed celebration for the 125th anniversary of NCWNZ’s founding. It was great to see so many members and guests there, with so many of those who have contributed over many years. Thank you to all who were involved in the organisation of the event, it was very special because of your efforts.
Some of what’s happening at local branches
The Wellington College team won the Senior Premier A Grade Debate Grand Final, and the Hutt Valley branch of the National Council of Women donated the John F Henning Cup to the winning team’s first speaker. The motion being debated (with Wellington College affirming) was:
“This house regrets the rise of ‘hustle culture’.”
“Hustle culture” is a lifestyle where growing one’s career or developing additional business opportunities, or the environment that you work in,
becomes such a priority in one’s life, that other aspects of being human — such as hobbies, family-time and self-care — often take a back seat.
Louise Tapper and Zoe Cummins of the National Council of Women Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch built lesson plans for teaching 5-6 year olds about gender stereotypes and equity. Requested by four Year 8 students (12-13 year olds) from their local Mt Pleasant School, the activities were a part of a programme of study the youth had been leading for the school year focused on gender equity. The Year 8 students were supported by Louise and Zoe as they implemented the lessons with two classes of the youngest students in their school. See the article by Louise Tapper on The Circular blog where you can read the full lesson plans.
Nearly a hundred people gathered at the Kate Sheppard National Memorial on 19 September 2022 to celebrate Suffrage Day in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Pointing toward the women portrayed in the monument, the keynote speaker, Mayor Lianne Dalziel, urged everyone to honour the historic activists by getting out and voting at midterm elections.
125th Birthday Celebrations in Wellington
We have some of the photos from a celebration event in Wellington on 13 September 2020 – a celebration of the 125th birthday of Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa, NCWNZ. This event was deferred from last year due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Hosted by Minister for Women, Hon Jan Tinetti, and sponsored by Countdown, the event included presentations of NCWNZ Distinguished Service Awards.
Seeking nominations for Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology
Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health invites you to submit nominations for two laypeople positions on the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART).
Charts: Child poverty in New Zealand
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Child Poverty Report 2022, claims that data stretching from 2007 to 2021 show that New Zealand has seen a drop in the number of children in poverty. The trend has been falling for those households with children reporting “not enough” income for basics. This trend for New Zealand has been ignored by many who use a limited amount of data (e.g., just household income) or who insist that if only people got full-time work, their material hardship would lessen. Instead, MSD’s Household Incomes and Material Wellbeing reports show that not all households with low incomes are in hardship, and not all who report they live in hardship have low incomes.
From the APRC September 2022 newsletter
Did you know that the NCWNZ is a member of the Asia-Pacific Regional Council (APRC)? The APRC is affiliated to the International Council of Women and its first meeting was held in Auckland in 2004. The APRC September 2022 newsletter included the Farewell Speech by Jungsook Kim, Immediate Past President, ICW. We offer here excerpts of that speech:
Dear NCW Presidents and ICW Sisters,
I’m delighted to report that the 36th General Assembly in Avignon, France from May 16 to 21 was a grand success. It seemed like a painfully long time since we were able to have such broad, in person, participation. The energy, good will, determination, and comradery were palpable to say the least. … I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the support and love that you have shown to me during [my presidency]. … In the very near future, I feel confident we will see substantial progress in addressing our new triennial theme “Women’s Empowerment: Peace and Sustainable Development”. Together with the newly elected ICW board members, I am certain that the new president Martine Marandel and her team will perform superbly in mustering the resources at their disposal. And YOU sisters, constitute the greatest of those resources. To accomplish great things requires your continued support. … When I think about all the intelligent, focused, women I’ve had the great pleasure to work with over the past seven years, when I think about the friendships that were forged and will certainly last a lifetime, and when I think about our accomplishments in the context of multiple global challenges, I feel so very proud to have been a part of it.
Immediate Past President
International Council of Women
www.icw-cif.com 10 July 2022.
Readings to consider
A grove of ancient trees cultivated for perfume centuries ago has been discovered among the fields laid out for sheep and cattle on Mere Whaanga’s ancestral land, Taipōrutu, on Māhia Peninsula. She and her family are researching and preserving the site of what had been carefully tended groves of tree species – tītoki, white rata, kohekohe, kohuhu, tarata, heketara – of which the “fragrant leaves and flowers which were probably used to perfume oil pressed from the berries of the tītoki.” As early as the 18th century, British reports included that New Zealanders wore sachets made with tītoki oil. Dr. Whaanga (Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungungu) said her forthcoming book, “21 Generations of Taipōrutu,” will provide 21 generations worth of mātauranga (knowledge) for all those interested in ecology, biodiversity and kaitiakitanga (guardianship). Read more on the RNZ website, where you can also listen to the interview with Dr. Whaanga on “Country Life.”
Did you know that the minimum age of criminal responsibility is currently 10 years old? This is the age that children can be prosecuted and punished for a serious crime in New Zealand. Amnesty International NZ is petitioning government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age. You can take a free, self-paced course with Amnesty International Academy – including interviews with child activists and ideas for taking action on children’s rights. Another way to aid in this effort is to share an activity for children aged 9 and younger – talk with children about the issues underlying this campaign. Download the drawing activity developed by Amnesty International NZ (.pdf file here) You can post a photo of the children’s drawings and tagging Minister Kiritapu Allan on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – and include a mention of @AmnestyNZ to show your contribution.
“Hope Has Two Beautiful Daughters” is the title of a book review by Hilary Lapsley, Senior Research Fellow at the James Henare Research Centre, University of Auckland. She reviews the recently self-published book by Anne Thurston, Notes from inside: A courageous woman’s experiences of domestic violence and mental illness. Lapsley writes: “Anne Thurston has given us the gift of survivor experience in her memoir of domestic violence, mental illness and recovery. Her story covers many decades.”
Milestones: The Political Importance of the White Camellia in NZ
- 1877. Kate Edger, the first woman BA graduate, was presented a white camellia at her graduation ceremony in Auckland.
- 1892. Edward M. Smith, New Plymouth MP, offered to provide any members who supported women’s suffrage with a “Taranaki camellia.”
- 1893. On 12 September 1893 a deputation from the Wellington Women’s Franchise League visited the Hon. Richard Oliver and presented twenty white camellia flowers, one for each of those members of the House of Representatives who had voted on 8 September in favour of women gaining the vote. Then on 15 September Wellington anti-Women’s Franchise League presented to the Hon. William Campbell Walker a basket of red camellias tied with red ribbon for their each of their supporters to wear in their coat buttonholes.
- 1894. September 19 Napier WCTU organised community-wide celebrations of the anniversary of “our enfranchisement.”
- 1895. The WCTU local branches in Kaiapoi and Christchurch organised September 25 celebrations of the anniversary of the franchise.
- 1896. Christchurch WCTU hosted a large meeting in the Art Gallery, on Sept. 25, to celebrate the third anniversary of the enfranchisement of the women of New Zealand.
- 1993. The Camellia japonica alba plena ‘Kate Sheppard’ was first introduced from Taranaki and became a symbol of New Zealand women’s suffrage for the national celebration of the centennial anniversary.
- 2012. The White Camellia Awards were initiated to honour businesses promoting gender equity through the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
- 2018. Hand-crafted white camellia brooches were given to all women MPs, and the Ministry of Women created the Suffrage 125 symbol featuring the white camellia surrounded by a ring of suffrage purple.
Stories to celebrate
Making the Most of Now
Louise Tapper of the NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch Branch (assisted by Rosemary Du Plessis) led the “Making the Most of Now” project that documented the COVID-19 pandemic experiences of thirteen young women. Four short videos based on these interviews and featuring three of the participants in this research are available on the NCWNZ Ōtautahi Christchurch YouTube channel. Please share the links to these videos as widely as possible through your networks. Read more about this initiative on The Circular blog here.
First Woman Elected to Lead UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
Doreen Bogdan-Martin of New Jersey, USA, is the first woman elected Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunications Union. The ITU sets international standards for the use of electromagnetic signals for radio, internet and television communications. Established in 1865, the ITU became a United Nations specialized agency in 1947.
NCWNZ Agrees with Fair Pay Agreements
The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) welcomes the Fair Pay Agreements Act. Extending collective bargaining has the potential to improve minimum wages and conditions of employment for all those in low paid work and in particular Māori, Pacific, disabled and migrant women.
Dates to note for November-December 2022
11 – 13 November 2022: Graduate Women International 34th triennial General Assembly and Conference (online)
9-15 November: UN International Week of Science and Peace
16 November: UNESCO International Day for Tolerance
17 November: UNESCO World Philosophy Day
20 November: World Children’s Day
25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
2 December: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
10 December: Human Rights Day – read about the women who shaped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
18 December: International Migrants Day
20 December: International Human Solidarity Day
Quotation to ponder
“The dogma of woman’s complete historic subjection to man must be rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human mind.”
– Mary R. Beard, Woman as Force in History: A Study in Traditions and Realities (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1946): 144.