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Women urged to stand for Council in Nelson and Tasman

Women are being urged to help improve the gender balance on the Nelson region’s two councils in the coming elections.

Currently the gender imbalance is 21% women councillors in Tasman and 23% in Nelson; while women make up more than 50% of the population in both districts.

A group of former councillors, including Hilary Mitchell, Gail Collingwood and Elaine Henry formed the group Women Decision Makers to produce a booklet on Nelson and Tasman female councillors as a Suffrage Year project.

They have now arranged for the Minister for Women Hon Julie Ann Genter to speak in Nelson during her visit on Tuesday 2 July.

Spokesperson Hilary Mitchell says the Minister is uniquely able to address the topic of the benefits and advantages of gender balance and diversity in politics.

“Not only is Julie Ann the Minister for Women, she is one of the few working politicians to give birth while in office – we hope other women considering standing will see her as a role model for what’s possible,” she said. “Just looking at the last election in Nelson we had only ten women out of 32 candidates and only three who made it onto council – we hope to do a lot better this time round.”

Hilary said the gains won by earlier generations of women can easily be eroded as evidenced by current political events in the United States.

She said the organisers have invited staff from both councils to the event to provide information about the election and workshops they plan. There will also be information on workshops for women who want to stand.

Hon Julie Ann Genter will speak at the Greenmeadows Centre, Stoke, at

9.30am on 2 July 2019. Koha for expenses.

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