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Rural Women go to town

28 February 2005

Rural Women go to town

Fifteen members of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) arrived in Wellington last week for the organisation’s “Wellington Experience”. The event is sponsored by Landcorp and is held every year as a leadership-training course for rural women.

Chosen as potential leaders within RWNZ, the women spent three days in the capital visiting decision-makers and attending training workshops.

“While the Wellington Experience is run primarily to train leaders within our own organisation, it also introduces rural women to the political environment,” says Executive Officer, Maggie Bayfield.

The event is an incredibly valuable experience, she says, helping members understand how government processes work and how decisions can be influenced, particularly through the submissions process.

“It is possible for individuals to make a difference, as long as they understand the correct procedures for making their concerns and suggestions heard. Without people who can represent rural views in this way, the sector can easily be overlooked.”

The women visited Parliament and met with Minister for Rural Affairs, Damien O’Connor, and Opposition spokesperson on agriculture, David Carter. Later they were briefed by senior managers from several government departments and also toured the Open Polytechnic and Correspondence School, which provide key distance-education services to the rural sector.


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