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Push for more Maori women in decision-making roles

Women's Affairs Minister Laila Harré is hosting the first in a series of regional forums profiling Maori women ready to participate in board membership roles.

The inaugural forum is being held in Rotorua tomorrow and profiles 14 Maori women from the Bay of Plenty.

Laila Harré says that too many of New Zealand's statutory boards and committees are still missing out on the expertise of Maori women.

Crown Company Monitoring and Advisory Unit data shows that just three of the 95 directors on boards of State Owned Enterprises and Crown Owned Companies are Maori women.

Of the 133 directors of Hospital and Health Services six are Maori women, and there are no Maori women on the board of Crown Research Institutes.

"Maori women play a major role in decision making in the community, but these statistics prove we need to work towards increasing their participation in governance roles," Laila Harré says.

"The 14 women being profiled at tomorrow's forum are all successful in their fields of expertise and have an enormous contribution to make," Laila Harré says.

The promotion of more women to boards and committees is a key objective of the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

"This initiative aims to ensure that those who make board appointments are aware of the valuable contribution Maori women can make around the boardroom table," Laila Harré says.

Representatives of the public and private sector will be attending the forum, as will members of the Institute of Directors. The institute is working with the Ministry of Women's Affairs to provide training and further support the development of Maori women as board members.

ENDS

Note: The Maori women in decision-making function starts at 4.30pm, Thursday April 13 at the Rotorua Arts and Craft Institute, Hemo Gorge Rd, Rotorua.

For more information or copies of profiles contact Claire Hall, press sec, (04) 471-9902 or 025 270 9001.

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