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NZ and Australia agree on strategies for women

July 21 2000 Media Statement

New Zealand and Australia agree on strategies for women

Women’s Affairs Minister Laila Harré today agreed to share strategies and information with her Australian counterparts to help prevent domestic violence against women and children.

The agreement was struck at the annual Australian and New Zealand Ministers’ Conference on the Status of Women, which Laila Harré hosted in Wellington.

Participants looked at the Australian Partnerships Against Domestic Violence programme and learned of the success of a Western Australia campaign entitled Freedom from Fear.

Laila Harré said New Zealand and Australia has agreed to take a collaborative approach to combating domestic violence against women, which will involve sharing knowledge and information on campaigns being run across jurisdictions.

“An evaluation of our local Domestic Violence Act will be released shortly, and the government may be able to draw on the success of some of these Australian anti-violence programmes in developing a more coordinated approach to the issue here in New Zealand,” she said.

“We also agreed on the need to work more closely women’s leadership initiatives and developing strategies to boost the recognition of women in leadership roles at all levels, particularly those working in the voluntary sector.

Laila Harré said the way governments provide information to women will also come under the microscope.

Ministers agreed to fund a joint project to investigate what information women need from government, and the best way to ensure that information is accessible to all women, including indigenous women, disadvantaged groups, rural women and non-English speakers.

Equal pay and pay equity in Australia and New Zealand was also discussed, in particular how this could be progressed in a non-award pay system like New Zealand’s.

Laila Harré presented a paper on the Employment Relations Bill and how impending changes to New Zealand’s industrial relations law would benefit women.

Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia also led a session on indigenous women’s issues.

Australian leaders attending the conference included Senator the Hon Jocelyn Newman (Commonwealth), the Hon Sherryl Garbutt (Victoria), the Hon Fran Bladel (Tasmania) and Sue Carter MLA (Northern Territory).

ENDS

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