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Celebrating World Rural Women's Day

Media Release
For immediate release
7 October 2009

‘Rural women at the heart of innovation’ - celebrating World Rural Women’s Day – 15 October 2009

The creative inspiration of natural fibres are at the heart of many World Rural Women’s Day events organised by Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) members over the next few days.

World Rural Women’s Day (WRWD) (also known as the International Day of Rural Women) is celebrated on 15 October each year.

RWNZ members are celebrating this year’s theme “rural women at the heart of innovation” with a twin focus on the Year of Natural Fibres.

From North Auckland to Invercargill RWNZ members are set to enjoy many exciting activities including a natural fibre expo, a visit to a wool felter, an exhibition of flax weaving, a fashion parade of wool garments, and displays of the animals that make it all possible, including sheep, alpaca and goats.

“Earlier this year many of our RWNZ Enterprising Rural Woman Award entrants also demonstrated the wonderful creativity of rural women in New Zealand and the use they make of natural fibres,” says Marie Appleton, RWNZ’s international officer. ERWA entrants included textile designers, an alpaca shearer and fibre processor, and a wool felter.

Otago members will see first hand the innovative work of one ERWA entrant when they visit Pat Robertson's farm and shop 'Clifton' on the Otago Peninsula on 12 October. Pat will talk about the development of her wool business, including the breeding of her coloured sheep flock, followed by a parade of garments and other products created from their fleeces which are sold through her farm shop.

Further information on World Rural Women’s Day

Rural Women New Zealand World Rural Women’s Day Events 2009:

9 October International Day of Rural Women - North Auckland - Look & Learn Day - Okaihau Public Hall. 10am $2 admission. Bring extra money for raffles and your own lunch. A hand-on craft day. Tea and coffee provided. Contact Marilyn Hutchings (09) 401 9676.

10 October International Day of Rural Women - Natural Fibre Expo Blenheim – Marlborough Provincial, at Nativity Hall Alfred St, Blenheim from 9am to 5pm. Contact Melva Robb (03) 5788 242. Public admission $2.

12 October International Day of Rural Women - Otago Executive - Natural Fibre Day - at Pat Robertson's farm and shop - 'Clifton' 877 Highcliff Road, Otago Peninsula. Topics: Development of the wool business; display of coloured sheep; a parade of wool garments and products; a display of NZ spinning wheels. Arrive 1pm for 1.30pm start. Admission $5 (donation to The Otago Community Hospice). Afternoon tea provided. Programme mostly under cover - wear comfortable shoes. Contact Fay Taylor (03) 489 3393 or Pat Robertson (03) 454 4224.

15 October International Day of Rural Women - North Canterbury Wander - Visiting "Blessed with Elegance" women's clothing with style. Lunch. Then opportunity to join West Melton branch visiting Hot Rot (nappy composting); Brakenbridge Wools (felting products) and Ohoka Gold (olive oil). Swannanoa Branch - contact Rosalie Plaskett, (03) 313 3648.

15 October Nelson Provincial Expo for International Rural Women’s Day celebrating Year of Natural Fibres – Hope Hall, Main Road, Hope, 10am to 4pm. Craftspeople wishing to display or sell ring Diane (03)451 8167 or Deirdre (03)544 0191 Commercial stalls $10, others free. Gold coin entry.

15 October Warkworth Northland, International Day of Rural Women / International Year of Natural Fibres – regional day in Warkworth with exhibitors including flax weavers and others. At Warkworth Catholic Church Hall, Alnwick Street, Warkworth. 10.30 a.m onwards. Gold coin entry.

15 October International Day of Rural Women - Southland - A day out in the country by bus. Visiting Southern Roses Edendale, Triflor NZ Ltd tulips, Retro Organic Cheese Factory Tuturau, an upmarket dairy shed at Edendale and the Lignite Pit cafe at Ashers. Buses leave Forth St Invercargill at 9.45am, returning approximately 4.30pm. $25 including bus, lunch and afternoon tea. Inquiries to Rhonda Riddle (03) 239 5744. Registrations close 6 October.

15 October International Day of Rural Women - South Otago Provincial – ‘Rural Women at the Heart of Innovation’ at Telford Rural Polytechnic near Balclutha – great speakers, fashion parades and interesting displays. Tel (03) 418 3711 or email

15 October International Day of Rural Women - Tauranga Provincial 11am-4.30pm- Speakers: Pat Old, President Creative Fibres NZ, Jo Gravit on Latvia; Chrissy Jefferson on Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. Joan Lydgard on flax creativity; Anna Robertson of 'Silver Bubbles' floral workshop. Contact Mary McTavish (07) 543 2521. Email

17 October (Central/Lower North Island) International Day of Rural Women – Speakers on “Innovation, Initiatives and Enterprise” including Tora Coastal Walk, Helen Worboys of Feilding Promotions, Stacey Cottrill of Blacksheepdesign and small business specialist Sandra Anderson. Begins 9.30am at the Palmerston North RSA. $25. Bookings: email Anne Finnie –

30 October Waikato International Day of Rural Women – at Waikato Events Centre. On display sheep, alpacas, goats and a range of exhibitors. Shearing demo, fibre processing and information on fibre use. Natural fibre fashion show. (In conjunction with Waikato’s World (formerly Waikato A&P show). Contact Carolyn Freeman (07) 824 6672, email


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