2. MEET THE WOMEN
Meet the female candidates this Sunday - a celebration of suffrage with the National Council of Women, Manawatu Branch.
In the leadup to the local body elections, a Meet the Female Candidates afternoon will mark the National Council of Women’s Suffrage Month.
Event co-ordinator and Manawatu branch vice president Robyn Barnett said there had been a great response to the invitation with 17 of the 19 female candidates standing for city council, Horizons Regional Council and for the seven seats available on the Mid-Central District Health Board set to take part.
The forum is set to highlight how women have contributed to local body and central government, despite being underrepresented at all levels.
‘‘As we celebrate the anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, it is especially appropriate to applaud these candidates,’’ Barnett said.
‘‘The meeting is an opportunity for women to be heard, to address the gender imbalance, to promote diversity, and hopefully get more women into office.’’
She said she was heartened by the number of women putting their hands up for public office - 11 for the city, two for the Palmerston North constituency of Horizons, and seven for positions on the DHB.
Each will be given three minutes to speak on what they stand for and why they are worthy of being elected.
Barnett said women brought different perspectives to local issues, with a more focused approach on issues that affected them and their children, such as health, housing, employment opportunities, support services, maternity services and education.
The meeting will also reinforce the importance for all electors of being involved in the electoral process and casting a vote.
‘‘These are the people who will decide how the money is spent and the future shape of our community.’’
After each group of candidates have made presentations, 10 minutes will be available for candidates to take questions from the floor.
Men are welcome to attend.
The Meet the Female Candidates forum is on Sunday at the City Library, George St, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Female candidates for Palmerston North City Council across left to right Lorna Johnson, Cr Aleisha Rutherford, Cr Susan Baty, Sheryll Hoera, Sue Pugmire, Cr Rachel Bowen, Karen Naylor, Cr Leonie Hapeta, Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke, Abi Symes, Elizabeth Paine and bottom Horizons Regional Council Cr Rachel Keedwell and Amey Bell-Booth.