2. MEET THE WOMEN

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RICHARD MAYS

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.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

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.

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