We achieve our mission of advocating for working women by providing information, education, and advocacy to:


  • Decision makers – Government Ministers, Members of Parliament, community leaders, and members of the public on issues important to the lives of working women.
  • Providing resources to empower women through education; and the provision of information to enable them to stand up for justice and have a voice in issues affecting them not just in the workplace but in their lives
  • Build and maintain a network of strong women leaders in communities throughout New Zealand
  • Organising formal training events and providing opportunities for our members to support each other through mentoring and coaching at club and national level




Our focus is on improving the environment for working women. We have lobbied on issues such as Matrimonial Property, Student Loans, Employment Relations, Disability Strategies, Prostitution Reform, Pay Equity, Health & Safety in Employment, Paid Parental Leave and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Action Plan for Women.


A record of achievement

BPW has an established record of work to improve the employment, education, economic and social conditions of women. Resolutions passed at annual conferences reveal the constancy of past efforts and the challenge to achieve further improvements

Business Trade & Employment
Childcare 1952, 1992, 1994, 1995
Education, access to 1961, 1973, 1975, 1985, 1991
Equal Pay 1998
Job Sharing & Part Time Opportunities 1981
Parental Leave 1995, 1999, 2001
Student Loans 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1999
Abortion 1993, 1996
Assisted Reproduction 1994
Breast Cancer/Mammograms 1989, 2002
Cervical Cancer 1989
Cost of Prescription Drugs 1959, 1992, 1996, 2002
Maternity Services 1998
Mental Health 2003
Legislation General
Domestic Violence 1993, 1999
Matrimonial Property 1977, 1986, 1994
Same Sex Marriages 1997
Sexual Harassment 2000
United Nations
Human Rights 1952, 1954, 1979, 2003
Nuclear Power/testing 1954, 1956, 1963, 1972, 1973, 1985, 1992
Pornography 1989, 1992, 2002
Prostitution Law reform 1994
Sexual Abuse 1993, 1994, 1995
Superannuation 1992, 1997, 1999
1999 International XXIII Congress in Vancouver, Canada. BPW NZ had a delegation of five voting delegates, two alternates and two observers. In addition a former President, Anne Knowles attended as International Constitution Advisory Committee Chair. Of the 19 resolutions presented seven were from New Zealand.Workshops on Lobbying and on Child Labour were organised and presented.
2000 For the past ten years the New Zealand BPW Federation has had ties with BPW Nepal through the annual trips by a former President, Pauline Gapper. The Federation contributes to BPW Nepal’s International fees and many clubs raise money for the literacy programmes for women and others knit garments for the children, which Pauline takes with her once or twice a year. In September 2000 President Maureen accompanied Pauline and met up with the BPW Nepal President, Ambica Shrestha, and several other members. She also saw the literacy classes and visited child care centres to distribute clothing.
2001 The project on “Women’s Legal Rights” was also implemented by BPW Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, by BPW Cook Islands and in Australia. It has also been distributed in NZ to other NGOs such as NCW and Graduate Women, as well as to Western Samoa’s “Women in Business Foundation”.
2002 International Congress in 2002 was in Melbourne, and was attended by 5 delegates and 2 alternate delegates. Members presented workshops on ‘Women’s Legal Rights and Access to Justice including CEDAW’ and ‘Strategies for controlling Domestic Violence’. Joan Bielby’s expert assistance was sought as a Parliamentarian and Anne Todd-Lambie was the Constitutional Advisor.BPW New Zealand had its resolution on Sexual Slavery and Trafficking accepted for debate, and the delegates adopted it with a large majority.
2003 New Zealand sent a delegation of seven members to the Oceania Sub-Regional Meeting in the Cook Islands. As the nearest federation to the Cook Islands and, with traditionally close ties between our peoples and governments, NZ is looking forward to forward to establishing much closer links with the women in the Cook Islands.NZ members working for BPW International include: Anne Todd-Lambie as BPWI Executive Secretary, Dianne Glenn as Asia-Pacific Regional Co-ordinator and Ann Knowles as a Trustee. Jean Park was appointed to the BPWI Culture and Peace Task Force, Anita Devcich to the Public Relations committee and Maureen Eardley-Wilmot to the Resolutions committee.Member Maureen Eardley-Wilmot as Chair of the ad hoc BPWI Committee on Violence Against Women, travelled to New York to present her report to the UN Committee on the Status of Women. Anne Todd-Lambie, as a member of the non-NZ government delegation, presented the NZ non-Maori NGO Report to the CEDAW Monitoring Committee at the United Nations. Jean Park also attended the CSW Meeting in New York as a BPWI and NZ government delegate.In September 2003, BPW NZ was asked to endorse a Joint Statement of the NGO Committee on Peace to the United Nations to a Conference on Facilitating the Entry Into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. As BPW NZ has had Policy on this issue since 1954, we sent a short statement of endorsement and subsequently discovered that New Zealand was the only BPW recorded as one of 113 organisations that supported the Joint Statement.

“Frequently I was asked through my two terms of office whether BPW still has relevance in New Zealand or whether we have not already achieved so much for women in our country, that the battle is over. I believe most sincerely that we must continue to fight: firstly to bring about in actual fact the gains we have made in law; secondly, we must continue to fight to bring about changes in attitude which are crucial to the realisation of our ideals; and finally we must continue to fight lest by our own apathy and inaction we lose much of what we have fought to achieve.”

Noela Page BPW NZ President 1977-1981


Food Labeling Press Release

Flexible Working Hours Press Release

Guidelines For Action Plans

Empowering Women


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