Time for more Kiwi women to step up to the election plate

Columns
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This year,  local body election year, I want to actively encourage New Zealand women of all ages and experiences to become more involved in local body issues as well as the election process.

There are a number of ways women can become involved be it through leadership roles in local community trusts, health boards, community boards or on council.

Take it from me do not sit around querying yourself as to whether or not you have the right skills, experiences, temperament and other attributes for these roles. Even the longest  serving of councillors has had to (and still does) abide by rules governing their positions. These you will quickly assimilate. 

I also maintain running a family household on a budget is excellent initial training for any councillor and is training very few males get!

Humour aside, what the public often looks for when selecting someone to represent their interests is new and fresh approach to what are often continuing problems coupled with common sense and a desire to make things work.

Statistics New Zealand figures reveal that only a third of local council representatives are women.  They are are consistently underrepresented in leading local government roles.  I say lets change this. 

Councils and boards should comprise of a fifty-fifty representation and by having such a mix our councils would be more representative of our country's gender mix. Nationally we do have more females than males!

To stand for a board, trust or council one needs two nominations coupled with the requirements you must be a New Zealand citizen and on the parliamentary electoral roll.  That's it! That's all it takes.

I'd also want to encourage those  partners, husbands and relations who think the women in their life may well have the capacity and capability to serve their local communities to give them all the encouragement they may need.  

This year lets make sure more women are helping to drive the direction our council's are taking. Good Luck.

Jacqui Dean.