demand new thinking

In the beginning, of course, we thought that it was all quite simple, you’d just point out to people what was wrong and then it would change. It was just that they didn’t know. So you would educate them and everything would be all right. And of course it wasn’t like that at all. It was like an endless, endless ball of wool, you would pull a little end out and then all this stuff came out. It just got more and more interesting in many ways because you realised it was so complicated, the whole business of gender and discrimination.
— Anne Else - Co-founder Broadsheet

Women against the tour

 Women's groups were prominent in the widespread protests against the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand. Groups such as the Maori Women's Welfare League took formal anti-tour positions and women active in a range of church denominations, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Anglican also showed their support by joining the movement. 

For Maori women such as Merata Mita, Ripeka Evans and Donna Awatere the tour brought together the issue of domestic and South African racism. Post-tour these women would become nationally recognised leaders. Merata Mita's documentary, Patu, would go on to become the iconic national record of the clash of protestors with rugby supporters. 

Close examination of anti-tour protest photos reveals about as many women as men. For those not in the front line, wearing an anti-tour badge was a simple way to declare their allegiance. Anti-tour protesters argued that sport was not separate from politics, and that playing rugby against South Africa condoned apartheid. Some protesters were hard-line activists, but most were ordinary people who abhorred apartheid and violence.

What would Kate Sheppard have thought of the thing that is the #hashtag?

In 2017 on 21st January, millions of people around the world took part in the largest global human rights demonstration ever – the Women’s March, a demonstration against sexism and sexual violence and a call for women's rights.

"This moment was born of a very real and potent sense of unrest. Yet it doesn't have a leader, or a single, unifying tenet. The hashtag #MeToo (swiftly adapted into #BalanceTonPorc, #YoTambien, #Ana_kaman and many others), which to date has provided an umbrella of solidarity for millions of people to come forward with their stories, is part of the picture, but not all of it." said Time Magazine.

At least 2000 people turned out to the march in Auckland



Look at the photos

While many formal portraits exist of women's committees from various organisations it isn't until 1967 that something very important happens in the way women's stories are documented. Three very important women photographers begin to document the lives of women in these movements.  Use DigitalNZ Search for the work of Gil Hanly, Ans Westra and Marti Friedlander

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Listen to the podcasts

There are some great ideas out there. Compile yourself a few of the big podcasters and take a listen. What are people saying? What do women think and feel.


Listen to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talk #metoo

“What we need to do is then say, OK, well what next?” Ardern told Noelle McCarthy in the first of the podcast series Venus Envy. “You don’t want a movement, really, of women continually feeling like they need to tell stories that then equate to nothing in real terms. And so that’s the question that I’m interested in asking: What next?”...

moments when the thinking changed


Nga Tamatoa

Whina cooper leads the land march

Maori Language Petition

Equal Pay Act

'81 Springbok Tour - Women Against the Tour


Bazley Report 2007

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the data

Data is power. The power to tell stories. The power to understand the world. Access to data can tell you about your place in the world, how you measure up, what's available to you and what's happening to you. On paper things look ok for women in Aotearoa New Zealand with any number of laws protecting their rights. Here you'll find some of the issues women have been discussing, the mouthpieces they've used and perhaps you'll start to get a better idea of why the 2017 World Economic Forum only ranked us ninth in the world for gender equality. Be prepared to be surprised, or angry, or heartbroken.


tell the story


Look internationally at what is happening with the #metoo movement. 

In 2006, Tarana Burke coined the phrase "Me Too" as a way to help women who had survived sexual violence. Fast-forward more than 10 years, and the phrase has been reignited as the slogan of the anti-sexual harassment movement. A movement that has rocked some of the most powerful men in entertainment and politics. A movement whose timeline continues to rapidly build.

Use the Chicago Tribune Timeline of the progress of the #metoo movement as a starting point.  Use online platforms such as instagram to track other moments that the Tribune might have missed.


What has been the impact of the #metoo movement in New Zealand?

Jacinda and the PM on the herald...


Do something. A great (Aotearoa New Zealand) list of little and big ways to shout.

So...if you've read this far then we guess you've come to the conclusion that we're not there yet. It may be a little dated (as in since it was written we've gained a new (female) prime minister and had a significant change in government) but this is a wonderful "list of small to big actions that you can take, resources that you can soak in, and further below, organisations you can support, to make positive change here in New Zealand".  A map, perhaps, for how to get there..