The development of Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine Women’s Employment Action Plan was led by the National Advisory Council for the Employment of Women (NACEW). 

NACEW led targeted engagement between November 2021 and February 2022 with wāhine Māori, Pacific women, ethnic women and organisations that support women. 

NACEW members (at the time of this engagement) included: Traci Houpapa (Chair), David McLean, Bernadette Pereira, Theresa Gattung, Jade Tang-Taylor, Alison Mau, Ariana Paul, Angela McLeod, Katherine Rich (Business New Zealand representative) and Erin Polaczuk (New Zealand Council of Trade Unions representative).

Engagement was supported by NACEW’s partner organisations: Māori Women’s Welfare League, PACIFICA, National Council of Women New Zealand, YWCA, Rural Women New Zealand, Global Women, Māori Women Development Inc, Human Rights Commission, Iti Rearea Collective – and Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women. 

Read the background documents and engagements on Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine in the Library.

Key themes from engagement on the Action Plan

Below are the key themes that were heard throughout initial engagement on Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine:

  • Investigate the impact of changes to the labour market on different groups of women.
  • Undertake a gender-based review of employment terms and conditions (such as addressing insecure and casual work (e.g., zero-hour contracts, long work hours, and low pay). 
  • Racism and discrimination needs to be addressed.
  • Increase the wages of low-income women.
  • Focus employment, education and training programmes and initiatives on what is effective for different groups of women.
  • Increase support for women in business/entrepreneurship.
  • Address the digital divide.
  • Support women to move between paid and unpaid work.
  • Increase gender inclusiveness within leadership and governance. 
  • Change the income support system to better support transitions between insecure forms of work.
  • Wāhine Māori want opportunities that are ‘steeped in Māori’ tikanga.
  • Recognise the cultural capital of Pacific women.
  • Address systemic barriers for migrant and refugee women.