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Governor-General's New Year message

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kia ora koutou

This year is the 125th anniversary of women achieving the right to vote in New Zealand Parliamentary elections.

Ours was the first country in the world where all women had this right, and it was a major step forward in the history of human rights.

When women and men can participate equally in our democracy, they are empowered to create more inclusive communities and a better future for generations to come.

The fact that currently our Prime Minister, Governor-General and Chief Justice are all women can be viewed as evidence of progress with gender equity, but we look forward to the day when it no longer draws comment.

Respect for women in the home, in our schools, in our workplaces is part of our inherent sense of fairness and decency as New Zealanders.

We look forward to the day when women no longer have to contend with sexual harassment and domestic violence.

We look forward to the day when women no longer face barriers in their careers, just because they are women.

We look forward to the day when men and women are valued and supported equally as they care for their children, and men are encouraged to join careers that may previously have been seen as women’s roles.

When women and men have the same opportunities to reach their potential in whatever roles they choose, there are significant economic and social benefits across our communities.

We can be proud of our history. My challenge to all New Zealanders is to recognise that there is still more to be done.

Happy New Year, and all the very best for the year ahead.

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