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27 April 2005

For immediate release


Rural Women New Zealand welcomes paid parental leave extension


Rural Women New Zealand is delighted that after three years extensive lobbying the Paid Parental Leave scheme is to be extended to include the self-employed.


Since its introduction in 2002, the scheme has given much needed assistance to some families with newborn babies, but until now has excluded self-employed workers.


This omission has affected many farming families and has been a source of considerable concern to Rural Women New Zealand, which over the last three years has lobbied continuously and vigorously with both the Ministries of Women's Affairs and Rural Affairs to see the scheme extended to cover the self-employed.


The enhanced scheme will enable self-employed families to employ extra assistance during the vital first 14 weeks of a newborn child's life.


This practical help will particularly assist farming mothers who are often the mainstay of the milking shed and the backbone of other farming activities, especially where their partner works off-farm.


The financial burdens that can occur when extra labour must be brought in to cover will also be considerably eased.


We are gratified that the hard work that our organisation has put in over the past three years has finally achieved recognition for self-employed farming parents throughout New Zealand . It is a welcome move.



For further information contact:



Sherrill Dackers

President – Rural Women New Zealand



Or Maggie Bayfield

Executive Officer – Rural Women New Zealand



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