The Report on the Role of Women in New Zealand (1975) was a groundbreaking document. Listen to Margaret Wilson and
Adrienne von Tunzelmann share their experiences and insights from the inquiry during a moderated discussion at Tauranga
City Library on Tuesday, December 4 from 12.30 to 1.30pm.
Among the milestones marking women’s rights in New Zealand in the 125 years since Women’s Suffrage, one that deserves
recognition is the parliamentary select committee inquiry into the role of women in New Zealand society – an
unprecedented event in New Zealand's parliamentary history. The 100-page report, written in the midst of women’s rights
activism in the 1970s, painted a picture of persistent inequality, concluding “without reservation the need for an
accelerated effort to remove all impediments to the equal participation of women in society”.
The select committee report put women on the political agenda for the first time. How did this come about? What does it
tell us about how decisions are made in Wellington relating to the equality of women? What can we be doing today?
Former Speaker of the House and Law Professor Margaret Wilson (herself a significant player in mobilising the inquiry)
and Adrienne von Tunzelmann (who sat with the select committee as advisory officer and drafted the report) will share
their experiences and insights.
Professor Margaret Wilson, DCNZM, Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Waikato. Former Member of Parliament
1999 – 2008. Held several Ministerial appointments including Attorney-General, Minister of Labour and former Speaker New
Zealand Parliament 2005 – 2008. Co-author Human Rights in NZ: Emerging Faultlines and currently has Law Foundation
funding to research how Parliament deal with human rights issues with Professor Judy McGregor.
Adrienne von Tunzelmann QSO has had governance roles in a range of voluntary and professional organisations including
her past roles as President of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, trustee on the University of Waikato Foundation,
long-standing Chair of the New Zealand Women's Refuge Foundation and President of the New Zealand Institute of Public
Administration. Mentoring aspiring board directors, especially talented young women, is something Adrienne enjoys. In
2016 she was awarded the Queen's Service Order for her contributions to community and governance.