Call for more women to stand for local government office

Taupo MP Louise Upston called for more women on New Zealand councils at the Local Government New...
Taupo MP Louise Upston called for more women on New Zealand councils at the Local Government New Zealand conference yesterday. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Taupo MP Louise Upston.
Taupo MP Louise Upston.

National's Minister for Women and Associate Minister for Local Government says it is time for the gender balance of New Zealand's councils to reflect the wider society.

Taupo MP Louise Upston told the Local Government New Zealand conference in Dunedin yesterday women made up just one-third of elected members on the country's councils.

"It's a good time to look at who's standing,'' she told the meeting.

It was important to ensure councils reflected the communities they served, and with elections coming in October, it was "a great time'' to do something about that.

Greater diversity brought a greater level of performance in government, Ms Upston said.

She asked women to be "champions of diversity'', and suggested others "have a chat with them, shoulder-tap them if necessary.''

"Remind them clearly we've got a deadline coming up.''

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