Women's Network Conference speakers


The current confirmed speakers list for The Women's Network 2018 conference, 16 and 17 August, Auckland

Helen Clark Photo

Helen Clark

Former Administrator of UNDP

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999–2008.  She was the first woman to be elected as Prime Minister in New Zealand.

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive program on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. She was an active leader of her country’s foreign relations, engaging in a wide range of international issues.

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organisation, and served two terms there. At the same time, she was Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, programs, agencies, and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organisation. She completed her tenure in 2017.

Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her BA and MA (Hons) degrees.

Helen continues to be a strong voice for sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and on HIV.

2018 07 DVVP third reading 4Jan Logie

Jan Logie is a Green MP and Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice, responsible for domestic and sexual violence issues. Throughout her life, Jan has campaigned for women’s rights, as the coordinator of Wellington Women’s Refuge and executive director of YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand, and volunteering with Wellington Rape Crisis, Youthline and HELP Sexual Abuse Crisis Line.

As Under-Secretary she is developing a national plan of action to address sexual and domestic violence; coordinating across government and community organisations to ensure survivors are able to access support and protection when and where they need it; and challenging the legal, historic and cultural factors which permit violence to occur.

She is the Green spokesperson for Social Development, Workplace Relations, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ACC, Rainbow Issues, State Services and Senior Citizens.

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Vanisa Dhiru

New Zealand born Indian Vanisa Dhiru is the current President of the National Council of Women New Zealand. Founded by Kate Sheppard, NCWNZ is an umbrella group leading the new Gender Equal NZ campaign.

During her recently working career, she has been in CEO level roles in the NGO sector, including CEO of Volunteering New Zealand, Executive Director of the 2020 Trust and interim General Manager of the YWCA Aotearoa NZ. Her wide community involvement has secured her a place in the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Global Network.

Vanisa's key achievements include “50 Women of Achievement 2016” Women to watch about progressing gender equality; and finalist for a number of awards in the past including Young New Zealander of the Year in 2010 – and she has since been an Executive Judge for the NZ Awards.

She is passionate about equality, developing young people and cultural relations.

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Rachel Mackintosh

Rachel Mackintosh works for E tū as the National Director of Organising and is the Vice-President of the NZCTU Te Kauae Kaimahi. She is also a member of the CTU Women’s Committee.

Her recent union adventures include representing New Zealand workers at the International Labour Organisation annual conference in Geneva this year – contributing to the debate to set up an international convention to end violence and harassment in the world of work.

Rachel’s Union, E tū, was proud to work with the PSA and NZNO for the 2017 equal pay victory for care workers. In her role as CTU Vice-President, Rachel has also been involved with the PSA and other unions in negotiating gender pay principles for the public sector – to address systemic causes of pay inequity that affect all women workers – not just those in female-dominated work.

And more speakers to come!