New Zealand is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Well known for its two main islands – North Island and South Island - less well known is that there are approximately 600 smaller islands which are also part of New Zealand.
Over three-quarters of New Zealanders, including the indigenous Maori, live on the North Island, primarily in urban areas.
The first branch of Mothers' Union to be founded outside England was established in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1886 and since then Mothers' Union has spread across New Zealand.
In 1998 a new Constitution came into being forming the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The Mothers' Union is now very much part of this three Tikanga (strand) Church embracing Maori, Polynesia and Pakeha (European) members.
Members in New Zealand focus on carrying out the Aim and Objectives through a variety of local initiatives including:
Supporting teenage mothers
Raising awareness of child abuse
Bereavement support for children
Providing knitted items for neo-natal units
Providing gifts for children who have one or more parents in prison
‘Beads of courage’ bags for children receiving cancer treatment
Community Development Coordinators (CDC’s) are professionally trained community development staff, employed by local Mothers’ Union’s to help and support members as they engage with their churches and wider community.
During the 16 Days of Activism hundreds of members of the Mothers’ Union in Grahamstown came together in solidarity to bring attention and awareness the fact that gender based violence will not be tolerated.