Liz Evans was announced as the new national president of Rural Women New Zealand at the organisation’s national conference in Oamaru this week, as former president Margaret Chapman stepped down at the end of her three year term.
Mrs Evans brings to the role a strong rural background, having lived and worked on her family’s sheep and beef farm in the Marlborough high country for more than 30 years.
A past Kellogg’s scholar, Mrs Evans has a professional background in journalism, and continues to work as a freelance contributor to rural and other media.
She says: “Although I spent the first 21 years of my life living in big cities and towns, I have grown to have a considerable respect for agriculture, rural life and the people who live and work in rural communities.
“For this reason I have had a long commitment to Rural Women New Zealand – a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation that punches well above its weight in terms of rural support activities and advocacy.”
Mrs Evans has been a Rural Women New Zealand national councillor for the past five years, during which time she has had a special interest in land use issues.
Her conservation interests are inspired her family’s 3,700 ha holding in the Waihopai Valley, where she, husband Geoff and son David farm ultra-fine wool merino sheep and Angus cattle. They voluntarily retired 500 hectares of high country in the 1980s.
She says Rural Women New Zealand is a motivated, positive and forward-looking organisation that can and does make a difference.
“As the new leader of the team at Rural Women New Zealand, I intend to keep building on past success while recognising the changing needs and interests of those in the rural environment.”