We catch up with Anita Edwards on her experience as AGWN Komiti Chair as she moves on to become the Chair of the GWN Steering Committee.


What and who motivated you to join Te Aka Wāhine o Tāmaki/Auckland GWN komiti?

I wanted to connect with women outside of my agency, share learnings, insights and the challenges we face to help with my own leadership journey. I learned quickly that we all had similar stories - glass ceilings, pay inequity and limited access for those on the frontline. As a result, my desire became less about myself and more about what changes I can encourage in the system. Cheryle Mikaere was my motivator to join, and Jo Hacking was my motivator that I can do more. 

During your tenure as Chair, what has the komiti achieved that you are most proud of?

Developing the Men as Allies strategy and resources to encourage further discussion on this topic. Kicking off the process and developing the Māori and Pacific Strategy which continues in strength. The setup of the Auckland Network Reps group and increasing their visibility across Auckland. Meaningful news articles where our members can see themselves reflected. Amazing events that support our strategies.

What can network members do to make the most out of belonging to an agency women’s network or Te Aka Wāhine o Tāmaki?

Reaching out to networks within agencies or externally can bring both support and opportunity for women in Auckland. I advise getting involved in any such capacity that their time commitments allow. AGWN facilitates cross-agency collaboration via events that it brings to its members and often an opportunity for networking. I have personally seen the value of growing your own network and how this has helped many women develop, grow and extend themselves in all aspects of their life.

You are now Chair of the GWN Steering committee, what key things do you hope to achieve while in this role?

To carry on the work that the previous Chair and Steering Committee have already started. A foundation has been laid and my role and that of the new Steering Committee is to continue to build what is already strong. We have an amazing group of women committed to addressing the challenges women face in the public service and providing a platform that will help all women reach and achieve their potential.



Anita with Jo Hacking and Kim Egerton

Marie Schmidt, Sarah Leo Anderson and Anita

Anmar Taufeek, Anita and Cheryle Mikaere

Back to Auckland GWN Stories & Profiles