Margaret gets NZ honour

Margaret Chapman is now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Margaret Chapman received her Queen’s Birthday Honours medal at a presentation ceremony last week in Wellington.

Mrs Chapman was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rural women and rural communities in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021.

The medal was presented by Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro at Government House.

Mrs Chapman’s family were also in attendance.

Mrs Chapman, of Geraldine, humbly received her award, and acknowledged the support of others in her community which had inspired her involvement.

She was Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) national president from 2007 to 2010, leading the organisation through a period of rapid growth and change.

She instigated the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women’s Awards, now NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards.

She was national councillor for the Canterbury region to RWNZ from 2001 to 2007, RWNZ Kakahu branch president from 1993 to 1999 and South Canterbury provincial president from 1998 to 2001 and again since 2010.

She has chaired RWNZ Region 2 Area Committee since 2015, instigating several initiatives for or recognising rural women.

Outside of Rural Women she was a Trustee the Rural Communities Trust from 2007 to 2010 and of the New Zealand Landcare Trust.

In these roles she advocated for ensuring rural access to social, health, welfare and education services.

She has been secretary of Geraldine Historical Society since 2013 and co-authored Before Her Time'(1997), a historical study of a Kakahu poet.

She has been secretary/treasurer of Kakahu Hall for 25 years.

And was a key driver of the Fairlie Mid-Winter seminars from 1998 to 2017, organised a national writing competition in 2011 to highlight women on the land, and instituted kid-friendly farm safety days within primary schools in 1996 in conjunction with ACC.