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Newly released figures show that under the previous National Government’s watch, the level of women’s participation on state sector boards and committees reached a record high of 45.7 per cent, National’s spokesperson for Women Paula Bennett says.

“National has led the charge on promoting women and developing policy settings that have encouraged more women into leadership roles.

“Under our Government, women were represented in over 45 per cent of governance roles appointed by Ministers onto state sector boards and committees.

“These are smart, talented, formidable women who were appointed into these roles based on merit and the value they could bring to the role, not based on quotas.

“It’s good that this Government wants to continue this work and build on the enormous gains made by women in recent years, but there’s still more to do and it’s important to recognise that change comes from the top.

“So it’s a shame that there are fewer women in senior Cabinet positions under this Labour-led Government than there were under National.

“And it’s a bit of an irony that they are setting targets on the number of women on state sector boards where positive change is already happening, yet in areas like health and crime they are dropping targets which were having a real impact.

“National has led by example. We had a strong line-up of women in senior Cabinet positions which we’ve carried through to Opposition shadow portfolios, and will continue when we return to Government.”

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