BPW Tamaki Constitution & Bylaws

BPW Tamaki history and firsts – focus on BPW NZ Policy instigated by BPW NZ

BPW Tamaki was founded in 1967 and is the local organisation of the Federation of Business & Professional Women New Zealand (BPW NZ).

As a club we help women achieve professional and personal goals through programs, workshops, networking, and friendships. This is achieved through monthly meetings and other sponsored activities. Each BPW club creates its own unique agenda to meet the needs and aspirations of its members, but all have the same objectives.

BPW promotes equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. With 31 branches nation wide, BPW is the leading advocate for New Zealand women in regards to work-life balance and work place equity issues.

BPW provides members with professional development and networking opportunities, along with participation in lobbying for legislative change on issues important to women and the chance to enroll in BPW’s training programmes which cover a broad range of business skills including women in leadership, refugee & migrant issues, and negotiation techniques


BPW New Zealand History

Working for women in New Zealand since 1939.

During Easter, in 1939, delegates from eight regions of the Y.W.C.A. – Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru and Dunedin – met in Wellington and, after studying papers they had received from the International YWCA, agreed unanimously

“That the Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of the YWCA of New Zealand, Officially formed at this convention, apply to the International Federation of Business and Professional Women for Affiliation.”

This application was dispatched and two months later a cablegram reading “Directors welcome your federation” was received. The founder President was Miss Margery L. Toulson who was also immediately invited to become the BPW International First Vice President.

Soon after the war, in 1946, when the Federation comprised of 10 Clubs and was becoming recognised as a nationally organised society, it separated from the YWCA. Some ten years later membership had increased to 940 in 19 Clubs. This steady growth continued so that, when the Federation celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1989, membership totalled nearly 2000 in 45 Clubs located throughout New Zealand.

In 1991 the Federation adopted a new Constitution and became registered as an incorporated society. The Federation has maintained a close affiliation with the International Federation. Delegates and observers have regularly attended BPW International Congress and Board Meetings, members have served on Standing Committees and four have been elected to international office. In 1985 the XVIlth Congress was held in Auckland – the first Congress in Australasia.

Immediately from its formation the Federation has worked to eliminate inequalities and discrimination against women and has supported women in their achieving positions of responsibility and attaining high standards of education and training. Although membership is less than that of some women’s organisations in New Zealand, through the consistently high standard of submissions presented on proposed legislation, the valuable contribution of members serving on national, regional and local committees/councils and the high profile of many Clubs, the Federation is now recognised as a leader among national Non-Government Organisations, and as a strong voice of New Zealand women in business and the professions.


Official Collect of Business & Professional Women’s Clubs 2011

  • COLLECT 2011
    We ask
  • That we meet together as women, not allowing beliefs, religion, nationality, ethnicity or language to come between us.
  • That these meetings enable us to move forward and advance the status of women throughout the world.
  • That the value of women be recognized in our families, our communities, our workplaces, our country and the world.
  • That we use our good ideas, our knowledge, our experience to promote the worth of women.
  • That we combine our strengths to move forward in peace, in serenity, and in love.
    That women of all generations will do their part to achieve harmony and equality among all human beings.

Profile of BPW Founder Dr Lena Madison Phillips

Dr Lena Madesin Phillips was born in the then sleepy Kentucky hamlet of Nicholasville on September 15, 1881, in the fabled Bluegrass Region; her formative years were spent in Nicholasville and Jessamine County, where her father was county judge for 44 years. She was a talented musician and although poor health forced her to abandon plans to become a concert pianist, she continued to study music in New York and did some composing.

After an interlude in Nicholasville, she turned to a life-long interest in law and in 1917 was the first woman to graduate with Honours from the University Of Kentucky College Of Law. She was admitted to the bar in the same year and began practicing law, first in her hometown, then in New York City, in whose teeming streets she came face to face with the injustice, despair and social ills which had never touched her sheltered youth. She quickly sensed what power could be generated by a national movement to organise all women who had a business or a profession. Together they could mould public opinion, set new working standards, improve economic and industrial conditions and lay enduring foundations for peace for the benefit of all mankind. To get such an organisation on its feet became her consuming passion.

In 1919, she was offered, and accepted, the post of business women’s secretary for the national board of the Y.W.C.A. in New York which led to her position of leadership among the nation’s business and professional women and the founding of BPW USA in the same year.

In the late 1920’s while president of the US National Federation, she crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic leading “goodwill tours” finding like-minded European business women to form an international organisation and inspiring them to give their all for the same cause. In 1930 her dream was realised with the founding in Geneva of the International Federation of Business & Professional Women. She was elected President, a position she held for 17 years. Under auspices of the Office of War Information, she toured clubs in various countries of Europe during World War II to talk with women and help plan for their future.

Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips practiced law in New York City from 1923, wrote for magazines and served as Consultant to Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The University of Kentucky awarded her an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1939.

En route to a consultative conference with women leaders of the Middle East to be held in Beirut, she became ill and died on May 20, 1955, in Marseilles, France. She is buried in the family plot in the Maple Grove Cemetery, in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

“Each woman, as a citizen, must bring to the national policy of her own country, the contribution of forward-looking and constructive thought followed by determined action. Each woman must dedicate herself to protect and promote the interests of all other women in business and the professions. We invite the women of every nation to participate in this effort and every man who is in sympathy with it to lend us his moral support.”

Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips


Women working for women