Story: Hawke’s Bay places

Rissington Women’s Institute banner

Rissington Women’s Institute banner

Hawke’s Bay teacher and orchardist Bessie Spencer founded the first New Zealand branch of the Women’s Institute at Rissington in 1921. The aim of this organisation was to give women the chance to participate in activities outside the home – something especially welcome to women living in the isolated, rural parts of Hawke’s Bay. In 2018 there were 245 local institutes throughout New Zealand.

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New Zealand Federation of Women's Institutes

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Hawke’s Bay places - Inland of Hastings and Napier', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 February 2023)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, updated 30 Nov 2015