Issue date
11 March 2022

Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women congratulates Maisy Bentley and Vaiola Tauti who have been selected as the non-governmental delegates to join the official NZ Government delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) from 14th-25th March 2022. 

CSW is held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York each year; it is recognised as the highest level international forum on gender equality and women's empowerment. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the New Zealand delegation will be attending CSW virtually. You can find more information on CSW66 here.

  • The priority theme for CSW66 is: ‘Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.

  • The review theme is: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work (agreed conclusions of the sixty-first session).

Maisy Bentley is in her final trimester of a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (Māori Studies and International Development) she has a focus on using her legal and academic skills for social good, especially for women's equality. Maisy has experience in the NGO sector, academia and the law with numerous successes as a researcher, Board Member, and being Executive Officer for United Nations Association New Zealand (UNA NZ). Maisy has significant achievements under her belt both academically and in practice, including being named "Outstanding Youth Champion" by New Zealand's Minister for Youth, Thomson Reuters Top Student in Contract Law and Most Inspirational Young Person of the Year. 

Maisy is familiar with CSW, having participated as a civil society delegate in CSW63 and 66. When CSW66 moved online she saw this as an opportunity to uplift more voices of young women; as the Executive Officer for UNA NZ, she worked with them to send a delegation of seven young women to CSW. Maisy has stated that she's "really looking forward to continuing working with the women's NGO sector and representing them as part of the delegation." 

Vaiola Tauti is a proud tama'ita'i Samoa who works at Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ (MYLN). She has a long history with UN Youth NZ (UNY NZ) starting in 2018 and is currently a UNY board director. Vaiola is an intersectional human rights activist with an interest in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion, civics education and empowering indigenous communities. Vaiola made UNY history in 2021 when she became the first Pasifika/Samoan individual to be appointed as a Regional President since UNY NZ's establishment in 1999. Her passion for advocating and uplifting human rights, especially for marginalised communities, is seen in her extensive background with UNY, MYLN, and her studies at the University of Auckland. 

Vaiola's contributions to civics education and efforts to uplift the Māori and Pacific youth voices in this space were recognised in 2021 when she was selected as a recipient of YWCA Y25, which she says is one of her proudest achievements. 

Maisy Bentley and Vaiola Tauti will provide the government delegation with high-level advice on the priority theme from a non-governmental perspective.