Diane Foreman wants Ministry of Women's Affairs scrapped

  • 22/08/2015
Busineswoman Diane Foreman's book to be launched August 28 (Photo:Facebook)
Busineswoman Diane Foreman's book to be launched August 28 (Photo:Facebook)

By Fiona Rotherham

Businesswoman Diane Foreman says the best way to help other women follow her lead is to scrap the Ministry of Women's Affairs and set up a Ministry for Entrepreneurship.

That's one of the things she'd do if made prime minister for a day, according to "Diane Foreman: In the Arena", which is to be launched on August 28.

The book is essentially a how-to guide to taking a business from inception, growing it, and then selling.

The former EY Entrepreneur of the Year sold her global Emerald Foods ice-cream business this year and, after her book tour, is taking a break in the UK before deciding on her next investment.

From being a high school dropout and single mother of two in her twenties, the Aucklander got to run her own business after marrying Trigon Plastics founder Bill Foreman.

After they sold that business, Foreman set up Emerald Group, a multi-million dollar global investment company that backed businesses including property, healthcare, recruitment, and food manufacturing.

While not considering entering politics, Ms Foreman said she'd abolish the Ministry for Women's Affairs because it was actually marginalising and patronising of women.

She'd invest its $4.6 million annual budget into a new ministry that would encourage entrepreneurs who would, in turn, help grow New Zealand.

Ms Foreman said the new ministry would need an entrepreneurial minister with a business background and a chief executive with private sector experience in setting up, running, and selling a significant business from New Zealand rather than a public servant.

"Perhaps this could be my post-ice cream appointment' Just kidding," she says in the book, which was ghost written by EY communications manager and former journalist Jenni McManus.