New Year Honours 2024: List highlights work women are doing to help other women

This year's New Year Honours list has highlighted the work some women have done supporting other women. 

That includes helping survivors of domestic violence and addressing the gender pay gap.  

After decades of work, some women were surprised they're now being awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

"My thoughts, first of all, were, 'Why am I getting this? And you know the team isn't,'" said Roslyn Hiini. 

"So many women do so much work and the mahi that I thought it was a privilege to be recognised in this way," Monica Briggs told Newshub. 

"I'm still a little bit overwhelmed actually, that someone would consider me for such a worthy honour," Kahira Olley said. 

Olley founded Save our Babies' charitable trust which supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. 

She also established a free school lunch programme 'Full Puku Full Potential'. 

For her friend Bena, Olley's honour is no surprise. 

"She's honest and her heart is huge. It's huge not only for family but it's huge for community," Bena said. 

Olley's message is clear. 

"Standing up for yourself is allowed, having a voice is allowed. Standing in your own truth and standing in your own mana is allowed," she told Newshub. 

Hiini is a founding member of the Working Women's Resource Centre and has been advocating for working women for over 30 years. 

"When you're 80 years old, first things in your life don't happen very often," she told Newshub. 

Currently, women in New Zealand make 8.6 percent less than their male counterparts. That gap is even larger for Asian, Māori and Pacific women. 

"So, at some stage in the year women are working for nothing," Hiini said. 

Briggs has also worked at narrowing the gender pay gap. She re-established a YWCA mentoring programme for young women from low-decile schools in Auckland and this motivated her to start the New Zealand Equal Pay Awards in 2014. 

"We're helping these young women reach their full potential but within five years, they're going out to the workforce, the gender pay gap was really evident," she said. 

They all plan to continue their dedication to servicing the women of Aotearoa. 

"There's a lot to be done still and when the work doesn't finish, neither do I," Hiini said.