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New Zealand Woman's Weekly

started its 75th birthday celebrations with afternoon tea with Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday.

Its diamond issue looks back on fashion through the years.

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Among its "75 women we love" are the Briscoes lady Tammy Wells, the world's first transgender MP, Georgina Beyer, and "mother of the nation's kitchens" Alison Holst.

Helen Clark said yesterday that the magazine provided a fascinating social history, tracking changes in women's lives since its launch in 1932 amid the Depression.

She paid tribute to its record of telling stories of everyday New Zealand women.

Television stars got a lot of press now, she said, but over the years the Weekly had won hard-to-clinch interviews with intensely private figures, including the late Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu and novelist Janet Frame, who died three years ago.

"You actually wrote, over all those years, about people who weren't on the screen but were part of our lives."