Gill Naylor, of Becks, is Rural Women New Zealand's new environmental spokeswoman.
She is one of three new board members to be elected to the national organisation at Rural Women New Zealand's annual meeting in Wellington last week.

Mrs Naylor, Jenny McDonald, of Ashburton, and Zelda de Villiers, of Northland, were elected, while Margaret Pittaway, of Lowburn, was one of those choosing to step down after serving on the board for several years.

Mrs Naylor, who has a farm with her family at Becks, is busy both on and off-farm.

She and husband Dave have three children and four grandchildren.


''I am keen to be involved at the national level and look forward to the challenge,'' Mrs Naylor said.

''I have been involved with Rural Women for close to 30 years.''

She joined the organisation at branch level with the Cambrian St Bathans branch and worked her way to provincial and regional governance.

Her first official meeting as a board member was November 21.

''The environment portfolio covers more than land and water issues, as there is the National Animal Identification and Tracing (Nait), biosecurity, health and safety, food safety and connectivity.

''We are on a farm so environment issues have always interested me.''

She was the chairwoman of the Central Otago District Council-appointed panel to independently review local government representation in 2012.

Mrs Naylor has also been involved in several community groups, including the Becks hall committee and was instrumental in raising $200,000 for its renovation about five years ago, in addition to further renovations earlier this year.


''It is now looking spick and span,'' she said.

'I am also a trustee on the Heartland Otago Southland Life Education Trust and that keeps me busy.''

As a trustee she is involved in the organisation's overall management, as well as procuring funding for the mobile classrooms and programme delivery.

The trust is to launch the Heartland Harold challenge as part of next February's Otago Central Rail Trail duathlon.

Teams raise money through sponsorship and fundraising by competing in the duathlon.

''Half the money will go to the charity of their choice and 50% will go to the Heartland Life Education Trust,'' she said.

Mrs Naylor has worked closely with Mrs Pittaway, who held the rural health portfolio before stepping down from the board last week.

''I very much appreciate the work Margaret has done and she is a wonderful asset to Rural Women and the region,'' she said.

Southern Rural Life