Scholarship Success Story

Scholarship Success Story

Scholarship Success Story

Our recent Scholarship winner, Laura Cross from the Christchurch Branch, attended the Outboard Bound Leadership course. Read the story about her experience during the 5-day course on our scholarship page. Also, a reminder that NZWiR is offering this scholarship again this year, so keep an eye out for the announcement soon.

Charting New Heights Through an Outward Bound Scholarship

Few experiences are as transformational as embarking on a journey of self-discovery in the picturesque landscapes of the Outward Bound school in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

For Bremick Fasteners South Island Account Manager Laura Cross, a New Zealand Women in Roofing member, this experience became a reality last month. The 30-year-old received the 2023 New Zealand Women in Roofing (NZWiR) Outward Bound Scholarship. Supported by industry partners, the scholarship allows women in the New Zealand roofing industry to participate in an Outward Bound course, helping them develop their leadership and personal skills.

Laura’s voyage to the Outward Bound school in Anakiwa wasn’t without its twists and turns. Initially booked to head to Anakiwa in November 2023, fate intervened with a stress fracture to her ankle, postponing Laura’s five-day course. Undeterred by this setback, Laura eventually shed her moon boot and began training again, attending a five-day leadership course in March. Motivated by the prospect of unlocking her potential at Outward Bound, Laura immersed herself in activities designed to test her physical prowess and mental resilience. From navigating Marlborough’s waterways to scaling the school’s towering Kahikatea trees and rock walls, Laura embraced each obstacle with tenacity.

She admits the course was a journey of introspection and growth.

“The physical challenges and not knowing what would happen next didn’t worry me. However, the pace we were moving at and being in close proximity 24-7 with people I didn’t know was stressful, and I felt out of my comfort zone.

“Our watch was a diverse age mix of three people under 30, including myself, and ten women over 40. We had come from having full autonomy over our lives to not knowing when we’d eat, sleep, or have a cuppa on our own. We had to learn to let go of control and lean into it,” she said.

Surrounded by her twelve watchmates, Laura delved deep into the nuances of leadership and collaboration. Through shared experiences and camaraderie, the Bremick South Island Account Manager discovered the power of teamwork and the satisfaction of collective achievement. “I have made connections with 12 new friends. Who you are there with is as much part of the Outward Bound experience as what you get from it yourself. You can learn a lot about yourself through how you interact with others.

“I used to do rock climbing at a competitive level, so I was looking forward to this activity and the high ropes course. I was teamed with Michelle, a watchmate who was less confident about scaling heights. It was inspiring to watch her progress through her fear. She cried. I cried. I coached her through it, and I was so proud of her getting up there and achieving it. We communicated well, and working together and completing the obstacles was a good feeling.”

Laura said sailing a cutter was another opportunity to lead her watchmates.
“Achieving ten people to row in synch was quite the task. I took the lead as I enjoy rowing, and I’m not a natural navigator! There was no wind; it was the stillest, most beautiful morning ever. The sun was beating down.

“I stepped up and liked having the extra responsibility. I encouraged and kept people on time. Everyone was busting their boiler to get the job done, but without wind, pushing us forward with our blistered hands was mentally challenging. It felt great to lead and have a sense of achievement when we reached our destination.”

Laura says one month has passed since her return to work, and while she has more processing to do, she is enjoying putting her learnings into action at work.

“I have gained more confidence and belief that I can do what I set out to do. I feel more empowered to go after things I want. I don’t question myself as much or ruminate on things without asking others first. I speak up more. While I enjoy talking to people one-on-one, I used to be more of a wallflower in group settings, which was challenging.”

NZWiR Founding Chair Jenny Maxwell said the committee received many quality scholarship applications, but during her interview, Laura’s self-awareness stood out.
“When we met Laura, she knew that to pursue herself and her career to do better, she needed to be more extroverted in her role. She said she could talk to clients from a knowledge point of view but didn’t feel confident in herself. We knew at Outward Bound she could gain this confidence and run with it – to get out there and do well.
“I spoke to Laura’s boss last week, and he said there is already a difference in her self-confidence, and he can see a change in her assertiveness at work, which is exactly what we had hoped for Laura,” said Jenny.

During the five-day course, Laura said a leadership workshop cemented her newfound confidence. “We learned about our leadership styles and how to work with colleagues who aren’t the same as us. We learnt how to tap into other people’s styles to make the workplace better for us and them. “The workshop empowered me as an individual, and I gained personal insight into my own style. I struggle with Imposter Syndrome. I’m one of the very few female reps in the industry, and despite being in it for nine years and repping for six, I sometimes find it a slog. Sometimes, I have felt I have to work twice as hard as a male, and I have asked myself, ‘Am I good enough?’ I have learnt to accept the success I have is deserved.”

Despite the deep reflection and personal challenge, there were many moments of levity and laughter.

“We were leaving Mistletoe Bay on the cutter – we were all prepared and ready to go. Leaving the dock, everyone was rowing and doing what they were supposed to be doing. It felt like a hard slog, but we weren’t moving. We asked ourselves what was happening and why we weren’t moving – before someone realised we hadn’t taken the anchor out!”

Laura says one of the good habits she gained in Anakiwa has followed her home.
“I felt very good afterward with what I had achieved physically as I never enjoyed running before the course – yet I’m home now and still running. From a mental clarity point of view, it helps me.”

The Bremick employee says she is grateful to NZWiR for the opportunity.
“Outward Bound is not something I thought I’d do in my lifetime. I wasn’t even sure I would apply for the scholarship and I definitely wasn’t sure I’d get the scholarship. Being at OB has helped with my confidence a lot.
“I feel stronger mentally and physically after having done OB.”

The Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand offers life-changing journeys of self-discovery. Visit to learn more about their courses.

Winter Newsletter 2024

Winter Newsletter 2024

Tēnā Koutou katoa

At NZWiR, we are dedicated to supporting and elevating our members and women in the roofing industry. Our focus is on upholding our pillars of Mentoring, Education, Networking, and Recruitment. As a committee, our goal is to enhance our communications and memberships while emphasizing the importance of building and nurturing relationships with women supporting women.

Being part of a tribe sets us apart!

Upcoming AGM

We have our Annual AGM scheduled for July. This event will be held via a Teams meeting. An email will be sent out to all our members, with nomination forms attached. If you are keen or considering becoming a committee member, I encourage you to apply. It is a great opportunity to grow personally, learn new skills, and join a team of inspiring, dedicated, and passionate women.

New Roofing Scholarship

We are collaborating with Vertical Horizons to offer a Roofing Scholarship later this year. This will be an amazing opportunity for a woman currently working in a roofing team who wants to obtain qualifications and learn new skills.

Exciting News: Children’s Story Book

We have some exciting news! Our Children’s Story Book committee, in conjunction with Martin Finney and Kata Bagyon-Parker, has completed the book “My Mum’s A Roofer.” This fantastic, fun, and beautifully illustrated soft-covered book tells the story of a mother who is a roofer and takes readers on a journey through her work. The book will be launched in the next couple of weeks and will be available for purchase via the website in the next month or two.

Informative Webinars

Please remember to check out and attend our informative Webinars, organized regularly by our lovely Gen from NZ Steel who is also the Auckland Branch leader. These webinars contain valuable content for all to learn from. If you miss them on the day, they are now available on our website for you to view at your convenience.

View the Webinars

Regional Meetings

Lastly, the committee is planning to hold two regional NZWiR meetings in the coming year. We aim to have one in the South Island and one in the North Island. We are looking for members interested in helping with our mission and making these meetings memorable. If you are keen to join the subcommittee, please email us at

Remember, in all that you do – Lean in, look up. Great things are ahead.

Ngā mihi,
Debbie Wickliffe
NZWiR Chair.

“Meet the Members” Giveaway

“Meet the Members” Giveaway

Kia Ora waiwaiā wāhine

I trust this message finds you in great spirits. I bring some exciting news – our long-awaited NZWIR promotional products are now ready for ordering, and we can’t wait to share them with you! But that’s not all – we’re also offering a fantastic opportunity to feature more of our members on our “Meet the Members” page on our website.

Check out our Meet the Members page:

We’re excited to send a special pack of NZWIR goodies to the first 8 members who send us a photo and a brief bio about themselves. This photo and bio will be uploaded onto our website, showcasing the vibrant diversity of our community.

To be a part of this exciting opportunity, please send us:

  • Your photo
  • A short bio about yourself (for inspiration, take a look at the profiles already on the page)
  • Your mailing address (so we can send you the goodies)
  • Your phone number

Send your details to:

Additionally, please complete the Social Media Release Form available here. This form permits us to feature your photo and bio on our social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. If you prefer not to be featured on any of these platforms, please let us know.

If you want to purchase more of our merchandise, you can download an order form from our website’s resources page.

Let’s seize this opportunity to showcase the incredible women of NZWIR and celebrate their remarkable achievements. Together, let’s shine a light on our members and the outstanding māhī they do!

Ngā mihi nui
Debbie Wickliffe
NZWiR Chair



Newsletter – February 2024

Newsletter – February 2024

Kia Ora and nau mai haere mai!

Welcome to 2024 with New Zealand Women in Roofing!

Kia ora and warm wishes to all our incredible wāhine in the roofing whānau as we step into the vibrant landscape of 2024! Aotearoa’s rooftops continue to rise, shaped by your skilled hands, sharp minds, and unwavering determination. We, at New Zealand Women in Roofing (NZWiR), stand alongside you, celebrating your achievements and cheering you on as you pave the way for a more diverse, inclusive, and thriving roofing industry.

Looking back at 2023, we witnessed remarkable accomplishments by our members. Laura Cross, of Bremick Fasteners the recipient of the prestigious Outward Bound Scholarship, pushing her limits and inspiring others. To the new members joining the committee and sharing their passion and expertise to help our mission to grow and support our members.  Congratulations to all who have had a promotion, change of position, and growth within the sector.

As we embark on this new year, we’re brimming with excitement for what lies ahead. We invite you to:

  • Join us in our mission: Become a member of NZWiR and gain access to our valuable network, mentoring opportunities, educational resources, and career-boosting tools. We’re stronger together!
  • Connect and empower: Attend our upcoming events, workshops, and conferences—vibrant spaces to share experiences, learn from fellow professionals, and forge lasting connections.
  • Raise your voice: Share your stories, insights, and challenges. Your voice matters, and we’re here to amplify it. Let’s advocate for a workplace that embraces change and creates equal opportunities for everyone.
  • Embrace the future: Be part of shaping the future of the roofing industry. Share your ideas, contribute to our initiatives, and help us build a sustainable and inclusive industry for all.

Remember, wāhine toa, you are the backbone of the roofing industry. Your strength, resilience, and expertise are invaluable. With NZWiR by your side, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.

So, let’s embrace the challenges and opportunities that 2024 presents with confidence and collaboration.

Ka kite āno

Debbie Wickliffe

On behalf of the New Zealand Women in Roofing team

Meet the sponsors

From the iron sand of the west coast to the roof over your head – it takes a village. New Zealand Steel is proud NZWiR is a part of that village!


New Zealand Steel, the only steel mill in New Zealand, has been leading the way in producing high-quality products for over 50 years, with a product range central to major markets including
manufacturing, infrastructure, packaging, agriculture, and construction – including roofing & cladding with our flagship brand, COLORSTEEL®.

Proudly New Zealand’s favourite roof, COLORSTEEL® is renowned for its durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal.

Beyond our commitment to creating and inspiring smart solutions in steel to strengthen our communities for the future, New Zealand Steel actively supports and empowers women in the steel, construction, and roofing industries. While these industries have traditionally been male-dominated, New Zealand Steel is working to change this by actively promoting gender diversity and inclusion, recently winning the Diversity NZ Inclusive Workplace (Medium-Large organisation) category, in recognition of our efforts to create a more inclusive workplace for both working caregivers and pregnant employees. 


This commitment to equal employment opportunities has seen a continued and steady increase in the number of women employed by New Zealand Steel, now sitting at approximately 20% of our workforce. 2018 saw New Zealand Steel hire the first female CEO, Gretta Stephens, now BlueScope’s Chief Executive Officer, Climate Change and Sustainability.

With Zealand Steel actively promoting and working to achieve a stronger workplace and industry diversity and inclusion, when the opportunity to support New Zealand Women in Roofing at its conception came up, it was a no brainer. Partnering with NZWiR and encouraging employees to become members, allows us to better understand the needs of the industry, exchange experiences, to learn from and support females within the roofing community.

Here are some of New Zealand Steel’s superstars that turn steel making into an art form, from the very start of the process of making steel to delivering COLORSTEEL® for your roofs.

Thanks, NZWiR for having us as part of your team.

Achieving Optimal Health Through Lifestyle Medicine: A Guide for Women – Nuture By Ange

In a world brimming with fad diets, miracle supplements, and quick-fix solutions, the concept of achieving optimal health can often seem like an elusive goal.  However, there’s a holistic and scientifically backed approach that’s gaining traction for its effectiveness in promoting well-being: lifestyle medicine.  In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of lifestyle medicine and explore its significance in helping women achieve optimal health.

What is Lifestyle Medicine?

Lifestyle medicine is not just another passing trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how we approach health and wellness.  Unlike conventional medicine which often focuses on treating symptoms, lifestyle medicine aims to address the root cause of health issues by adopting a comprehensive and personalised approach.  It recognises that the choices we make in our daily lives play a pivotal role in determining our overall health outcomes.

Significance for Women’s Health:

For women, the impact of lifestyle choices is particularly profound.  The unique physiological and hormonal makeup of women means their health needs can differ from those of men.  By embracing lifestyle medicine, women can harness the power of their choices to optimise their well-being across all life stages.  Here’s why lifestyle medicine is especially significant for women:

  1. Empowerment through Knowledge: Lifestyle medicine empowers women with knowledge about their bodies and health. By understanding how nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management affect their well-being, women can make informed choices that align with their personal goals.
  2. Prevention and Longevity: Many health conditions that women commonly face, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and hormonal imbalances, can often be prevented or managed effectively through lifestyle interventions. By adopting healthy habits, women can enhance their longevity and quality of life.
  3. Holistic Approach: Women’s health is not solely defined by physical well-being; emotions, mental, and social aspects also play a crucial role. Lifestyle medicine encourages a holistic approach that takes all these factors into account, promoting a balanced and fulfilling life.
  4. Natural Hormone Balance: Hormonal fluctuations are a natural part of a woman’s life, from puberty to menopause. Lifestyle choices can greatly influence hormone balance, leading to reduced symptoms during these transitions.
  5. Positive Role Modelling: Women often play pivotal roles within their families and communities as caregivers and influencers. By adopting healthy habits through lifestyle medicine, they set positive examples for their loved ones and contribute to healthier communities.

Final Thoughts:  

As we embark on this journey into lifestyle medicine, remember that it’s not about drastic overhauls but rather gradual, sustainable changes.  By making conscious choices in what we eat, how we move, and how we care for our minds and bodies, we can unlock the potential for optimal health.   By embracing lifestyle medicine, women can embark on a transformative journey that not only enriches their lives but also sets a positive example for future generations.

In upcoming newsletters, we’ll explore practical steps that women can take to integrate lifestyle medicine principles into their lives and reap the benefits of improved well-being. So, let’s begin this journey of empowerment, self-care, and holistic well-being together.


Angela Smith – Nurture By Ange 

New Zealand Women in Roofing Sweatshirts

Sweatshirts are available in White and Navy.  Talk to your branch leader about ordering one today!

Outward Bound Sponsorship Winner

Outward Bound Sponsorship Winner

Laura Cross, an account manager for Bremick Fasteners, is the recipient of the 2023 New
Zealand Women in Roofing (NZWiR) Outward Bound Scholarship. The scholarship, which is
supported by industry partners, provides an opportunity for a woman working in the New
Zealand roofing industry to participate in an Outward Bound course, helping them to developtheir leadership and personal skills.

Laura is a passionate advocate for women in the roofing industry, and she is excited to use her scholarship to develop her skills and knowledge so that she can continue to support other women in the industry. She is also looking forward to the challenge of the Outward Bound course, and she is confident that it will help her to grow both personally and professionally. Laura is sure to make a significant contribution to the roofing industry
in the future.

The NZWiR Outward Bound Scholarship is a valuable opportunity for women working in the New Zealand roofing industry to develop their leadership and personal skills.