Ria McBride, OBE B.A.

Ria McBride, OBE B.A.


Ria McBride was the doyenne of BPW Women in my early life with BPW. She was an esteemed Public Servant, a great friend to BPW Wellington and it was she who nominated me for President of BPW Wellington back in the 70’s.

Ria was a Wellingtonian, from one of the founding families of Johnsonville as well as a great lover of her province, though she had in fact been born in Geraldine.  She was the senior female public servant prior to the last war and found all her efforts to go to war thwarted by the Public Service, who recognised her skills and abilities and were determined to keep her here in New Zealand to ensure the ongoing efficiency and stability of the public service. She was in later life the first women Human Right Commissioner until ill health forced her retirement.

During Ria’s term of office the Ramallah Women’s Training Centre support scholarships continued as did the setting up of sponsorship package for tuition, book and a personal allowance for a woman student at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, Tarun Lata Ben Waitha.

Six New Zealanders led by Ria attended the first International Congress of IFBPW to be held in a Spanish speaking country – Buenos Aires, Argentina and the first time a woman