A seven-year-old girl has forced a nation-wide policy change after her letter to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) went viral on Monday.
Zoe Carew, wrote a letter to Fergus Gammie, the chief executive of the NZTA, after she spotted a road sign saying "Lineman" on her way to visit her grandparents in the city of Eastbourne. She was angered by the fact that the term was not gender-neutral and had asked for it to be changed.
Used to indicate that people are fixing or installing power lines in the vicinity, the term Lineman has been common all over the world, but after the letter, the NZTA announced that it was now changing it to Line Crew.
"Why does the sign say 'Linemen' when the people working on the lines may be men or women? I think this sign is wrong and unfair. Do you agree?" Carew wrote in the letter. "I don't really want to be a line-worker when I grow up because there are so many more exciting things I would like to do, but some girls might want to learn to linewomen," she added.
"Can you please change the sign to say 'Line-workers' instead or something else correct and fair like that," she asked. In response, Gammie wrote back to Carew saying that the change would be made. Carew's mother then shared both the notes on Facebook.
The chief executive commended her for her suggestion and "for taking action where you think something unfair should be fixed. Well done", the Guardian quoted from the social media post.
On a related note, the New Zealand Parliament made history last week when it passed a new law allowing domestic violence victims 10 days of paid leave, along with several other benefits when it goes into effect from April 2019.