Host: Te Aka Wāhine o Te Waipounamu Southern GWN

Venue: Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House

Date: 26 November 2021

Attendance: 12 


The Southern Government Women's Committee was delighted to hold its somewhat delayed Suffrage Day event at Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House.

It was an opportunity for current and former committee members, speakers and regular event attendees to network and celebrate Women's Suffrage in New Zealand, upon which so much progress has been built. 

Our incredibly knowledgeable host, Amy Goodbehere, gave us a guided tour of the beautiful eight-bedroom kauri villa that was built in 1888, followed by a tour of the impressive gardens. The famous petition was gathered together on the dining room table, and it was in the gardens that the suffragists received the telegram informing them that the vote for women had been won. 


Key facts from the day

  • On 19 September 1893, New Zealand became the first self-governing nation in the world where women had won (earnt) the right to vote.
  • In May 1888 the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) published a leaflet that was sent to every member of the House of Representatives and included “Ten Reasons Why Women Should Vote.”
  • In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Māori wāhine were involved in two concurrent suffrage movements. Māori wāhine supported the WCTU in seeking the right to vote for members of the New Zealand House of Representatives, and they also sought the right to vote and to stand as members of the Māori Parliament – Te Kotahitanga.


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