suffrage 125

Events In History


Women and the vote

Temperance movement

  • Temperance movement

    Temperance was one of the most divisive social issues in late-19th and early-20th century New Zealand. Social reformers who argued that alcohol fuelled poverty, ill health, crime and immorality nearly achieved national prohibition in a series of hotly contested referendums.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 – Beginnings

    Dawn of the New Zealand temperance movement, 1881-1893.

  • Page 4 – Voting for prohibition

    The First World War period brought total or partial prohibition to several countries: New Zealand came within a whisker of joining them.

Suffrage 125

Events: Suffrage 125

  • Events: Suffrage 125

    2018 marked 125 years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. As we remember the suffragists and their achievements, how can we also explore women’s rights and feminist issues in New Zealand today?

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 – # Kate Sheppard sent me

    A poignant placard used in a 2017 Women’s March – ‘Kate Sheppard sent me’ – highlighted the connection between the fight for women’s suffrage in the 1890s and the ongoing women

  • Page 3 – Are we there yet? Women in Parliament

    'Prime Minister AND a mum'On 19 January 2018, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced via Instagram that she and her partner, Clarke Gayford, were expecting their first child

Parliament's people

  • Parliament's people

    Today there are 120 MPs in New Zealand's Parliament, which is a far cry from the 37 who met for the first time in Auckland in 1854.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 - Women MPsFor much of its first century, Parliament was a bastion of male culture. Nowadays women make up 30% of

Women together

  • An introduction to the history of  women's organisations and the Women Together project


  • McCombs, Elizabeth Reid

    Forty years after women in New Zealand received the right to vote, Elizabeth McCombs became the first female Member of Parliament.

  • Wells, Ada

    Ada Wells is remembered for her contribution to the women's suffrage campaign in the 1880s and 90s, and for becoming the first woman elected to the Christchurch City Council in 1917.

  • Hall, John

    John Hall was a force in our politics for several decades, serving as Premier and leading the parliamentary campaign for votes for women.

  • Sheppard, Katherine Wilson

    New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the vote. Kate Sheppard, leading light of the suffrage movement, was vindicated when 65% of New Zealand women took the chance to vote in their first general election.

  • Shipley, Jennifer Mary

    New Zealand’s first woman PM, Jenny Shipley came to power in 1997 after staging a carefully planned coup against Jim Bolger.

  • Clark, Helen Elizabeth

    Jenny Shipley may have been our first female PM, but Helen Clark was the first elected one. In 2008 she became our fifth longest-serving PM and Labour’s first to win three consecutive elections.

  • Morison, Harriet Russell

    Dynamic and determined, Harriet Morison helped establish trade unions for female workers and was one of the leaders in the campaign to get votes for women.

  • Rātana, Iriaka Matiu

    The first Māori woman to be elected to Parliament, Iriaka Matiu Rātana was a passionate advocate for the welfare of her people.

  • Howard, Mabel Bowden

    In 1947, 14 years after Elizabeth McCombs had become the first woman MP, and more than half a century after women had won the vote, Mabel Howard became New Zealand’s first woman Cabinet minister.

  • Ardern, Jacinda Kate Laurell

    New Zealand’s third female PM, and at 37 our youngest leader since Edward Stafford in 1856, Jacinda Ardern enjoyed perhaps the most meteoric rise to power of any New Zealand PM