Suffrage 2010 – New Zealand women, first in the world

PosterCome along and find out if your great-granny was a suffragist!

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is celebrating Suffrage 2010 in style.

With the support of Archives New Zealand, Christchurch City Council and Wellington City Council, they’ve organised a programme to raise awareness of Suffrage Day and the significance of New Zealand being the first country in the world where women could vote.

Transcripts of the 1893 Suffrage petition will be available at a special suffrage display at the Central Library from 20 September to 3 October.

There’s also a new section on the website about Māori Women and the Vote, honouring the active role of  Māori women suffragists.

See our earlier post for more information on New Zealand heroines like Kate Sheppard and Ada Wells.

Hot off the Presses in Young Adult

CoverNew books have a wonderful smell. The thought that I may be the first person to crack it open, breath in its heady scent of ink, paper and fresh ideas is always exciting. Ok, I don’t get out much!

New Zealand author Karen Healey has a debut novel steaming up the young adult sections of the Library. Guardian of the Dead is a para-normal thriller that has a strong female protagonist, Ellie Spencer to boot -something I’m always excited to see.

I’ve just finished reading it, and it certainly weaves a fascinating tale that spins together local Christchurch and Napier scenes, teenage angst and Maori mythology.

Ellie is at boarding school in Christchurch and is not really enjoying it, but has a good friend in Kevin and a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. She’s feisty but insecure. Like most teenage girls, she hates her body and feels there is nothing special about her or her life, but she soon finds out she is in fact extra-ordinary.

It’s a great story for teenagers,  especially girls who are into the supernatural, although there is twist at the end that in light of Christchurch’s earthquake cut very close to the bone. I love seeing the characters placed in Christchurch settings, and the Maori mythology was an integral and gorgeous part of the  story.

It wasn’t for me the seat of the pants, page turner I was expecting, but it is well worth recommending for teens looking for a locally set book by a New Zealand author.