Suffrage City

120 years ago today – 19 September 1893 – women in New Zealand got the vote.
Kate Sheppard Memorial

Kate Sheppard Memorial

And 20 years ago today this Christchurch landmark – the Kate Sheppard Memorial – was unveiled.

Kia ora to all the women who fought so hard for us to get the vote.

Public notice for a meeting on the present and outlook of woman's suffrage to be held at the Oddfellows Hall, Lichfield Street, Chch.  [20 Oct. 1892]
Public notice for a meeting on the present and outlook of woman’s suffrage to be held at the Oddfellows Hall, Lichfield Street, Chch. 20 Oct. 1892
Photot of Some of the first women voters entering the Tuam Street hall
Some of the first women voters entering the Tuam Street hall. November 1893.

Our suffrage related stuff

More on votes for women

Women’s Suffrage Day – Spotlight on our local heroines

Sunday 19 September is Women’s Suffrage Day – a celebration of  New Zealand women getting the vote  in 1893. The Kate Sheppard Memorial in Oxford Terrace celebrates some of our pioneering sisterhood.

Photo
The Kate Sheppard Memorial

Another group of leaders are Christchurch’s own Women in the Council Chamber and we have brief political audio biographies  on Ada Wells, Elizabeth McCombs, the famed Mabel Howard as well as more recent councillors.

Our collection of Unsung heroines highlights local identities. These women were characters in all senses of the word. Bella Button – famed for her horseriding prowess – trained cats to jump like horses. Lizzie Coker, of Coker’s Hotel fame, was remembered as a ‘fantastic creature in elaborate wigs and huge fur coats’.

Other things to explore:

  • A brief diary written on board the Tintern Abbey en route from Gravesend to Christchurch, December 1874 – May 1875 by Mary Anne McCrystal, 1849-1929.
  • Ngaio Marsh – one of Canterbury’s most famous authors.
  • Elsie Locke – one of our Canterbury Heroes, her plaque reads ‘Political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, determined and doughty fighter for the rights of the under-dog, active to the end’.