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Women and the Vote

September's Display in the Foyer focuses on Womens' Suffrage - the NZ History website has information and a project which we encourage people to view.
On 19 September 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which
all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.  In most other democracies – including Britain and the United States – women did not win the right to the vote until after the First World War.


New Zealand’s world leadership in women’s suffrage became a central part of our image as a trail-blazing ‘social laboratory’.
That achievement was the result of years of effort by suffrage campaigners, led by Kate Sheppard.
In 1891, 1892 and 1893 they compiled a series of massive petitions calling on Parliament to grant the vote to women.
In recent years Sheppard’s contribution to New Zealand’s history has been acknowledged on the $10 note.

Womens' Suffrage Petition

This database is a digitised version of the main suffrage petition submitted to Parliament in 1893. The name and address fields represent what appeared on the original sheets.
The Suburb/Town and City/Region fields have been added to provide consistent information about the signatories’ location.
Members of the public are encouraged to submit further information via community contributions
or you can email direct to webqueries@mch.govt.nz.


If you need help getting started on a biography, visit the Feilding & Districts Community Archive on a Thursday between 10am and 3pm
and our volunteers will be happy to give advice.


Meet the Trailblazers


125 Kiwi women who changed the world - look at their stories.