2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. On 19 September 1893 the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote. 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.
This Tier 1 Commemoration is being led by the Ministry for Women and supported by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. We are working to connect events and activities across the country. Branding, social media and web platforms are being developed to facilitate these connections and establish a national programme of events to celebrate this significant anniversary.
Suffrage 125 aims to:
- develop a commemorative programme that is relevant, meaningful and attractive to a diverse range of New Zealanders;
- highlight previously untold stories of people who contributed to achieving suffrage in NZ – particularly stories from Māori, Pacific, and Chinese communities;
- celebrate game-changing individuals of a range of ages and cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, who do extraordinary things to create positive social change for women and New Zealand; and
- create a forum for conversations about our future and the importance of civic engagement and participation.
Key dates are:
- 19 September, anniversary of when all New Zealand women over the age of 21 were granted the right to vote
- 28 November, anniversary of when New Zealand women voted for first time.
There is no contestable funding available for the suffrage commemorations. Visit Creative New Zealand’s website for details about potential sources of funding for arts projects. You might want to visit the Lottery Grant’s website for other funding information.
Archives New Zealand – Women’s suffrage
Digital NZ – Women’s suffrage
He Tohu – Women’s Suffrage Petition
NZHistory – New Zealand and the vote
NZ On Screen – Pioneering women
Te Ara – Votes for women
Updated on 18th August 2017