Women, The Vote and Equality

A brief history of New Zealand women

New Zealand women were the first in the world to win the right to vote in national elections. After years of campagining led by Kate Sheppard and others, the main woman’s suffrage petition was submitted to Parliament on 28 July 1893. Legislation allowing women to vote was signed-off on 19 September 1893, and the first women went to the polls on 28 November, 1893.

 Logo of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Photo: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

But despite significant progress over the past 120 years, women remain under-represented on boards and at parliament, earn less than men for similar work, and violence against females remains a serious problem.

Here is a selection of historical interviews, features and documentaries about women, the vote and equality over the decades.

Look at all our Suffrage125 coverage here

Collection items

 Logo of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Photo: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

About this collection

A brief history of the participation of women in New Zealand society, focusing on women’s rights, the battle for the vote, and gender equality.
Archival audio supplied by  Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero


Womans suffrage petition from Archives NZ cropped
Image shared by Archives NZ.