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Women’s Suffrage Petition on display at Archives New Zealand

This year marks 120 years since the Women’s Suffrage Petition was signed on 19 September 1893 and people are invited to see the original document at Archive’s New Zealand’s Wellington office in Thorndon.

“Many New Zealanders are proud to have a family connection to the world’s first suffrage petition,” says Greg Goulding, Chief Archivist Archives New Zealand.

“We are proud to have the petition on display at Archives New Zealand in Wellington together with the nation’s founding document the 1840 Tiriti o Waitangi,” he said.

The 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition was assembled by Kate Sheppard and rolled down the central aisle of Parliament. It resulted in New Zealand becoming the first country in the world where women won the right to vote in a general election.

The suffrage movement was this country’s first truly mass movement – mobilising tens of thousands of New Zealanders with rallies and a series of massive petitions.

The Petition was signed by nearly 32,000 New Zealanders.  Nearly 24,000 of those signatures have survived on the copy of the petition presented to Parliament.

The Suffrage Petition is on both the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register and on the inaugural UNESCO New Zealand Memory of the World Register established in 2011.

The Suffrage Petition can be viewed at Archives New Zealand, 10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and entry is free.

Find out more about the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition from Archives New Zealand and the the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Updated on 23rd July 2015