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Come along to our Public History talk on Wed 04 April

News: 26 March 2018

Please join us on Wednesday 4 April to hear a Public History talk convened by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the National Library of New Zealand.


‘I am writing to you for you to hear’ Māori Women, Politics and Petitions in the 19th Century' by Dr Angela Wanhalla.

Book cover of He Reo Wāhine: Māori Women’s Voices from the Nineteenth Century.

Collective petitions have helped force significant political and social reform in New Zealand. In the same year that New Zealand women won the right to vote, two Kāi Tahu women from Taumutu addressed a petition to their representative, the MP for Southern Māori, H.K. Taiaroa, praying for relief.  In September, as women were celebrating the passage of the 1893 Electoral Act, a Māori woman petitioned the government’s Native Affairs Committee about the confiscation of her whānau’s land at Taranaki.   These women are just a few of the hundreds of Māori petitioners who addressed the state during the nineteenth century, including around 145 women who appealed for remedies to injustices visited on their communities and families. This talk will introduce these women petitioners and their concerns and will argue that petitions are an important body of Māori writing that can offer insight into Māori women’s experiences of the colonial era.​

Angela Wanhalla teaches in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Her talk will draw upon her most recent book, He Reo Wāhine: Māori Women’s Voices from the Nineteenth Century (Auckland, 2017), co-authored with Māori-language scholar and historian, Lachy Paterson.

When and where: Wednesday 4 April 2018 at lunchtime 12.10pm to 1.00pm.  Come along to Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library Building, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington. 

These free public history talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. They are recorded and will be available online at:

We look forward to seeing you at the Library.


Updated on 4th April 2018