Electoral Commission celebrates Suffrage 125

Media releases 125 Years of Women's Suffrage

The Chief Electoral Officer, Alicia Wright, says Suffrage 125 is an opportunity to celebrate the right of New Zealanders to vote and have their voices heard at election time.

The Electoral Act signed into law 125 years ago on 19 September 1893 granted women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. 

“Women’s suffrage was hard fought for, and on the 28th of November 1893, New Zealand women joined men at the polls for the first time to vote in a general election,” says Alicia Wright.

Ms Wright says it’s easy to take for granted that New Zealand has universal suffrage where almost everyone 18 years and older is eligible to vote.

“Suffrage 125 is a time to celebrate not only that women in New Zealand were the first to win the vote, but that we continue to have universal suffrage, where we have the right to vote, and the right to be heard,” says Ms Wright.

The Electoral Commission is marking Suffrage 125 with a series of videos celebrating the suffragists’ achievements 125 years ago and exploring the meaning of suffrage in 2018.  The first of the videos has been released today and is available to share from www.elections.org.nz/suffrage125 and https://www.facebook.com/IvoteNZ/.

The Commission is also developing a series of Suffrage 125 postcards, and will be promoting its Votes for Women teaching resource to schools to support learning in the classroom about suffrage and participation.