Our Suffrage Women
If you can help us add more photos and stories of the women who signed the suffrage petition we would love to hear from you.
Suffrage Petition and the Women of Te Aroha
A recent display which, by sustained interest was exhibited for five years, covered the stories of the women who signed the suffrage petition from Te Aroha and surrounding districts.
Meticulously researched by volunteer Andrea Oosterwijk.
Our town is in a special position in the Waikato and Coromandel area - we have 77 women who signed the suffrage petition in 1893. Thames is the only place with more signatories and in many places no women signed the petition at all including Hamilton, Matamata, Morrinsville and Paeroa.
Close to 32,000 women from around New Zealand and a few men signed the 1893 petition. Te Aroha and Te Aroha West’s pages were first sent to Auckland and then Christchurch to be glued onto one long roll that was then presented to parliament in Wellington.
On 19 September 1893 the right to vote was granted to New Zealand’s women and with a looming polling date on 28 November that same year, women registered on the electoral roll to take up their new right to vote. A monumental achievement for a young country looking to make a unique mark on the world.
This exhibition is now online and continues to celebrate our local women making this decision.
If you find a name you recognise in our list and have a photograph you are willing to share with the Museum for this display, or have any other information, please get in contact with the Museum.
Mary Ann Stanley
Hannah Rebecca Frances Caverhill (nee King)
Mary Clements Michael
Joseph Kerby and Alice Jane Allen
Mary Jane Boardman Stanley
Sarah and Adam Laybourn
Sarah Jane and John Craig
John and Eliza Higdon
Ellen Higdon Lusby