Join Suf­frage march

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

Septem­ber 2018 marks the 125th an­niver­sary of women’s suf­frage in New Zealand.

On Septem­ber 19, 1893 the Elec­toral Act 1893 was passed and as a re­sult of this land­mark leg­is­la­tion, NZ be­came the first self-gov­ern­ing coun­try in the world, in which all women had the right to vote in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

Char­lotte Ben­ner of Pon­gakawa’s name ap­pears on the 1893 Elec­toral roll. She would have cast her vote at Pon­gakawa school, which opened in 1892. Polling sta­tions were at the School House in Pon­gakawa and Te Puke and the Court­house in Maketu.

Isolation was a prob­lem for many women who had to travel great dis­tances to en­rol, then re­turn again to vote. The op­tions of the time were to walk, cy­cle or ride a horse.

Woman of all ages from Te Puke and around the Western Bay of Plenty are in­vited to dress in pe­riod cos­tume, make a plac­ard and join the Suf­frage 125 Com­mem­o­ra­tion Re-en­act­ment march in Katikati on Satur­day, to cel­e­brate this his­toric event.

The march leaves the Ure­tara Do­main at mid­day ar­riv­ing at the Katikati Me­mo­rial Hall at 12.30pm. For­mer Prime Min­is­ter He­len Clark will speak at 1pm fol­lowed by a the­atre pre­sen­ta­tion, A Woman’s Place, dis­plays and free en­ter­tain­ment. ■ Western Bay Mu­seum in Katikati is open free for Satur­day — check out the

ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing both na­tional and re­gional women.

Lo­cal women will lead the way at Satur­day’s Suf­frage 125 Com­mem­o­ra­tion re-en­act­ment march in Katikati.

A re­gional his­tory panel about Pon­gakawa woman, Char­lotte Ben­ner, is fea­tured in the Western Bay Mu­seum’s Suf­frage 125 ex­hi­bi­tion.

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