Join Suffrage march
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.