Milestones - New Zealand women and electoral politics

1867. New Zealand women ratepayers in Nelson and Otago Provinces begin voting at the local level.

1875. NZ Parliament made compulsory in all provinces for women ratepayers to be allowed to vote in municipal elections.

1893. NZ women at least 21 years of age – property ownership not required for suffrage since 1879 - vote in the national general election (28 November – and on 20 December 1893, women vote in Māori seats for first time).

Rosetta Baume 1919
Rosetta Baume 1919.
Ellen Mellville c1919
Ellen Melville c1919.

1919. Women's Parliamentary Rights Bill passed and Rosetta Baume (NCWNZ vice president 1918-1920), Aileen Garmson Cooke and Ellen Melville (NCWNZ national president 1919-1922) are first women to stand for Parliament.

1933. Elizabeth McCombs elected after her third try – the first woman member of Parliament.

1947. The Honourable Mabel Howard is first woman Cabinet Minister (Minister of Health and Minister in charge of Child Welfare)

1949. Iriaka Matiu Rātana OBE elected and is the first Māori woman MP.

1984. Dame Frances Wilde DNZM QSO is first woman MP to be elected party Whip; and, Dame Ann Hercus is appointed as the first Minister of Women's Affairs, and also the first woman to hold the Police portfolio.

1990. Dame Catherine Tizard ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, DBE, QSO, DStJ is NZ's first woman Governor-General.

1995. Georgina Beyer MNZM JP is elected mayor of Carterton – the world's first openly transgender mayor (and in 1999, the world's first transgender Member of Parliament).

1996. Pansy Yu Fung Wong is first Asian woman elected to Parliament.

1997. Dame Jennifer Shipley DNZM PC is NZ's first woman Prime Minister.

1999. Luamanuvao Dame Winifred Alexandra Laban DNZM QSO is first Pasifika woman elected to Parliament.

2005. Margaret Wilson DCNZM is first woman to be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Elizabeth McCombs
in c1933
Iriaka Rātana
in c1940.
Georgina Beyer
in 2020
Pansy Wong
in 2008
Winnie Laban
in 2018
Elizabeth McCombs 1933 Iriaka Matiu Rātana 1940 Georgina Beyer 2020 Pansy Wong 2008 Winnie Laban 2018

Note: All above images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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  • Randolph Hollingsworth
    published this page in The Circular 2022-05-15 16:47:32 +1200

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