Did you know that the 1972 petition to bring te reo back into New Zealand schools was organised by Hana Te Hemara (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngai Tahu; 1940 – 1999). A small group of activists presented a petition to parliament from 30,000 New Zealanders asking the government to teach Māori language in schools. Ten years later Māori language champions marched to parliament again, calling for te reo to be made an official language in its own land.
The Māori Language Act (1987) not only declared Māori to be an official language of New Zealand but also established the Māori Language Commission (later Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori). The Māori Language Act 2016 had established Te Mātāwai to represent and support language revitalisation among Māori, iwi and communities. Responsibility for Crown-funded grants for revitalisation (such as the Mā te Reo fund) was transferred to Te Mātāwai. Founding board members included Sir Tīmoti Karetū, Sir Kīngi Matutaera Ihaka, Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira, Anita Moke and Dr. Ray Harlow. Founding board chair, Sir Kingi Ihaka, came up with the name indicating that a rope that binds us all together is our language. Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira created the logo that shows a traditionally woven rope that is still being constructed. In 2021 Te Wiki o te Reo Māori was held Monday 13th through Sunday 19th September. A virtual Māori Language Moment - where New Zealanders can celebrate te reo from wherever they are - was held on Tuesday 14th September at 12pm. Māori Language Week celebrates the presentation of the Māori Language Petition to parliament on the 14th September 1972. It has been marked every year since 1975. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offers free lessons and is working toward the goal of having 1 million speakers of te reo Māori by 2040. Below are milestones adapted from the Stories of Te Reo website.Read more
Te Tiriti o Waitangi has served as an important defining document in New Zealand history, making it unique in the British Empire - then in 1840, and continues in its impact today. Māori women signed te Tiriti; so far, up to 18 possible names have been identified and more are being discovered by researchers every day. Unlike the women among the white settlers coming to New Zealand then, wāhine Māori traditionally had a say in important matters of their people, especially in matters regarding authority over their lands. This tradition of leadership continues to fuel the activism to rectify systemic discrimination and end the misogyny that causes a range of socio-economic disparities especially for Māori, Pacifika and immigrant women in New Zealand. More importantly, the historical events and laws that breach te Tiriti have and continue to impact all New Zealand women today. Below are some milestones in New Zealand's history adapted and excerpted from "Historical events and laws which breach te Tiriti o Waitangi," pp. 58-68 in Treaty of Waitangi, questions and answers (Network Waitangi, 2018).Read more
How young, legally, is an adult in New Zealand? In general, the law states that a person does not attain "full age" until reaching the age of 20 years. However, this question has a different answer in the law depending on the context. Here are some examples of different legal ages for adult responsibilities:Read more
1837: William Yate, a Church Missionary Society worker who lived peaceably with his male companion for two years in the Māori village of Waimate, was removed from his duties upon evidence of his homosexual activities with an English sailor as well as several male Māori youths at the Bay of Islands.
1858: English Laws Act enforces in New Zealand all English laws as of 14 January 1840, including the law that acts of sodomy are "unnatural."
1867: The English Parliament replaced the death penalty for buggery with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment in 1861. New Zealand enacted similar legislation six years later. Consent is no defence.
1893: Any sexual activity between men of any age became unlawful in England in 1885, and New Zealand followed suit in 1893. Typically, sentences of one or two years’ hard labour were imposed for offences other than sodomy. Men found guilty of sodomy could still be flogged, and serve their term of imprisonment with hard labour, in the 1940s and 1950s.
1921: Macquisten Amendment attempted to add "acts of gross indecncy by females" to 1885 Act. Defeated in the House of Lords.
1941: Crimes Amendment Act 1941 removed the punishment of flogging from New Zealand law, retaining life imprisonment for sodomy.Read more
Camellias originate from China, Japan and Southeast Asia. They are one of the oldest flowers known to humans. They are hardy, evergreen and have many sizes and shapes suitable for many types of garden situations, from specimen trees to ground covers, containers or hedges. The species most widely grown as ornamentals are the sasanqua, japonica and reticulata. The first of these to flower every year in autumn and winter are the sasanquas. Japonica camellias are generally taller than sasanquas and have larger, more leathery leaves. Their flowers are larger too and they flower from winter to late spring and are generally slower growing. In New Zealand camellias bloom from late August to late September. The Camellia japonica alba plena 'Kate Sheppard' has become a symbol of New Zealand women’s suffrage since it was first introduced from Taranaki in 1993.Read more
Kate Sheppard House. Image from GoogleMaps, 2021.
1888. Walter and Kate Sheppard built an eight-room kauri and slate-roofed villa on their two acres purchased in 1887. The address is 83 Clyde Road, and the village was built in a rural suburb of Christchurch called Fendalton. It was located on the same street as properties owned by Kate's brother Frank Malcolm and her sisters Isabel May and Marie Beath. Today, the suburb is now called Ilam, and the historic site borders the University of Canterbury.
1891. Kate began regularly reporting on the women's suffrage movement through the women's page in The Prohibitionist, published by the Sydenham Prohibition League. Since 1887 Kate had served as the national superintendent for the department of Franchise and Legislation for the Women's Christian Temperance Union of New Zealand – the first national organisation established by and run specifically by women. Together with her sister Isabel, she had been using her home as an office for their shared interests in women's rights activism.
1893. At her dining room table in this house, one of the women's suffrage petition rolls was pasted together before it was sent to the House of Representatives in Wellington. This particular roll contained almost 32,000 signatures. Here in the garden, Kate received a telegram on 19 September 1893 informing her of the reform of the Electoral Law in which women won the right to vote in general elections.Read more
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).