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Events In History

26 October 1942

The Women Jurors Act provided for women aged between 25 and 60 to have their names placed on the jury list on the same basis as men – if they so desired.

3 June 1941

Calls for policewomen had been made since the 1930s, when the National Council of Women started lobbying for women officers.

16 January 1941

The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) was formed to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force to release more men for service overseas during the Second World War.

13 September 1933

The Labour Party’s Elizabeth McCombs became New Zealand’s first female Member of Parliament, winning a by-election in the Lyttelton seat caused by the death of her husband, James McCombs.

28 November 1893

New Zealand women went to the polls for the first time, just 10 weeks after the governor signed the Electoral Act 1893, making this country the first in in which women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

19 September 1893

When the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

14 August 1891

These petitions, signed by 9000 women, contributed to the introduction of a Female Suffrage Bill in Parliament. This received majority support in the House of Representatives but was defeated in the Legislative Council.

11 July 1877

Kate Edger became the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA).


Hospital ships

The Maheno and Marama were the poster ships of New Zealand's First World War effort. Until 1915 these steamers had carried passengers on the Tasman route. But as casualties mounted at Gallipoli, the government - helped by a massive public fundraising campaign - converted them into state-of-the-art floating hospitals. Read the full article

Page 5 - Life on board

What was life like aboard a hospital ship? That largely depended on your job, your rank and your