women in politics

Events In History

Articles

Parliament's people

  • Parliament's people

    \Today there are 120 MPs in New Zealand's Parliament, which is a far cry from the 37 who met for the first time in Auckland in 1854.

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  • Page 2 – Women MPs

    For much of its first century, Parliament was a bastion of male culture. Nowadays women make up 30% of MPs.

Women and the vote

Premiers and Prime Ministers

  • Premiers and Prime Ministers

    From Henry Sewell in 1856 to Jacinda Ardern in 2017, New Zealand has had 40 prime ministers and premiers. Read biographies of the men and women who have held the top job, discover more about the role's political origins, and explore fascinating prime ministerial facts and trivia.

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  • Page 1 - Premiers and Prime MinistersFrom Henry Sewell in 1856 to Jacinda Ardern in 2017, New Zealand has had 40 prime ministers and premiers. Read biographies of the men and women who have held the top job, discover

Temperance movement

  • Temperance movement

    Temperance was one of the most divisive social issues in late-19th and early-20th century New Zealand. Social reformers who argued that alcohol fuelled poverty, ill health, crime and immorality nearly achieved national prohibition in a series of hotly contested referendums.

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  • Page 2 - BeginningsDawn of the New Zealand temperance movement,

Election Days

  • Election Days

    When New Zealanders go to the polls on 26 November 2011, they will continue a 158-year-old tradition of parliamentary democracy in this country. Politics may have changed beyond recognition since 1853, but the cut and thrust of the campaign trail, the power of advertising, and the drama of polling day remain as relevant as ever.

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  • Page 3 - Cleaning up elections The New Zealand Parliament was alarmed by reports of electoral abuses in Auckland in the 1850s. It decided that electoral laws needed to be tightened, and in 1858 passed a series

The road to MMP

  • The road to MMP

    In 1993 New Zealanders voted to replace their traditional first past the post (FPP) voting system with mixed member proportional representation (MMP). Eighteen years on, as Kiwis voted in a new electoral referendum, we explore how and why that dramatic reform came about.

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  • Page 5 - 1996 and beyond - the road to MMPThe three years following the 1993 referendum, before the first MMP election in 1996, were ones of transition and uncertainty.

Biographies

  • McCombs, Elizabeth Reid

    Forty years after women in New Zealand received the right to vote, Elizabeth McCombs became the first female Member of Parliament.

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  • Mangakāhia, Meri Te Tai

    Meri Mangakāhia petitioned the government on land rights and argued for women’s suffrage, and actively participated in the Kotahitanga movement, the Māori parliament based at Pāpāwai, Wairarapa. 

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  • Stout, Anna Paterson

    Anna Stout was dedicated to the advancement of women, championing calls for equal political, legal, social and educational rights. She was particularly concerned for the education of Maori women.

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  • Yates, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Yates was elected mayor of Onehunga on 29 November 1893, becoming the first woman in the British Empire to hold the office.

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  • Wells, Ada

    Ada Wells is remembered for her contribution to the women's suffrage campaign in the 1880s and 90s, and for becoming the first woman elected to the Christchurch City Council in 1917.

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  • Hall, John

    John Hall was a force in our politics for several decades, serving as Premier and leading the parliamentary campaign for votes for women.

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  • Shipley, Jennifer Mary

    ‘This ain’t a damn beauty contest. If you come into politics to be popular, then you’ve picked the wrong sport’, Jenny Shipley declared. New Zealand’s first woman PM came to power in 1997 after staging a carefully planned coup against Jim Bolger.

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  • Clark, Helen Elizabeth

    Jenny Shipley may have been our first female PM, but Helen Clark was the first elected one. In 2008 she became our fifth longest-serving PM and Labour’s first to win three consecutive elections.

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  • Howard, Mabel Bowden

    In 1947, 14 years after Elizabeth McCombs had become the first woman MP, and more than half a century after women had won the vote, Mabel Howard became New Zealand’s first woman Cabinet minister.

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