Given names: 
Given address: 
May's Road
Sheet No: 328
St Albans

Biographical information provided by Briar Barry for the He Tohu exhibition:

Ada Pike was born in England in 1863. When she was 10 she travelled with her parents and siblings to New Zealand. Ada was academically talented and went on to gain a university junior scholarship to attend Canterbury College in 1881.

In 1884 Ada married Harry Wells, an organist, at Christchurch. Harry's volatile temper and continual drinking meant that he was unable to hold steady employment, and Ada was forced to take sole responsibility for the economic and emotional support of her family. Perhaps as a result of her marital experience, Ada held strong beliefs on women's rights. Ada’s talents as a fervent, efficient organiser and campaigner were invaluable to the women's suffrage movement.

After women won the right to vote Ada continued to take an active role in local and national politics. She argued for many causes and held many offices in various charitable groups. Ada was also active in the campaign to amend the electoral law to enable women to be elected to Parliament. In 1917 she stood as a Labour candidate and became the first woman to be elected to the Christchurch City Council. 

biography of Ada Wells (1863 - 1933) appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. The 1893 electoral roll confirms May's Rd and lists her occupation as 'domestic duties'.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'Ada Wells', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 11-Sep-2017

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