Suffrage 125 Launched

The second week of March 2018 sees the official Suffrage 125th celebrations launched and the holding of the first official Suffrage 125 event – all timed to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage is a significant commemoration. The planned celebrations will recognise New Zealanders from diverse cultural backgrounds that have contributed to improving women’s lives. The Te Reo Māori phrase Whakatū Wāhine is central in this celebration and reflects this kaupapa of women standing up, and people standing up for women.

Many organisations have already listed their Suffrage 125 events, or have plans underway – or in the case of Women’s March, already held an event! It is exciting that there are already so many diverse and interesting activities to celebrate 125 years or women’s suffrage.  

Here are some of the events for the week starting 5 March 2018


The Suffrage 125 programme is launched with the Governor-General and Minister for Women at Government House.

Thursday (International Women’s Day)

Whakatū Wāhine – forging our future and heralding our history
From 2:00 to 3:30 at Te Papa a panel of awesome women lead a discussion. For those that you can’t attend this will be livestreamed by RNZ on their Facebook page – post questions online and we may be able ask the panel these.

There are a number of events and activities to mark International Women’s Day including: a breakfast hosted by UN Women and Zonta at Parliament (this is being livestreamed) and replayed at lunchtime at National Library; Minister for Women and Under-Secretary for Domestic and Sexual Violence will be visiting the He Tohu exhibition; and possibly other Government announcements.


The Minister for Women leaves New Zealand to lead the Government delegation at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York. This is an annual event in which countries give a national statement on their progress for women. This year the theme is rural women.

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Suffrage 125