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125 years since New Zealand women became the first in the world to win the right to vote.

September 2018

The 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition was inscribed onto the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register in 1997 and onto the New Zealand Register in 2011.

Inscription onto the UNESCO Memory of the World registers reminds us that the Petition is significant to New Zealand and the world. It draws attention to the significance of this treasured documentary heritage and the institution and people that care for it. It raises awareness of the custodian institution’s holdings and helps ensure inscribed items are protected, preserved and accessible. In this year of Suffrage 125 celebrations the Memory of the World New Zealand Trust highlights New Zealand women who are recognised for their significance to our nation’s heritage through inscription of documentary heritage onto the New Zealand Register: Kate Sheppard, the organiser of the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition, Archives New Zealand; Mereta Mita documentary Patu!, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision; Katherine Mansfield Literary and Personal Papers, Alexander Turnbull Library; Cecily Pickerill, Pickerill Papers Plastic Surgery, Hocken Collections. The 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition continues to attract international interest. MOWNZ Chair Dianne Macaskill, Professor Barbara Brookes, University of Otago and Katrina Tamaira, Archivist, Archives New Zealand are delivering papers at an international symposium in Andong, Republic of Korea, on petition movements in the nineteenth century.

For more information about Memory of the World documentary heritage view our register.

The Suffrage Petition is in the care of Archives NZ and on display in He Tohu, at the National Library, Wellington.