Women's Suffrage in New Zealand

By Patricia Grimshaw | Go to book overview

Little has been published on the subject. The Australian suffrage movement appears to have followed a markedly similar course, but has not been investigated in any detail. Elements in the British, the European, and, especially, the American movements illuminated aspects of the New Zealand situation. The most useful primary sources, apart from the newspapers and parliamentary debates, proved to be letters in the Hall collection, correspondence received by the woman suffragist leader Mrs Kate Sheppard, minutes of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and temperance journals.

For permission to see papers in their possession I should like to thank the Wellington headquarters of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the late Mrs A. Long, Miss H. Lovell-Smith, Mrs B. Holt, Mr H. Roth, and the late Mr J. T. Paul. I am most grateful to the many relatives of women suffragists who willingly gave interviews; to Mrs H. Lord, formerly of the Auckland Public Library, and to Miss J. Walls of the Turnbull Library. Above all I should like to express my gratitude to Professor R. M. Chapman and Professor Keith Sinclair for their helpful guidance throughout my research.

Melbourne, 1970


Preface to the 1987 Edition

It is pleasing that the current interest in women's history in New Zealand has warranted a second printing of Women's Suffrage in New Zealand. While women's history has become amazingly complex and diversified in the fifteen years since this study was first published (a phenomenon which I deal with in my Afterword), nevertheless a narrative of a feminist campaign continues to provide a useful basis for analysing historically women's social status and cultural expectations. Women's Suffrage in New Zealand explored a group of colonial women who held high hopes for the efficacy of a civil liberties campaign to transform women's unequal access to social power. Working in isolation from both women's history and feminist activism, my early response was one of surprise at the prominence of this previously hidden campaign, and at the courage and competence of the feminists themselves. Subsequent studies have raised problematic issues about these women's motives and goals. Nevertheless the book represented a discovery of an important group previously 'hidden from history', and their story still deserves to be read and appreciated. My thanks to Elizabeth Caffin of Auckland University Press for her encouragement of a second printing, and to Raewyn Dalziel for her advice.

-vi-

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Women's Suffrage in New Zealand
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Preface to the 1987 Edition vi
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introduction xi
  • I- The New Woman 1
  • 2- Early Parliaments and Women's Rights 12
  • 3- Women and the Temperance Movement 21
  • 4- The Women's Christian Temperance Union 27
  • 5- The Suffrage Movement Gathers Way 36
  • 6- The Movement in Full Swing 46
  • 7- The Politicians' Dilemma 60
  • 8- The Debate on Women's Suffrage 74
  • 9- Success 86
  • 10- The First Election 96
  • II- Liberals, Teetotallers, or Feminists? 108
  • 12- Post Mortem on the Suffrage 119
  • Afterword (1987) 123
  • References 127
  • Bibliography 143
  • Index 150
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