Issue date
31 August 2023

Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women and Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library of New Zealand are pleased to announce our upcoming event: Across the generations: an evening to commemorate 130 years of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa New Zealand, and we invite you to join us.  

Event details:  

  • Across the generations: an evening to commemorate 130 years of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Venue: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium - National Library Wellington or online via Zoom  
  • Date: Tuesday 19 September 2023. 
  • Time: 5:30pm start - onwards. 

Come together and share in the stories of incredible wāhine to mark 130 years since women secured the right to vote in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Hear from some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading wāhine historians, storytellers, and changemakers from across the generations on the legacy of women’s suffrage and gender equality. 


  • Dame Gaylene Preston: celebrated and leading filmmaker in Aotearoa

  • Nina Nawalowalo ONZM: Artistic Director, co-founder of Wellington theatre company ‘The Conch’, performer, mentor, teacher, filmmaker

  • Barbara Brookes: Professor Emerita - University of Otago, historian, and author of the award-winning A History of New Zealand Women (Bridget Williams Books, 2016)

  • Julia Whaipooti (Ngāti Porou): justice system advocate, co-Chair of Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley, board member of NZ Drug Foundation, and Director of Engagement at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care

  • Alyce Lysaght (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Pākehā): engineer, podcast host, Te Ao Rangahau Engineering New Zealand Governing Board member, YWCA Y25 2023 nominee

  • Hope Cotton: activist in the Deaf, Queer, Disabled and Christian communities, YWCA Y25 2023 nominee

  • Helene Leaf (Ngāpuhi): former domestic violence worker, granddaughter of Captain Harding Leaf of the 28 Māori Battalion 

  • Kate Hursthouse and Karen Brook: creators of the Our Wāhine portrait series

Special tour of He Tohu and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition

In-person attendees will also be able to attend a special tour on the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition — Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine.

Join He Tohu Curator Stef Lash and Conservator Peter Whitehead for a tour of the Suffrage Petition in the document room of He Tohu and hear about their role in looking after this amazing taonga.

How to attend

The tour will take place at approx. 7:15pm once the main event has concluded. The tour is only available to in-person attendees. Spaces available for approx. 50 people, so it is first come first served on the night.

Note: this tour will not be broadcast as part of the Zoom session. 

Register to attend online 

  • Attend online: Register via the National Library's website. You do not need to install the software to attend, you can opt to run Zoom from your browser. Those who register online will receive the link on the day. Contact if you have any questions about attending this event online. 

In-person registrations closed at 12:00pm, Monday 18 September 2023.

Contact if you have any questions about this event. 

Find out more about Suffrage 130