The Women’s Suffrage Memorial in Te Ha o Hine Place, just off High Street in central Auckland, is a powerful symbol of the struggle for equality that unites women.
It tells the story of how women achieved the vote through clever use of colour, symbols and photographs from the time. It was designed by Claudia Pond Eyley and Jan Morrison and created with financial support from the Suffrage Centennial Year Trust and Auckland Council.
The Auckland Unitary Plan recognises its significance as a heritage site and protects it in perpetuity.
“There are very few public sites that celebrate women’s achievements, so this one is well-loved and significant,” says Councillor Casey. “It represents every single woman across the country behind the petition that would ultimately change the thinking of the male parliamentarians of the day.”
Cr Casey, along with the National Council for Women and Zonta, strongly advocated to have the memorial protected.
As New Zealand celebrates the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the country, Councillor Christine Fletcher fondly recalls the many women who rallied together over time for women’s rights and gender equality.
When New Zealand celebrated 100 years of women’s suffrage in 1993, Cr Fletcher was MP for Eden. She served on the Suffrage Committee for Greater Auckland under chair Marie Taylor that commissioned and funded the Claudia Pond Eyley Suffrage tiles that grace the Women’s Suffrage Memorial under the legacy Auckland City Council.
“I vividly remember that time and the wonderful women who represented the National Council of Women, as well as individuals like Sandra Coney and the late Dame Dorothy Winstone,” says Councillor Christine Fletcher.
“There was a sense of possibility and optimism. I believe this played a significant role in our country’s adoption of MMP. Although the work towards equality continues. As a New Zealand woman, I’m proud to have seen the impact women have made in politics, business, and society over the last 125 years.”