Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thames (NZ): 'The First Time' Women voted

A new claim has emerged from the people of Thames past, that they were in fact the first area in New Zealand to allow women to vote. Very specific details are made in a Newspaper article in the THAMES ADVERTISER dated 10 Sept 1875.

At the Annual Elections for the Thames Borough Council women were able to vote. The names included: Mesdames DAVY, BULL, SAWYER, FERGUSON, ZEIGLER and COOLAHAN.
The paper noting that no one objected and that, "in so far as the Thames is concerned, female suffrage may be introduced successfully, not only in municipal elections, but in every other election where property gives the title to vote."
Thames Advertiser 10 Sept 1875
They note interestingly that years previously a women had voted in a mining board election, because she held a miner's right. That was Mrs HAGIN, whos husband at the time had the New Caledonia Hotel in Mackay Street, near the Shortland Courthouse.

The New Caledonia Hotel, near the corner of Mackay & Grey Streets which opened in 1868