Government purchases Kate Sheppard's home

Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 19 September 2019, 4:43PM
Kate Sheppard's former Christchurch home has been purchased by the Government. Photo / Supplied

The former home of pioneering suffragette Kate Sheppard has been purchased by the Government for $4.5 million to become a heritage venue and educational centre.

The Christchurch home was where Sheppard and suffragist supporters worked to make New Zealand the first self-governing country in the world to grant women the vote.

It was there that the 270m petition was pasted together before being presented to Parliament.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealanders took pride in being the first country where women won the vote.

"The legacy of the suffrage movement and achievements of Kate Sheppard and other New Zealand women will be told at this special place," she said.

"Through a partnership with the University of Canterbury, the house will be used as a base for collaboration, teaching and academic research.

"In a second educational partnership, schools will be encouraged to bring students for special tours as part of teaching New Zealand history."

The Christchurch home has been purchased for $4.5million. Photo / Supplied

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods said the Government was working with the local community to ensure the best uses of the property.

"We have a joint vision with the local council in showcasing the suffrage movement and the achievements of Kate Sheppard, profiling women from New Zealand's history who have made a difference, and providing information reflecting social change, such as the introduction of free education and the establishment of human rights legislation.

"Purchasing and developing Kate Sheppard's house as a public asset allows us not only to make it accessible to the public all year round, but we're able to conserve its unique heritage values for future generations."

The house was purchased in early September and will be managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, which cares for 43 other properties nationwide.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Board Chair Marian Hobb said it was a great honour to be given the responsibility.


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