Standing on the Shoulders

Suffrage News

The women of Aotearoa New Zealand won the right to vote 125 years ago, after a hard-fought campaign and several massive, nationwide petitions. To honour the Suffragists on this anniversary, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has created an online exhibition celebrating 125 of our most illustrious, revolutionary, courageous, inspirational, empowering, luminous, innovative and influential women.

From Te Puea Hērangi to Lorde, from weavers to war heroes, the exhibition Standing on the Shoulders… celebrates a diverse range of women as well as showcasing the breadth of material in Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s collections of archived radio, television and film recordings.

Standing on the Shoulders… will be launched at Parliament and online on September 19 (the day the suffrage legislation finally became law) with profiles of more than 60 outstanding women. More new profiles will go online on November 28 (the anniversary of the first general election in which women could vote) and on International Women’s Day, on March 8, 2019. Ngā Taonga is welcoming suggestions for women who could be included in these additional uploads – the only criteria is that they appear somewhere in the Archive’s online collections, which can be searched at

The exhibition will form a permanent online memorial, honouring those on whose shoulders the women of Aotearoa now stand.

View the exhibition

The women profiled in the exhibition so far are:

Dame Valerie Adams
Waimarama Anderson & Leah Bell
Jacinda Ardern
Te Arikinui Dame Te Ātairangikaahu
Sister Suzanne Aubert
Heather Te Au-Skipworth
Ngāhuia Te Awekotuku
Kristine Bartlett
Jean Batten
Agnes Bennett
Georgina Beyer
Dame Jane Campion
Dame Whina Cooper
Cathy Moana Dewes
Michelle Dickinson
Beatrice Faumuina
Janet Frame
Theresa Gattung
Golriz Ghahraman
Parris Goebel
Patricia Grace
Witarina Harris
Ramai Hayward
Te Puea Hērangi
Dame Rangimārie Hetet
Kim Hill
Keri Hulme
Penny Jamieson
Diggeress Te Kanawa
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Helen Kelly
Barbara Kendall
Lydia Ko
Hon Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban
Celia Lashlie
Eti Laufiso
Lucy Lawless
Lindah Lepou
Margaret Mahy
Mojo Mathers
Eliza McCartney
Merata Mita
Hinewehi Mohi
Ruia Morrison
Mavis Mullins
Louise Nicholas
Sophie Pascoe
Gaylene Preston
Irihāpeti Ramsden
Tuaiwa Hautai Eva Rickard
Mavis Rivers
Carmen Rupe
Dame Anne Salmond
Dame Margaret Sparrow
Chlöe Swarbrick
Lisa Taouma
Teresia Teaiwa
Dame Jools and Dame Linda Topp
Dame Tariana Turia
Nancy Wake
Eleitino Paddy Walker
Marilyn Waring
Elizabeth Yates
Ella (Lorde) Yelich-O’Connor

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