Around the country this September, women and men are celebrating the historic victory in 1893, when New Zealand became the first country to allow women the right to vote. The story of the strong Southern women, and the men who supported them by wearing the white camellia and assisting with collecting signatures, still inspires us today.
Auckland Grey Power President, Anne-Marie Coury traces her lineage back to her great-grandmother from Christchurch, who signed the petition (presented on July 28th) which eventually went all the way on 19th September in 1893. This was the third attempt to secure the vote; after much hard work gathering signatures, they twice had to begin again after the first two attempts were blocked by the Legislative Council.
With uncanny similarity to her great-grandmother’s experience before her, over recent years Anne-Marie campaigned with other strong women; Wendy Bremner, (CEO Age Concern, Counties Manukau), Dr Judy Blakey and Janet Clews on the Senior’s Panel, to gain support for Auckland Council to join the UN Network of Age Friendly Cities. After a previous attempt to pass a motion failed in 2016 it finally passed unanimously, and Auckland is now joining the UN network.
"This should result in changes that will make our neighbourhoods more inclusive for seniors, including accessibility of buildings, appropriate seating and more readable signage", says Anne-Marie.