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Women's Suffrage — Kicking down the doors

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bw9zpeZ1mQ

One of many stories of the Women's Suffrage Petition. Visit He Tohu to see and hear more of these stories.

Transcript

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Text on a black screen reads: Wellington, 28 July 1893.

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Wellington, 1893.


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An animated depiction of women wearing blue dresses and hats, some with bicycles, assembling on the steps of a large building with gable windows.

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If she could've, Kate Sheppard would've kicked the doors of Parliament open and delivered the Women's Suffrage Petition herself.


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A white-haired distinguished-looking man with bushy moustache and beard, wearing a dark purple suit, carries a large scroll of paper with two hands.

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But it was Sir John Hall who bore the enormous scroll in her stead.

Silence fell as he let the document thud to the floor.


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Rows of men in Parliament, some wearing top hats, watch as the large scroll sits at Sir John Hall’s feet.

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The scroll was created by women led by Kate Sheppard.


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Kate Sheppard, a woman wearing a golden yellow dress with a high neckline and long puffed sleeves, sits behind a desk, applying glue with a brush to the bottom of a piece of paper full of signatures.

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They worked for months gluing sheets of signatures together, forming one monster petition.

It represented the voice of 25,000 women across the country demanding the right to vote.

At last, the Women's Suffrage Petition was ready.


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Still behind the desk, Kate stands holding the now rolled-up sheets. Her billowing blue hair is drawn back into a bun.

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With a mighty kick, Sir John Hall sent the petition down the aisle, laying the signatures bare for all to see.


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The long strip of paper unfurls as it travels along the purple carpet of Parliament.

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It struck the far wall with a boom that shook Parliament to its core.


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A robed man looks down from a pulpit as the unfurled roll hits the wooden structure he sits in.

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Thanks to Kate Sheppard and the petition, all New Zealand women won the right to vote.


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Outside, the gathered suffragettes, wearing white camellias on their lapels, smile. One flings her hat into the air. Another holds a placard reading ‘Votes For Women.’ Two women stand either side of Kate, who bows her head and smiles.

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This is just one of many stories of the Women's Suffrage Petition. Come and find out more at He Tohu.


Visual

The turquoise, orange and purple painted logo of He Tohu. A declaration, a treaty, a petition. Hashtag He Tohu. National Library, Wellington. (No documents of national importance were harmed in the making of this animation.) The logo for the New Zealand Government.


Credits

Developed in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs.

Creative concept — Ogilvy New Zealand

Animation — YukFoo

Voiceover — Rachel House

Any errors with the transcript, let us know and we'll fix them digital-services@dia.govt.nz