COVID-19 — He Tohu is temporarily closed. This is to help efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Find out more 
Some features of our website won't work with Internet Explorer. Improve your experience by using a more up-to-date browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.
Skip to content
LearningExplore this section

The Petition: A key signatory

Kate Sheppard holding a quill

A key signatory to the Women’s Suffrage Petition — Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine. All rights reserved.

Create a profile of a key signatory to the Women's Suffrage Petition. Discover who they were, where they were from, and why they signed the petition. Also consider what this signatory would think about New Zealand society today.


  • Identity, declaration, acknowledgement, collaboration, sovereignty, organisation, continuity.
  • He Tohu themes: the documents, people, place, living together.

What to do

Choose a signatory to the Women's Suffrage Petition

Students (individually or in small groups) choose a significant signatory to the Women's Suffrage Petition. The signatory could be from the students' iwi, someone from their rohe/place, or someone else of significance.

Students create a profile for their chosen signatory, using the following as prompts:

  • Record their full ingoa/name, and the name they used to sign.
  • Identify their iwi/hapū/family.
  • Identify where they were living at the time.
  • Map their whakapapa/family tree — if possible.
  • Describe their character.
  • Find out what they were known for.
  • Find out why they chose to sign the Women's Suffrage Petition.

Consider the Women's Suffrage Petition today

Students consider what their chosen signatory would think about New Zealand today if their person was still alive:

  • What do you think they would think about New Zealand society in relation to the Women's Suffrage Petition?
  • Would they think the intentions of the Women's Suffrage Petition are being lived up to? Why?

Some useful resources

Topic Explorer:

Archives New Zealand:


New Zealand Curriculum — social sciences

Conceptual strands:

  • Identity, Culture, and Organisation
  • Continuity and Change

Achievement objectives:

Back to top