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Kate Sheppard House purchase delights

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and the University of Canterbury (UC) are delighted with the Government purchase of the Category 1 listed Kate Sheppard House in Christchurch, as announced by Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods today.

“To be given the responsibility to manage this nationally and internationally significant property is a great honour,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Board Chair, Marian Hobbs.

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, UC Vice-Chancellor, says, “In partnership with Heritage New Zealand, UC is delighted that present and future generations will have access to such a significant historic location.”

UC Chancellor Sue McCormack adds: “At the time of this historic announcement, it seems especially fitting that several female leaders – including the Prime Minister, MPs, and the Chair of Heritage New Zealand, along with the University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor and the Mayor of Christchurch – have united to protect this important heritage site for New Zealand and the world. It’s a poignant occasion that perhaps Kate herself would have been justly proud.”

This Christchurch home was where Kate Sheppard and suffragist supporters spent much time working towards New Zealand becoming the first self-governing country in the world to grant women the vote. It was here that the 270-metre petition was pasted together before being presented to Parliament. Together Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and the University of Canterbury have an exciting opportunity to be able to open it for a range of future use options, particularly highlighting Kate Sheppard, the suffrage movement and their relevance today.

Kate Sheppard House will join 43 other properties Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga cares for nationwide on behalf of the public. Other properties include Old Government Buildings in Wellington, the Kerikeri Mission Station complex in Northland and the birthplace of our frozen meat industry, Totara Estate near Oamaru.

The property, which borders on UC’s Ilam campus, was purchased for $4.5 million, which was within 10 percent of the property’s full independent valuation of $4.1 million in 2018.

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