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Education and suffrage legacy lives on

The future of Kate Sheppard’s former home in Christchurch has been secured as a heritage venue, public space and educational centre, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern and Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods announced today.

“New Zealanders take pride in being the first country in the world where women won the vote and this is the home where that crucial progress centred, making it of huge significance both locally, nationally and internationally,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The legacy of the suffrage movement and achievements of Kate Sheppard and other New Zealand women will be told at this special place.

“In the lead-up to the 126th suffrage anniversary, the Government has secured this house to recognise all New Zealand women who have made a difference and to highlight the milestones and trends that led to social change in our history.

“Through a partnership with the University of Canterbury, the house will be used as a base for collaboration, teaching and academic research. In a second educational partnership, schools will be encouraged to bring students for special tours as part of teaching New Zealand history. Part of the property can also be available for events and functions, returning revenue into the upkeep of this heritage property.

Minister Megan Woods says the Government is working with the local community to ensure the best uses of the property.

“We have a joint vision with the local council in showcasing the suffrage movement and the achievements of Kate Sheppard, profiling women from New Zealand’s history who have made a difference, and providing information reflecting social change, such as the introduction of free education and the establishment of human rights legislation.

“Purchasing and developing Kate Sheppard’s house as a public asset allows us not only to make it accessible to the public all year round, but we’re able to conserve its unique heritage values for future generations,” Megan Woods said.

The house was purchased in early September for $4.5million and will be managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

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