The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

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Jewellery collection to honour our Suffrage legacy

23 November 2018

On November 28 in 1893, New Zealand women voted in a general election for the very first time!

As part of the celebrations 125 years on, it is important that we acknowledge those women who fought so hard to gain the right to vote. To mark this occasion Te Puna Foundation invited The Village Goldsmith to design a jewellery collection that pays tribute to the Suffrage legacy.

“We were delighted to be asked by Te Puna Foundation to design a range of jewellery for Suffrage 125”, says The Village Goldsmith Director, Christine Douglas. “Using innovative jewellery design to support Wellington institutions for the benefit of all New Zealanders has long been a principle of our company and how we give back to the community. The Suffrage 125 jewellery design project reflects our recognition of the hugely significant impact of New Zealand women gaining the vote 125 years ago, and of furthering the education of all New Zealanders, with all proceeds from the project going to Te Puna Foundation to support The National Library.”

This collection will be launched at an event “Future Women Leadership, the next 125 years” where we reflect and look ahead to the next 125 years, highlighting the leadership contribution of women in a dynamic future. The beautiful jewellery collection consists of a pin, pendant and earrings and allows light to enhance the purple hues of the amethyst gemstone at the heart of these pieces. Purple is an important colour that represents dignity and self-respect. The rippling lines of sterling silver were inspired by the camellia, seen as a symbol for women’s suffrage, as well as the soul-stirring He Tohu exhibition’s ‘waka huia’ treasure box in which the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition is housed.

The jewellery is available for sale from The Store at the National Library or online, with all proceeds going to the Foundation.

Te Puna Foundation is an independent charity established to support the work of the National Library and in particular our goal to build a strong and resilient ‘Nation of Readers’.

Background information
The 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition, fondly known as the ‘Monster’ petition, is on display in a state-of-the-art conservation case to preserve the document for all New Zealanders as part of the permanent multi-award winning He Tohu exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington. You can view this important document which represents a monumental part of New Zealand history.

Find out more about Te Puna Foundation
Find out more about The Village Goldsmith
Visit He Tohu at The National Library of New Zealand

For further information and comment, contact:
Cheryl Klaui | Communications Advisor He Tohu & Te Puna Foundation
Tui Te Hau | Director Public Engagement
Direct Dial: 027 535 8639