//008 Meri Te Tai Mangakahia, suffragist

March 20, 2019

In 2018 Aotearoa celebrated 125 years of suffrage, of women winning the right to vote. One wahine who played an integral part of that history making moment was Meri Te Tai Mangakahia. Of Te Reinga, Ngati Manawa and Te Kaitutae of Te Rarawa, she was the first woman ever recorded to have addressed the Kotahitanga Parliament. In that time she requested Māori women not only be given the right to vote, but that they also be eligible to sit in the Māori Parliament. 

In our only posthumous profile for the #NUKU100 we learn about this rangatira though her great granddaughter Challen Wilson, and great grand niece, Emma Frost. They share their stories of their kuia, her personality, her political influence, and how her journey has inspired their pathways today.

There have been many male leaders who have petitioned the Queen concerning the many issues that affect us all, however, we have not yet been adequately compensated according to those petitions. Therefore I pray to this gathering that women members be appointed. Perhaps by this course of action we may be satisfied concerning the many issues affecting us and our land. Perhaps the Queen may listen to the petitions if they are presented by her Māori sisters, since she is a woman as well.

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