In 1893, New Zealand's women became the first in the world to win the right to vote, and from this Suffrage Day was born.
126 years later the YWCA of Hamilton is celebrating suffrage by hosting Political Speed Dating, an event where you can meet the women standing for local elections. YWCA of Hamilton Co-President Charlotte Muggeridge says the focus of the event is to give the Waikato community an opportunity to meet and ask the women candidates running for your local council questions about their campaign.
“This is not a one-on-one speed dating event, there are not enough candidates for that. But each candidate will talk to you and 5-10 others at a time. There will be no candidate speeches from the podium, just small group discussions about issues that matter to you” says Charlotte.
“Come along to a relaxed evening focusing on issues that matter to women. Men are also welcome to attend, but only women candidates will be participating in the speed dating. Elections NZ will be joining us for the evening to give a 101 on how and why to vote, as well as helping to get your enrolment details up-to-date” says Charlotte.
The candidates attending will be:
Chris Davis (West Ward)
Margaret Forsyth (East Ward)
Shanti Ralm (West Ward)
Lisa Lewis (East Ward / Mayor)
Kesh Naidoo-Rauf (East Ward)
Maxine van Oosten (East Ward)
Meleane Burgess (East Ward)
Siggi Henry (West Ward)
Angela O’Leary (West Ward / Mayor)
Melaina Huaki (West Ward)
Louise Hutt (West Ward / Mayor)
Paula Southgate (Mayor)
Sarah Thomson (West Ward)
Andrea Jane McLachlan (East Ward)
Jennifer Nickel (Waikato Regional)
Angela Strange (Waikato Regional).
Charlotte Muggeridge says that currently the Hamilton City Council fails to represent the true population of Hamilton.
“We see this very clearly with 23% of councillors being women compared to the 52% of Hamilton’s population that are women and we deserve equality! Just because it has only been 126 years since women gained the right to vote, and 100 years since we gained the right to be elected representatives, it doesn’t mean it should take another 100 years for women to be fairly and equally represented in politics – especially local politics. With 16 women candidates running, just in Hamilton East and West Wards, and women running for Hamilton Mayor, it’s time for women to be counted. Value your right to vote!” Charlotte says.
This event is open to all. Young people who want to know more about politics are encouraged to come along and ask questions, even if they are not yet at voting age. Men are also welcome to attend as audience members although only women candidates will be given speaking rights.
Disclaimer: YWCA Hamilton are hosting women candidates running for councils across the region. This event is specifically designed to uplift those candidates. YWCA will support other events that create space for every other candidate.
The Political Speed Dating Suffrage event is on Thursday 19 Sept, at Café Agora, Frankton, Hamilton. Drinks and Networking are from 5.30pm. Speed dating starts after 6 p.m. The event will conclude by 9 p.m.
Register to attend at email@example.com/hamilton or telephone 8382219 ext 2.
More information about candidates is at YWCA of HamiltonNZ Facebook.
Other YWCA programmes and services are on our website.