Legal Tender for Ten Dollars New Zealand


c. 2000


Private collection





New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote. Kate Sheppard (née Malcolm; 1848-1934), whose face graces New Zealand’s ten dollar bill, was instrumental in making that happen. The campaign for women’s suffrage was fuelled by the realisation that temperance and welfare reforms could be passed through legislation more easily if women had the vote, and representation in Parliament. So, Sheppard, as the National Superintendent of Franchise and Legislation Department of the New Zealand Women’s Christian Temperance Union, helped to gather 30,000 petition signatures. As a result, all women aged over 21 gained the right to vote in 1893 – a long wait for women since democracy had begun in Athens some 2500 years before.


cab 1 shephard.jpg


The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, “Legal Tender for Ten Dollars New Zealand,” | OUR Heritage, accessed March 24, 2023,