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Kate Sheppard

A natural leader and the main figurehead of the suffrage campaign in New Zealand; a source of inspiration to suffragists and campaigners for equality.

Kate Edger

Often remembered as ‘the modest and unassuming one’, Kate Edger was the first woman in New Zealand and the second woman in the British Empire to gain a university degree. She was a role model for the suffrage movement.

The White Camellia

In 1877, in honour of Kate Edger’s achievement gaining the first degree in NZ, the Bishop of Auckland presented her with a white camellia, said to symbolise ‘unpretending excellence’.

In 1893, the white camellia flower was a symbol of the women’s suffrage movement.  The New Zealand suffragists presented the white flower to those members of the House of Representatives who had voted in favour of women gaining the vote.  Those who voted against were given a red camellia.