Suffrage - History of Suffrage Around The World - New Zealand

New Zealand

  • 1853 - British government passes the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, granting limited self rule, including a bicameral parliament to the colony. The vote was limited to male British subjects aged 21 or over who owned or rented sufficient property, and were not imprisoned for a serious offence. Communally owned land was excluded from the property qualification, thus disenfranchising most Māori (indigenous) men.
  • 1860 - Franchise extended to holders of miner's licenses who met all voting qualifications except that of property.
  • 1867 - Māori seats established, giving Māori four reserved seats in the lower house. There was no property qualification; thus Māori men gained universal suffrage before other New Zealanders. The number of seats did not reflect the size of the Māori population, but Māori men who met the property requirement for general electorates were able to vote in them or in the Māori electorates but not both.
  • 1879 - Property requirement abolished.
  • 1893 - Women given equal voting rights with men, making New Zealand the first nation in the world to allow adult women to vote.
  • 1969 - Voting age lowered to 20.
  • 1974 - Voting age lowered to 18.
  • 1975 - Franchise extended to permanent residents of New Zealand, regardless of whether they have citizenship.
  • 1996 - Number of Māori seats increased to reflect Māori population.
  • 2010 - Prisoners imprisoned for 1 year or more denied voting rights while serving the sentence.
  • 2012 - The National party, lead by Prime Minister John Key, places a four year suspension on electing Environment Canterbury Councillors. Earthquake hit Canterbury residents lose their power to decide how their regional land is used.

Read more about this topic:  Suffrage, History of Suffrage Around The World

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