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Ōtautahi Christchurch, A City of Pioneering Women

March 8th

International Women’s Day

Ōtautahi Christchurch and its people have always pushed the boundaries and broken the mould, with few better examples than the pioneering women who shaped us, our city, and the world.

On March 8, we wanted to highlight our city’s female leaders as examples of our pioneering spirit.

While it’s easy now to say women can achieve anything, suffragist Kate Sheppard, perhaps our most well-known woman, came up against protests and personalised vendettas, even posters pinned to front doors telling her and her suffragists to stay away.

Our first European women and their families sought a new life in a far-flung place, eventually trekking the Bridle Path to their new home. A shelter sits at the top of the path, acknowledging their hardships.

No doubt these women would be proud to see their city leading the charge of innovation and thinking, much of it led by women.

Inspirational Ōtautahi Christchurch Leaders

Joanna Norris on the Port Hills

ChristchurchNZ CEO


Joanna Norris

Joanna Norris is CEO of ChristchurchNZ, the city’s promotion and economic development agency. She says the success of our city comes down to good leaders prepared to collaborate.
Lianne Dalziel

Mayor of Christchurch City


Lianne Dalziel

Mayor of Christchurch since 2013, Lianne Dalziel said female role models are engrained in the city’s history.
Kamala Hayman, The Editior of The Press

Editor at The Press


Kamala Hayman

Kamala Hayman continues her journalism career as editor of The Press newspaper, taking over from Joanna Norris. Hayman is leading Christchurch’s daily newspaper during a disruptive time for print.
Christchurch Riverside Market Street Art

Arts & Culture


Celebrating with Street Art

Completed in 2021 as a partnership between Riverside Ltd, ChristchurchNZ, Oi YOU! and Madeknown, this wall tells a story of central city heritage and the global women’s suffrage movement, which started in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

How can I support?

Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.  Find out more on the International Women's Day website.  

#ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

International Women's Day

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