A physical symbol and celebration of Ōtautahi Christchurch’s role in the global suffrage movement has taken out the ChristchurchNZ Supreme Award at the Canterbury Heritage Awards.
Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House won the award at a sold-out evening ceremony on Friday 11 June at Christ’s College. It also won the Outstanding Contribution to Heritage Award.
The famous suffragette lived in the Ilam villa as she fought for New Zealand to become the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1893. It has been owned by Heritage New Zealand since 2019 and is open to the public Wednesday to Sunday.
The Canterbury Heritage Awards recognise excellence in heritage retention and conservation, heritage tourism and heritage education. ChristchurchNZ has supported the event since 2018, but 2021 was the first year it was sponsor of the Supreme Award.
Dame Anna Crighton, Chair of the Awards, said the benchmark of award entries “was set really high”.
Dame Anna Crighton - Chair of the Awards
The occasion as to applaud, acclaim and celebrate the work from all entrants,”
"The occasion as to applaud, acclaim and celebrate the work from all entrants,” Crighton said.
“The judges had a difficult dilemma in making their decisions.”
Judges said the house “balanced a respect for tangible and intangible heritage that will resonate with, and inspire, all who visit”.
“The house has been adapted to a visitor destination to celebrate Kate Shepphard’s life and achievements, the suffrage movement and its legacy of social change,” the judging notes said.
Boyd Warren, ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth – who presented the award – said heritage and the recognition of it were important elements to a prosperous city.
Boyd Warren - ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth
For a place to thrive and flourish and to be truly prosperous, we need architecture and aesthetics that appeal to a range of tastes, to appropriately illustrate our rich history, and to inspire thought and emotion,”
“For a place to thrive and flourish and to be truly prosperous, we need architecture and aesthetics that appeal to a range of tastes, to appropriately illustrate our rich history, and to inspire thought and emotion,” Warren said.
“Te Whare Waiutuuku Kate Sheppard House achieves these goals in spades, celebrating not only our built heritage but our social heritage too.”
“The entrants in these heritage awards are City leaders and heroes, who through their efforts and investments are helping propel our city towards an even brighter future.”
The Riverside Market Mural also received a Certificate of Special Recognition in the Heritage Tourism Award. The mural came about through a public private partnership between Riverside Market and ChristchurchNZ, and was managed by production company Oi YOU!.
The mural depicts a streetscape of heritage buildings and includes nods to historic people and recognisable Christchurch companies. Painted window displays include reference to the Kate-Sheppard-led local suffrage movement.
Judges were “enamoured” with the mural, “which provides the viewer with an almost three-dimensional illustration” paying homage to Christchurch’s past.