Social Studies

Social Studies

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  • On the 22nd of May 1868 Meri Te Tai Mangakahia was born.
  • Meri started school at St Mary's Convent. She did not go to a Primary she started at a High School.
  • She later got married to Hamoria Mangakahia, of Ngāti Whanaunga from Whangapoua, Coromandel. He was involved with the Kotahitanga Māori parliamentary movement
  • In May 1883 she became the first woman to speak to the Kotahitanga parliament, requesting the right for women to vote and to be members of the parliament. 
  • Meri Te Tai was concerned that under colonial law, Māori women landowners were losing their rights to inherit and manage their lands.  She believed the appeals of the chiefs to Queen Victoria to protect Māori lands had not helped Māori women. Meri Te Tai felt the Queen would be more likely to listen to requests from women.
  •  Meri Te Tai is remembered as a suffragist who inspired future generations of Māori women. She died of influenza in 1920 and is buried at the Pureirei cemetery, Lower Waihou, near her father.
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