The group chatting as they made their way to the reception.
Just before the reception, they received a call from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
They also met leader of the opposition Simon Bridges.
Meghan enjoyed meeting Majed and Rebecca from Pomegranate Kitchen. The pair said they were "honoured to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We chatted with Meghan about her favourite recipes from her cookbook, and with Harry about the power of food to bring people together." Pomegranate is a social enterprise producing delicious food cooked by former refugees who are now Wellington locals.
2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. On 19 September 1893 the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
One beautiful project is a permanent mosaic at the Heretaunga Women's Centre. Spanning 10 meters and showcasing thirty-two figures in total (including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her baby Neve!), the mosaic has been beautifully integrated into the Centre's surroundings.
Back in February, Meghan discussed empowering women at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum. "Women don't need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen." The quote resonated and I knew that day Meghan would not only meet expectations, she would exceed them, and that is what she has continued to do every day since. Tonight, she delivered her third speech of the tour, speaking passionately about women's suffrage and feminism. Given the unceasing pace of this tour, it's not always possible to properly digest each event and the significance of the speeches the Duchess is giving. When we consider the depth, substantive content and flawless delivery of each speech, from a woman who has been a member of the Royal family for a mere five months, it's enormously impressive. This isn't occurring by chance either; it's down to hard work and meticulous research and preparation. I can only imagine what Meghan's speech tonight will mean to the Suffrage 125 campaign. Emily Andrews revealed Meghan also wrote the speech.
The Duchess greeted guests with "tēnā kotou katoa," receiving an enthusiastic round of applause for her Māori language efforts. "The achievements of the women in New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in their world to achieve it, are universally admired. Women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness. Suffrage is not only about the right to vote, but also what that represents."
Meghan's full speech:
'We are proud to be able to join you tonight in celebrating the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in your country. The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired.
In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolises. Because Yes - women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness," she said.
Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community; the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of.
And women's suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people including those members of society who have been marginalised whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community.
So bravo New Zealand, for championing this right a hundred and twenty-five years ago for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote and for all the people that this effort has paved the way for globally, we all deeply thank you.
In the words of your suffragette, Kate Sheppard, 'all that separates, whether of race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome'."
According to Newshub: "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could be seen leaning forward to tell Meghan her speech was 'perfect' as she returned to Prince Harry's side after the speech." I thought it very fitting for a female prime minister and a female governor-general to be there tonight.
More from New Zealand history:
'Sheppard travelled the country, writing to newspapers, holding public meetings and lobbying members of Parliament. Opposition was fierce. As Wellington resident Henry Wright wrote, women were ‘recommended to go home, look after their children, cook their husbands’ dinners, empty the slops, and generally attend to the domestic affairs for which Nature designed them’; they should give up ‘meddling in masculine concerns of which they are profoundly ignorant’.
In 1893 Kate Sheppard and her fellow suffragists gathered the signatures of nearly 32,000 women to demonstrate the groundswell of support for their cause. A 270-m-long petition – then the largest ever presented to Parliament – was unrolled across the chamber of the House with dramatic effect. Despite the opposition of Premier Richard Seddon, the Electoral Act 1893 was passed by both houses of Parliament and became law on 19 September. The news took New Zealand by storm and inspired suffrage movements all over the world.
Kate Sheppard continued to work at home and abroad for women’s rights – from contraception to freedom from the corset. She became president of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCW) and editor of The White Ribbon, the first newspaper in New Zealand to be owned, managed and published solely by women. In 1909 she was elected honorary vice-president of the International Council of Women.
Sheppard outlived two husbands, her only son, and her only grandchild. She died on 13 July 1934, a year after the first woman MP, Labour’s Elizabeth McCombs, entered Parliament.'
Sheppard's contribution has been acknowledged on the $10 note and a commemorative stamp.
This is the first sheet of the giant suffrage petition signed by ‘Mary J. Carpenter and 25,519 Others’ that was submitted to Parliament on 28 July 1893. Suffrage leader Kate Sheppard’s signature appears about halfway down the left column.
More from NZ History:
"For Māori women, supporting these petitions meant appealing to a colonial government, which was problematic, but for some it might’ve been a step towards reclaiming the political power they had lost."
Below, ‘Lady voters’ approaching the polling booth at the Drill Hall in Rutland Street, just off Queen Street, Auckland, on 6 December 1899. Despite its striking novelty in international terms, the presence of women at the polling booths – if not yet on the hustings or in Parliament – soon became an accepted part of New Zealand’s political scene. The number of women enrolled as electors climbed steadily from 109,461 in 1893 to 163,215 in 1899 and to 212,876 in 1905."
The Duchess was the picture of elegance in a navy cocktail Gabriela Hearst dress.
It appears Meghan's dress is a custom version of the Herve dress. Rendered in silk, the $2,495 dress features a square neckline, tank straps, and an A-line silhouette. The addition of cap sleeves to Meghan's piece gives it's a very 1950s feel.
Meghan wore a beautiful necklace with a traditional māori design. The eagle-eyed Perth Fashion identified the piece as the Tattoo Diamond Pendant by Jessica McCormick. Emily Andrews suggests it may have been a gift given earlier today. The $17,400 diamond pendant takes inspiration from the New Zealand Maori Koru tattoo. Each spiral motif is hand-set with variously sized brilliant-cut diamonds, culminating in a single stone at its centre, mounted in 18k gold, complete with 18k gold fine chain.
Inspired by the ancient Maori art form of Ta Moko this collection symbolises new life, strength and peace. The perfect wearable talisman.
More on the piece:
"All jewellery is handmade in London, hallmarked and individually engraved with a serial number. Each individual piece is supplied with an Authenticity Certificate from Jessica McCormack."
Meghan also accessorised with her Birks Snowflake Large Round Jacket Earrings.
It's been another jam-packed day. Click here for the post on Harry and Meghan's afternoon in Wellington. Meghan opted for a Karen Walker trench and ASOS dress.
And the post on Harry and Meghan's Sydney departure is here.
Tomorrow's Schedule, Monday 29 October:
- The Duke and Duchess will visit one of Wellington’s most iconic cafes. Their Royal Highnesses will meet young people from a number of mental health projects operating in New Zealand offering support to other young people through helplines, social media, websites and school-based programmes.
- From Wellington, the Duke and Duchess will travel to Abel Tasman National Park, which sits at the north-eastern tip of the South Island, and is an area famed for its golden beaches and native bush walks. Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by a traditional welcome ceremony on arrival, before embarking on a trail walk with one of the park’s rangers to learn more about the history of the forest and the environmental challenges of protecting the park’s habitat. Before departing, the Duke and Duchess will join some of the park’s young ambassadors and local school children at a barbeque lunch and for a tree planting.
- That evening back in Wellington, the couple will visit Courtenay Creative for an event celebrating the city’s thriving creative arts scene. Courtney Creative runs programmes to give young people the tools and experience to excel in the film industry, and the Duke and Duchess will meet a number of young creatives demonstrating their skills in props, make-up, and costume.
Did you enjoy day one in New Zealand?