New Zealand is a former British colony which achieved autonomy in 1854 and gradual independence in several stages since. It is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II as its monarch. Some electoral reforms extended the right to vote to sections of society unable to do so in the United kingdom. notably, adult women gained the right to vote in 1893. Making New Zealand the first country in the world to pass this change. The same year Elizabeth Yates became the first female mayor in New Zealand and the entire British Empire.
Women were not eligible for election to the House of Representatives until 1919. The first female Representative elected was Elizabeth McCombs in 1933. The first Maori native woman to become a representative was Iriaka Ratana in 1949. Women were ineligible for appointment to the Legislative Council until 1941. The first two women appointed Mary Dreaver and Mary Patricia Anderson in 1946. The non-elected Council was abolished in 1951. Since then legislative authority is held by the House of Representatives alone.
Helen Clark became the first female Deputy Prime Minister in 1989. Jenny Shipley became the first female Prime Minister in 1997. Clark became the second female Prime Minister in 1999, but the first directly wining an election.
New Zealand has naval borders with Australia, Fiji, Tonga and the overseas French territory of New Caledonia.
New Zealand Comic Characters
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