Thursday, September 19, 2019

Protecting our history

Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:

The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million.

The Ilam villa will be used as an educational centre for university research projects and school history trips, and made available for public access and events.

It was bought for $4.5 million at the start of September and it will be managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga in partnership with the University of Canterbury.

Which is fair enough. Alongside the Treaty House at Waitangi, its one of our most important historical monuments, and something we should preserve as part of our national story. At the same time, it raises an obvious question: if the government can buy Kate Sheppard's house, what is stopping it from buying Ihumātao?