Last Thursday, members of various women's groups gathered to tighten the nuts and bolts on an event to celebrate 125 years' of women's suffrage in New Zealand.

Representatives from Whanganui Women's Network, Zonta Club of Whanganui and National Council of Women held a planning meeting at the Rutland Arms Inn. Absent on this occasion were members of the Maori Women's Welfare League. Together, they are presenting a commemorative dinner on Friday, September 14 at 7pm in the dining room at the Grand Hotel.

Under the title "Her Story", the dinner celebrates Whanganui women. Speakers include Airini Beautrais, Katie Brown, Dani Lebo, Nicola Patrick, Hellen Puhipuhi, Amorangi Rayner and Jennifer Taylor Moore.
"The idea is that they will share something that's unique about themselves as a bit of an intro. It's quite a diverse range of women and we want it to be an inspirational, empowering evening," says Carla Donson, Women's Network manager. "We want them to leave us with something positive to think about."

As well as the speakers there will be a musical presentation from some members of the Wanganui Male Choir.
"Not only is this a commemorative dinner celebrating a significant event, this is a really good example of four of our women's groups working together," says Carla. "We work together on a number of things throughout the year and keep in contact informally. This has been an important way we can cement those relationships."


Mayor Hamish McDouall has also been invited.
The organising committee is hoping people will come in fancy dress for the occasion, with 125 years of women's fashions to choose from.

Amdram Costume Hire is open on Thursdays from 7-8.30pm. Tickets for the dinner are available from the Royal Wanganui Opera House box office or online at