Story: Public service

Women in the public service: Land and Income Tax Department, 1903 (1st of 3)

Women in the public service: Land and Income Tax Department, 1903

Two broad-brimmed hats in the middle of a sea of suited males indicate the arrival of women in New Zealand's public service. This 1903 photograph shows permanent staff of the Land and Income Tax Department (later the Inland Revenue Department). In the second row, immediately behind Premier Richard Seddon, stand clerical cadet Kate Morgan (left) and another woman who may be Edith O'Leary. Morgan was one of the first two female cadets (also known as 'cadettes') to be employed by this department. Women were paid less than men for the same work, although Morgan and her female colleagues gained some of the highest marks in the public service entrance exam.

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Inland Revenue Department
Reference: Fiona McKergow, The taxwoman: 101 years of women working in the Inland Revenue Department. Wellington: Inland Revenue Department and Historical Branch, 1993, p. 9.

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How to cite this page:

Richard Shaw, 'Public service - Reform, 1912 to 1962', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 July 2024)

Story by Richard Shaw, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 8 Mar 2021