Story: Voting rights

Nelson town roll

This segment of Nelson township's 1860 electoral roll published in a local newspaper shows the breadth of the male franchise in early colonial New Zealand. Many of those enrolled did so as householders, which meant they were not property owners, but rented a home at a cost of £10 or more a year. Those who did not qualify were about a quarter of the total. Along with a handful of prison inmates, a small number of 'aliens' (non-British subjects), recent immigrants and itinerant workers – farm labourers, bush sawyers, sailors – were excluded.

Using this item

National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 7 April 1860, p. 2

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, 'Voting rights - First voting rights, 1852', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 July 2024)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015