Landmarks and Trail of Light

This installation is designed and dedicated as a national tribute to the women of New Zealand – to the contribution they have made to the social, economic, political and spiritual development of the country. It also pays tribute to the legislative and social changes which have made New Zealand a world leader in the advancement of the well-being of women.

The completed project was unveiled by the Governor-General, Dame Silvia Cartwright, PCNZM, DBE, on 19 September 2003, to mark the 110th anniversary of women achieving the right to vote in New Zealand.

The Trail of Light

The ‘Trail’ places on record a tribute to all women by identifying some who have made a tangible difference to the status and well-being of women in New Zealand. The fifty women named in this tribute have given outstanding service to others, some have inspired through their vision and courage, and some have worked quietly and effectively without public recognition.


This is a timeline of the main legal and social landmarks which have been important steps in improving the well-being and status of women in New Zealand. It is a record of the legislative achievements which have made New Zealand a world leader in this field, and of the social initiatives which have supported the evolving range of women’s contributions and expertise.

Tribute Books

There are three Tribute Books. The first book gives the biographical summaries of the women selected for the ‘Trail of Light’. The second provides a brief summary of the significance of each Landmark.

The third is ‘Trail of Light Continues’. It provides an opportunity for additions to the Trail through a nomination and selection protocol based on the procedures adopted for the selection of the first fifty women.