Beginning her address with a greeting in New Zealand’s native Maori– tēnā koutou katoa– the Duchess’s efforts were met with applause from the crowd.
She went on to say that the pioneering women of New Zealand were “universally admired” for their fight and leadership towards equality.
“Yes, women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness,” she said.
“Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community; the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of.
“And women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people including those members of society who have been marginalised whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community.
“So bravo New Zealand, for championing this right a hundred and twenty-five years ago for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote and for all the people that this effort has paved the way for globally, we all deeply thank you.
“In the words of your suffragette, Kate Sheppard, ‘all that separates, whether of race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome’.”
“Feminism is about fairness”👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/1ELhftxVAs
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 28, 2018
Earlier in the day, Meghan and Harry were welcomed to New Zealand by Maori elders and met with NZ’s third female Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.