Kate Sheppard Room
Katherine Wilson “Kate” Sheppard (10 March 1847-13 July 1934) was the most prominent member of New Zealand’s Women’s Suffrage and was the country’s most famous Suffragette. She also appears on the New Zealand ten-dollar note. Since New Zealand was the first country to introduce universal suffrage in 1893, Sheppard’s work has had a considerable impact on women’s suffrage movements in several other countries. The Kate Sheppard room will be used for activities including art, sewing, craft, talks, and card games. It will also be a café style public lunch room for women to come and enjoy their lunch together. This was one of the original purposes of the Hastings Women’s Rest.
Pania, often styled “Pania of the Reef”, is a figure of Maori mythology, and a symbol of the New Zealand city of Napier. A statue of Pania on Napier’s Marine Parade is a major local tourist attraction. Fun activities for both physical and mental wellbeing including singing, yoga, courses, and sit dancing will be held in the Pania Room. The room is also hired out to groups.
Ruth Lovell – Smith Room
Ruth Lovell-Smith was identified with nearly every club or society in Hastings and at the forefront of many women’s issues in the town. An active member of the WCTM (Womens Christian Temperance Movement) and she was involved in positive lobbying and “nudging” the Mayor and Councillors to support the construction of the Hastings Women’s Rest. Her strong voice allowed other women to speak up in support of its construction. This room will be used for small style support groups, a knitting circle, numerology and a writers group etc.,
Mrs Garnett Room
The land that the Women’s Rest is sited on was bought by the Council from Mrs Garnett. The sale was conditional on the Women’s Rest being erected there. Mrs Garnett then donated £750.00 for the building back from the purchase money. It was estimated that the building would cost £2000 so this was a significant donation. This room will be used by local women lawyers who offer a free legal advice clinic once a week. Hastings Budget Advice will also be providing their services here once a week. We are also offering this room as a rentable office space in a move to become more sustainable. It also provides us with an emergency counselling – or for women in crisis who need a quiet space to reflect and talk.