Kate Sheppard's Christchurch home up for auction

The original Christchurch home of suffrage pioneer Kate Sheppard is on the market for the first time in 33 years.

The four-bedroom villa, once home to suffragette Ms Sheppard, is where a lot of the pre-vote work took place.

The home itself once served as Ms Sheppard's office and it was from here that the behind the scenes work for the women's Christian temperance movement took place.

Ms Sheppard's bedroom was said to be where some of the suffragette movement's most important meetings were held.

It's also the place where she kept the scroll of 32,000 signatures, the key to getting women the vote, wrapped around a broomstick.

Husband and wife real estate team Martin and Laurie Sutton say it is possibly the most important and private home in all of New Zealand.

The large section now also boasts a tennis court, extensive garden and pool.

"The owner has been in the house for 33 years and it's an absolute labour of love. She's tended that garden and planted every seed," says Ms Sutton.

The Government has been on the phone to the owner, but the purchase is not yet a done deal.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there have been talks around its preservation.

"We are interested. I know there have been some discussions, but I don't want to go too far in what I say, because it is a negotiation, but, yes, of course we have an interest in preserving our history."

Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel says they would love to work with the Government on this.

"We would be more than happy to work with them to ensure that this became a place that truly represented a place in this nation's history."

But how much interest there is will only be revealed when the house goes under the hammer next month.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: