Kate Sheppard's former home to become an educational centre

The Government has purchased the former home of suffragette Kate Sheppard to be used as a heritage venue and educational centre.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday the Government secured the Christchurch house for $4.5 million earlier this month.

"New Zealanders take pride in being the first country in the world where women won the vote and this is the home where that crucial progress centred, making it of huge significance both locally, nationally and internationally," she said.

Sheppard, who lived between 1848 and 1934, was New Zealand's famous suffragette and is celebrated on the $10 note for her working in leading the women's rights movement and helping get women the vote in 1893.

"Through a partnership with the University of Canterbury, the house will be used as a base for collaboration, teaching and academic research," Ardern said.

"In a second educational partnership, schools will be encouraged to bring students for special tours as part of teaching New Zealand history. Part of the property can also be available for events and functions, returning revenue into the upkeep of this heritage property."

The purchase was welcomed by the National Council of Women NZ.

"We are pleased to see the home of our founding president purchased by the government for use as a heritage venue, public space and educational centre," said vice president Lisa Lawrence.

"Given New Zealand was the first country in the world to provide women the right to vote, having this house as a base for collaboration, teaching and academic research for the public is a way to ensure the importance of the suffrage movement is recognised."

The house will be managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.