Jessie Mackay

Category Three: Nationally Recognised Notable New Zealanders

Date of birth

15 December 1864 at Double Hill Station, Upper Rakaia River


Robert and Elizabeth Mackay


23 August 1938 at Christchurch


  • Home schooled at Raincliff and Opuha Gorge
  • Christchurch Normal School


  • Teacher at Kakahu Bush School 1887-90 and Ashwick Flat 1893-94
  • Lady editor Canterbury Times 1906-17
  • Campaigner on a wide range of issues, including prohibition, penal reform, antivivisection, equal pay and more women MPs and police officers


  • “The Spirit of the Rangatira” 1889
  • “The Sitter on the Rail” 1891
  • “From the Maori Sea” 1908
  • “Land of the Morning” 1909
  • “The Bride of the Rivers” 1929
  • “Vigil” 1935


  • Member National Council of Women and helped initiate its revival in 1916
  • Member Women’s Christian Temperance Union
  • Has a national writing award for verse named in her honour

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021