Broads go digital

Any of you post-luddites out there remember Broadsheet?

It was a feminist magazine, founded in 1972 by Sandra Coney and according to Greg Newbold and Jenny Cross:

Broadsheet soon became the central voice of feminist politics in New Zealand. It initially focused on issues such as sexual stereotyping, prejudice, exploitation and discrimination, but before long specific matters such as rape and woman-beating began to appear as common themes. In 1973, reflecting rising awareness about violence towards women, the first of what became a network of women’s refuges was established, which was consolidated under the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges in 1981.

Feminists writing included Anne Else, Donna Awatere, Ripeka Evans, Lisa Sabbage, Pat Rosier, Miriam Saphira, Christine Dann, amongst many, many others.  In 1992 twenty years of Broadsheet were celebrated, with the publication of a collection of outstanding articles edited by Pat Rosier.


Broadsheet is important enough to feminists and New Zealand history to be archived by the Auckland Women’s Centre, referenced in Te Ara, New Zealand’s online encyclopedia as important to social change in Aotearoa in the 1970s, and timelined by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

Now, there’s a campaign to get it digitised – and make it forever available to all.  Since the magazines are now collectors items, this seems like a good idea to me.


Every vote counts – if you want to see New Zealand’s feminist heritage preserved, get yourself over to DigitalNZ now.


6 thoughts on “Broads go digital

  1. I totally remember Broadsheet! In a looking-for-things-to-read, rifling-through-Mum’s-bookshelves way. Probably the first feminist texts I ever read! *is young*

  2. Broadsheet was great, a huge women-affirming brainstorm in which to develop beliefs. Ahead of other media, Broadsheet also asked readers to consider the history and aspirations of Maori (especially Maori women) and women beyond New Zealand’s borders. I’ve kept a copy from the early 1970s, yay!
    Contrary to recent media stories, in which young women “blame” such “early” feminists for telling them they had to go to work and have children as well, Broadsheet always advocated choice, free childcare (we wish) and equal distribution of labour in the home… Broadsheet writers never envisaged women juggling all the childcare, most of the chores and a full-time job. That sucks and always has. Broadsheet also told the stories of women on the frontline of non-traditional jobs. I could go on. Long live Broadsheet.

  3. I am doing research into women’s publishing in New Zealand. Can I gather from these comments that the Broadsheet magazine is no longer operational?

    • Yes, sadly you can. Worth checking out the Muse magazine though, available at the Auckland Women’s Bookshop on Ponsonby Road.

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