Pixie Sanders


Richmond Borough Councillor 1961-1965


Pixie Sanders attended Nelson College for Girls in the 1940s where she was head prefect and dux.1 She then attended Canterbury University graduating MA (Hons) in 1948. Her paid work experience prior to a long career in real estate included time as a secondary school teacher and working in Prime Minister Peter Fraser's office in the information section.2

Pixie Sanders

Pixie Sanders

In 1961 she became the first woman elected to the Richmond Borough Council when she stood successfully in a by-election that year. She was reelected for a further three-year term in 1962.

With a background in the real estate industry and property management this long-term Richmond resident was the second woman to gain a New Zealand Real Estate qualification and the first woman president of the Nelson branch of the Real Estate Institute. It is not surprising therefore that Pixie's prime interest while on the Borough Council was town planning (a forerunner to resource management). She was instrumental in making various changes to the then Richmond Borough Town Plan so that more land in Richmond could be made available for development. Apart from being a member of the town planning committee, her other council involvements included chairman of the council's library and properties committees and a member of the finance committee.

Pixie held very definite views on a raft of matters and was known to be a strong no-nonsense debater around the council table. She found her time on the Richmond Borough Council "hectic but enjoyable years".

Due to her busy life-style, this mother of three daughters did not stand for re-election in October 1965. She was awarded the Suffrage Medal in 1993. Pixie's other community interests included being a member of the Richmond School Committee, the Nelson Free Kindergarten Council and the Milk Board in Nelson. 3 At the time of writing Pixie still lives in her own home in Nelson.

Suffrage 125 logo for prow

This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p. 11. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell.

Sources used in this story

  1. Nelson Evening Mail, 27/09/1961.page 6.
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid.

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