The Woman's Place (289 Cuba Street, 1981 - 1989)

Walking Radical Wellington

The Woman's Place (289 Cuba Street, 1981 - 1989)

Wellington, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Created By: Radical Wellington Walking Tour

Point of Interest Details

Painted bright pink and purple, the Woman's Place was established in June, 1981, as an independent bookstore that sold a wide range of feminist literature and magazines. It sold stock that reflected expansive ideology of feminism: books on women's issues, domestic violence, and lesbianism, but also texts on sociology, science fiction, and politics. They stocked magazines to allow for more current discussions on potentially outdated perspectives, children's stories curated for their progressive gender politics, feminist jewelry, Tarot cards, and maintained a notice board that monitored and supported activity within the female and lesbian community.

More than a bookstore, owners Pleasance Hansen and Porleen Simmons sought to create a space that reinforced reality from a female perspective, in contrast to the patriarchal society beyond its walls. Their clientele described it as a "sanity space" and a part of their "emotional geography". The Woman's Place closed its doors in 1989.

Want to learn more?

Women Together: A History of Women's Organisations in New Zealand : Ngā Rōpū Wāhine O Te Motu (Daphne Brasell Associates Press, 1993) by Anne Else can be found at the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Image Credit

Broadsheet, January/February, 1983. Pleasance Hansen and Porleen Simmons outside the Women's Place, Wellington.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Radical Wellington


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to