Wells worked as a student-teacher and attended Canterbury College. In the 1880s she became active in the women's suffrage movement. In 1892 she formed the Canterbury Women's Institute. She also helped form the National Council of Women of New Zealand. In 1917 she was the first woman to work on the Christchurch City Council.
- Grimshaw, Patricia Ann. "Wells, Ada". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/wells-ada/1. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Ministry for Culture and Heritage (11). "Ada Wells". http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/ada-wells. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Ministry for Culture and Heritage. "Ada Wells Memorial Prize". http://www.mch.govt.nz/mi/funding-nz-culture/search-funding?detail=802797/B. Retrieved 17 April 2011.