In many ways the playing of rugby took a back seat in 1981, and the sport suffered in the following years as players and supporters came to terms with the fallout from the tour. , The authorities strengthened security at public facilities after protesters disrupted telecommunications by damaging a waveguide on a microwave repeater, disrupting telephone and data services, though TV transmissions continued as they were carried by a separate waveguide on the tower. Some have described the events of the 1891 as the one largest civil disputes in New Zealand since the 1951 waterfront dispute. Others remember the tour as rugby's nadir. A further appeal to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was also overruled on the grounds of free speech.. Although the protests were among the most intense in New Zealand's recent history, no deaths or serious injuries resulted. Since 1977 Muldoon's government had been a party to the Gleneagles Agreement, in which the countries of the Commonwealth accepted that it was: the urgent duty of each of their Governments vigorously to combat the evil of apartheid by withholding any form of support for, and by taking every practical step to discourage contact or competition by their nationals with sporting organisations, teams or sportsmen from South Africa or from any other country where sports are organised on the basis of race, colour or ethnic origin.  The protesters were ushered from the ground and were advised by protest marshals to remove any anti-tour insignia from their attire, with enraged rugby spectators lashing out at them.  The long serving Mayor of Albany, Erastus Corning, maintained that there was a right of peaceful assembly to "publicly espouse an unpopular cause," despite his own stated view that "I abhor everything about apartheid". The Springbok Tour of New Zealand in 1981 was the first proper protest action taken against racism at an international scale, and the effects of it were very widespread. The 1976 tour contributed to the creation of the Gleneagles Agreement adopted by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 1977.  After early disruptions, police began to require that all spectators assemble in sports grounds at least an hour before kick-off. The NZRU constitution contained much high-minded wording about promoting the image of rugby and New Zealand, and generally being a benefit to society.  Following reports that a stolen light plane (piloted by Pat McQuarrie) was approaching the stadium, police cancelled the match. A High Court injunction by Justice Casey stopped the tour. It was the politics of policing, the right to protest and the rule of law". , Governor Hugh Carey argued that the event should be barred as the anti-apartheid demonstrators presented an "imminent danger of riot", but a Federal court ruling allowing the game to be played was upheld in the United States Court of Appeals. The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, refused permission for the Springboks' aircraft to refuel in Australia, so the Springboks' flights to and from New Zealand went via Los Angeles and Hawaii.. The role of the police also became more controversial as a result of the tour. , The Springboks' match against the Midwest All Stars team had originally been intended to be played in Chicago. Historical Significance ; Consequences.. Division Of the country. , The aftermath of the Hamilton game, followed by the bloody batoning of marchers in Wellington's Molesworth Street in the following week, in which police batoned bare-headed protesters, led to the radicalisation of the protest movement. The cause of this was the visit of the South African rugby … The proposed Springbok rugby tour beginning on 22 July 1981 would violate New Zealand'sinternational legal obligations.I The Commission accepted as a fact that the Springbok team would not be selected on merit, a point also accepted by the Government.2 The same point, however, was not accepted by the Rugby Union. Those that took part in the anti-tour protests began to see that racism wasn't just occurring in South Africa or overseas, it was also happening in New Zealand. As a result of the 1981 springbok tour and the protests surrounding it, conscientiousness about race in New Zealand was formed. For some commentators, these events were a watershed in our view of ourselves.  Others argued that if the tour were cancelled, there would be no reporting of the widespread criticism of apartheid in New Zealand in the controlled South African media. More than 150,000 people took part in over 200 demonstrations in 28 centres, and 1500 were charged with offences stemming from these protests. On the day of the game, many young Maori were seen in the front lines as a march left the Courthouse to Rugby Park. , To begin with the anti-tour movement was committed to non-violent civil disobedience, demonstrations and direct action. Major protests ensued, aiming to make clear many New Zealanders' opposition to apartheid and, if possible, to stop the matches taking place. "Suddenly the issue was no longer just a rugby tour, or apartheid. was shown of the Clowns Incident, where police were shown beating unarmed clowns with batons. A short-term effect of the 1981 Springbok Tour on New Zealand society was the increasingly evident division in opinions and values between New Zealanders from different backgrounds.  Many opponents of racism in New Zealand in the early 1980s saw it as useful to use the protests against South Africa as a vehicle for wider social action. Despite this, Muldoon argued that New Zealand was a free and democratic country, and that "politics should stay out of sport. Prior to the All Blacks' tour of South Africa in 1960, 150,000 New Zealanders signed a petition supporting a policy of "No Maoris, No Tour". I got involved in [anti-Springbok tour action] because it was an important issue and one in which I thought New Zealand could punch well above its weight.  The clandestine strategy seemingly worked as around 500 spectators gathered to watch the match. Great pride was taken in the New Zealand rugby team after their first tour to Britain in 1905, the team being nicknames ‘The Originals’ after only losing … 1981 Springbok tour: Background; Effects on New Zealand. , The cancelled New York City match against the Eastern All Stars was moved upstate to Albany. Maori and Pakeha met on equal terms on the rugby field. Culture and Society There were many long and short term consequences of the 1981 Springbok Tour Protests, both in New Zealand and throughout the world. ", Some rugby supporters echoed the separation of politics and sport.  Some protesters were intimidated and interpreted this initial police response as overkill and heavy-handed tactics. The government of Prime Minister Robert Muldoon was called on to ban it, but decided that commitments under the Gleneagles Agreement did not require the government to prevent the tour, and decided not to interfere due to their public position of "no politics in sport". It made New Zealand citizens realise how other people were treated in other places around the world. We have 23 biographies, 18 articles, related to 1981 Springbok tour. , At Rugby Park, Hamilton (the site of today's Waikato Stadium), on 25 July, about 350 protesters invaded the pitch after pulling down a fence. Despite the controversy, the New Zealand Rugby Union decided to proceed with the tour. Some remember it as an honour to play the Springboks during their 1981 tour of New Zealand. New Zealand and South Africa were rivals within rugby and frequently played each other. The 1981 Springbok Tour Protests also effected New Zealand society as the attitudes changed towards the Police force and people's attitude towards authority. Despite pressure for the Muldoon government to cancel the tour, permission was granted, and the Springboks arrived in New Zealand on 19 July 1981. , Some of the protest had the dual purpose of linking racial discrimination against Māori in New Zealand to apartheid in South Africa.  Muldoon's critics felt that he allowed the tour in order for his National Party to secure the votes of rural and provincial conservatives in the general election later in the year, which Muldoon won. This became a topic of political contention due to the international sports boycott. Today is also the 30th anniversary of the first game of the 1981 Springbok Tour. However as opposition to apartheid grew in the decades prior to the 1981 Springbok tour, conflict began surround the apartheid policy in … Meet the NZHistory.net.nz team. In 1985 the NZRU proposed an All Black tour of South Africa. All non-text content is subject to specific conditions. This site is produced by the History Group of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. New Zealand’s continued contact with South Africa caused many rifts between national relationships. Springbok Tour 1981. 1971 South Africa rugby union tour of Australia, History of South Africa in the apartheid era, "Rugby in the national spotlight: The 1981 USA tour of the Springboks", "All eyes were on Albany and Apartheid in 1981", "When talk of racism is just not cricket", "Politics and sport – 1981 Springbok tour", "Battle lines are drawn – 1981 Springbok tour | NZHistory.net.nz, New Zealand history online", "Protest! During the 1970s public protests and political pressure forced on the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRFU) the choice of either fielding a team not selected by race, or not touring South Africa: South African rugby authorities continued to select Springbok players by race. Eight out of nine districts of the New Zealand Maori Council had voted against the Springbok tour with the one in favour being Tai Rawhiti, of which Gisborne is an important centre.  However, some Maori supported the tour and attended games. The allegedly excessive police response to the protests also became a focus of controversy. Politics and government 1981 Springbok tour. A short term effect was that it caused a divide between the country with immense disturbances to daily life. On July 19 1981, the South African rugby team arrived in New Zealand, dividing the nation, and sparking 56 days of major civil unrest (along with years of subsequent fallout.) Here police and protesters confront one another at Palmerson North on 1 August 1981, when South Africa played Manawatū. New Zealand put itself on the map as a country that was battling for the rights of black people in South Africa through media coverage throughout the world, which … The violent clashes between anti-Tour protesters and pro-Tour rugby fans were evidence of a growing rift between the educated, urban … Friendships and family relationships were harmed due to different perspectives on the tour. Significance to New Zealanders. Some protesters were injured by police batons. Rugby union was (and is) an extremely popular sport in New Zealand, and the South African team known as the Springboks were considered to be New Zealand's most formidable opponents.  They were quickly removed and forcibly ejected from the stadium by security staff and spectators. In spite of the bombing, the game continued. The police arrested about 50 of them over a period of an hour, but were concerned that they could not control the rugby crowd, who were throwing bottles and other objects at the protesters. The Springbok tour was significant to New Zealander’s in many ways. The 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour was among the most divisive events in New Zealand’s history. The 1981 South African rugby tour (known in New Zealand as the Springbok Tour, and in South Africa as the Rebel Tour) polarised opinions and inspired widespread protests across New Zealand. On the 12th of September 1981, was the third and final test match to be played in the Springbok tour of New Zealand. The new government introduced nuclear-free legislation and enabled homosexual law reform, both of which struck at the core of what might have been described as the values and image of New Zealand … After David Lange's Labour government won the election in 1984, there wouldn't be anymore tours. Protests against the South African rugby team touring New Zealand divided the country in 1981. The Springboks and New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, have a long tradition of intense and friendly sporting rivalry. What were the events that made this tour so significant? Over the eight-week tour, which was strewn with protests and violence, one 2,000 New Zealanders had been arrested.  "Patches" of criminal gangs, such as traditional rivals Black Power and the Mongrel Mob, were also evident (The Black Power were Muldoon supporters). Discover the reasons behind this civil disobedience, as well as the demonstrations, police actions and … , Controversial rugby tour of New Zealand and the US by the South African rugby team. To some observers it might seem inconceivable that the cause of this unrest was the visit to New Zealand of the South African rugby team (the Springboks). , By the early 1980s the pressure from other countries and from protest groups in New Zealand such as HART reached a head when the NZRU proposed a Springbok tour for 1981. In 1984 the Muldoon government was swept away in a Labour landslide after public opinion changed after the Springbok Tour. The 1981 Springbok Tour protest had a great impact on New Zealander’s lives and is a significant part of the country’s history. Following the anti-apartheid protests, it was secretly rescheduled to the mid morning of Saturday 19 September at Roosevelt Park in Racine, Wisconsin. The conflict within New Zealand over sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa reached a peak in the protests against the 1981 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand. Commercial re-use may be allowed on request. The controversy also extended to the United States, where the South African rugby team continued their tour after departing New Zealand. There were a number of social economical and political causes that affected our small nation. The significance to New Zealanders was that it made them stop and question, what did they think was right those 56 days were testing to every household families turned on each other as different people held different views, it also changed In the 1960s and 70s, many New Zealanders had come to believe that playing sport with South Africa condoned its racist apartheid system.  The tour still happened, and in 1969 Halt All Racist Tours (HART) was formed.. For 56 days in July, August and September 1981, New Zealanders were divided against each other in the largest civil disturbance seen since the 1951 waterfront dispute. The final match of the tour, against the United States national team, took place in secret at Glenville in upstate New York.  In response, the NZRFU protested about the involvement of "politics in sport". The 1981 Springbok rugby tour. Sport  As protection for the Springboks, the police created two special riot squads, the Red and Blue Squads.  As a result, the Norman Kirk Labour Government prevented the Springboks from touring during 1973. Most Maoris now no longer live in rural areas but directly confront Pakehas in cities.  Threats of riots caused city officials in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and Rochester to withdraw their previous authorisation for the Springboks to play in their cities. The Muldoon government was re-elected in the 1981 election losing three seats to leave it with a majority of one.  A large demonstration managed to occupy the street adjacent to the ground and confront the riot police.  Opposition to sending race-based teams to South Africa grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s. For 56 days in July, August and September 1981, New Zealanders were divided against each other in the largest civil disturbance seen since the 1951 waterfront dispute. 1981 Springbok Tour Protests- Background The Springbok Rugby team's tour of Aotearoa, New Zealand in 1981 brought forward issues around racism and specifically, apartheid in South Africa. 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In their view the All Black tour gave tacit support to the apartheid regime in South Africa. | Blam Blam Blam – There is no Depression, "Ticket to Springboks versus Waikato rugby game at Rugby Park in Hamilton on 25 July 1981", "Springbok tour upheaval re-enacted with Rage", Images of the events surrounding the Springbok Tour in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, The 1981 Springbok Tour, including history, images and video (NZHistory), Letters solicited from the New Zealand public after the 1981 Springbok Tour, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1981_South_Africa_rugby_union_tour_of_New_Zealand_and_the_United_States&oldid=987579999, South Africa national rugby team tours of New Zealand, International opposition to apartheid in South Africa, Articles with dead external links from June 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2008, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2012, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from August 2012, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2007, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2012, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2014, Articles with dead external links from August 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Music popularly associated with the tour included the punk band, This page was last edited on 7 November 2020, at 23:50. At Eden Park, an emergency escape route was constructed from the visitors' changing rooms for use if the stadium was overrun by protestors. Because of this, many protesters began to wear motorcycle or bicycle helmets to protect themselves from batons and head injury. Home "Lecturer admits 1981 tour sabotage", The Press, 14 July 2001.  From the 1940s to the 1960s, the South African apartheid affected team selection for the All Blacks: the selectors passed over Māori players for some All Black tours to South Africa. It showed the protestors that they can change opinions and laws of their own and other countries by standing up for their rights. The 1981 South African rugby tour (known in New Zealand as the Springbok Tour, and in South Africa as the Rebel Tour) polarised opinions and inspired widespread protests across New Zealand. Yet 25 years later, the 1981 Springbok tour became one of the most divisive events in New Zealand history. As the 2011 Rugby World Cup opens up in New Zealand we publish an interesting comment by Miles Lacey on the sharp class divide that was revealed during the 1981 (South African) Springbok Tour of the country. That first game in Gisborne was the beginning of 56 days of protest, violent clashes between protesters, supporters and police, and division in communities and even families. Police: Red Squad - 1981 Springbok Tour The police police were a key group in the protest actions surrounding the 1981 Springbok tour. Wherever the – all … Crowds of anti-tour protestors stood outside as the police were overwhelmed but the hundreds of police still managed to prevent the protestors from entering the stadium. Apartheid had made South Africa an international pariah, and other countries were strongly discouraged from having sporting contacts with it. Thousands of people viewed the Springbok tour as an opportunity to isolate South African sport and call for a change in South … , With the American leg of the tour following directly after the events of New Zealand, further protests and clashes with police were expected. In 1981 a Springbok team was permitted to tour New Zealand, and protests against the tour reached a level unparalleled in New Zealand history.  These police were, controversially, the first in New Zealand to be issued with visored riot helmets and long batons (more commonly the side-handle baton). When New Zealand decided to go ahead the tour there was a lot of … In New Zealand it caused a 56-day feud between urban and rural … Undeniably, the ’81 Springbok Tour Protest Movement had a significant effect on New Zealand society and internationally. Significance To New Zealanders - THE 1981 SPRINGBOK TOURjohn KAufusi The tour saw an end to activism and a change in the way we New Zealanders treat authorities and view the law. No violence occurred at the game but a pipe bomb was set off in the early morning outside the headquarters of the Eastern Rugby Union resulting in damage to the building estimated at $50,000. Consequences and Significance to New Zealand The 1981 Springbok Tour left New Zealand more divided than it had ever historically been. It is a time in which the country was divided and many different individuals took a political stance in the game that has been loved by almost every New … The match went ahead with around a thousand demonstrators (including Pete Seeger) corralled 100 yards away from the field of play, which was surrounded by the police. The 1981 tour was part of a long process that led to this significant change in South Africa, and in this respect, it represented New Zealand's contribution towards a major international development in the closing decades … This was significant to New Zealanders because after all the riots and protests New Zealand's status in the world improved dramatically. Footage[according to whom?] We had the most important international link that white South Africans wanted – rugby and the All Blacks, and we knew we could make a difference. The Voice of Dissent at the Nelson Provincial Museum", Film: game cancelled in Hamilton, 1981 Springbok tour, "Film: game cancelled in Hamilton, 1981 Springbok tour | NZHistory.net.nz, New Zealand history online", "Film: clash on Molesworth St – 1981 Springbok tour | NZHistory.net.nz, New Zealand history online", "Minto's battered helmet to go on display at Te Papa", "Eden Park revamp uncovers secret escape route", "The first test: Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 15 August 1981", "Film: the third test – 1981 Springbok tour | NZHistory.net.nz, New Zealand history online", "The code of silence over a tour's infamous bashing", Protesters in Albany shout as Springboks triumph in rainfall, Tour diary – 1981 Springbok tour | NZHistory, "Rt Hon Sir Maurice Eugene Casey, 1923 – 2012", "Judge's ruling halted divisive All Black tour", The Film Archive – Ready to Roll? In 1976, the All Blacks toured South Africa with the blessing of the newly elected New Zealand Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon. Significance and Impact on New Zealand Society. , The All Blacks won the 1987 Rugby World Cup and rugby union was once again the dominant sport – in both spectator and participant numbers – in New Zealand. The 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand was a very significant event to New Zealand. This was at a time when the Apartheid regime was still in power in South Africa. One of the many social consequences of the tour … Significance To New Zealanders Despite the tour concluding and the Springboks leaving our shores our shores New Zealand continue to be effected by the 1981 tour long after it finished. Gangs of rugby supporters waited outside Hamilton police station for arrested protesters to be processed and released, and assaulted some protesters making their way into Victoria Street.
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