Today is National Poetry Day in New Zealand. Today is also the 30th anniversary of the first game of the 1981 Springbok Tour. Background. There were many long and short term consequences of the 1981 Springbok Tour Protests, both in New Zealand and throughout the world. 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. 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". The tour has been said to have led to a decline in the popularity of Rugby Union in New Zealand, until the 1987 Rugby World Cup. 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. [30], The cancelled New York City match against the Eastern All Stars was moved upstate to Albany. 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 … ", Some rugby supporters echoed the separation of politics and sport. [2], The Springboks' match against the Midwest All Stars team had originally been intended to be played in Chicago. It showed the protestors that they can change opinions and laws of their own and other countries by standing up for their rights. When New Zealand decided to go ahead the tour there was a lot of … The 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand was a very significant event to New Zealand. [21], 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. 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. [15], To begin with the anti-tour movement was committed to non-violent civil disobedience, demonstrations and direct action. Significance and Impact on New Zealand Society. The final match of the tour, against the United States national team, took place in secret at Glenville in upstate New York. Here police and protesters confront one another at Palmerson North on 1 August 1981, when South Africa played Manawatū. 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. On the day of the game, many young Maori were seen in the front lines as a march left the Courthouse to Rugby Park. 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? 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. [19] 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. Most Maoris now no longer live in rural areas but directly confront Pakehas in cities. 1981 Springbok tour: Background; Effects on New Zealand. [25], At Lancaster Park, Christchurch, on 15 August,[18] some protesters managed to break through a security cordon and a number invaded the pitch. 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. In 1976, the All Blacks toured South Africa with the blessing of the newly elected New Zealand Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon. [citation needed], At Rugby Park, Hamilton (the site of today's Waikato Stadium), on 25 July,[18] about 350 protesters invaded the pitch after pulling down a fence. New Zealand and South Africa were rivals within rugby and frequently played each other. Its impact went far beyond the rugby ground as communities and families divided and tensions spilled out onto the streets and into the living rooms of the nation. [32] The thirty spectators recorded at the match is the lowest ever attendance for an international rugby match.[1]. Late in game, however, a small number of protestors arrived to disrupt proceedings and two were arrested after a brief altercation broke out on the field. After the tour, no official sporting contact took place between New Zealand and South Africa until the early 1990s, after apartheid had been abolished. Home Meet the NZHistory.net.nz team. There were a number of social economical and political causes that affected our small nation. The 1981 Springbok Tour Protests also effected New Zealand society as the attitudes changed towards the Police force and people's attitude towards authority. In 1984 the Muldoon government was swept away in a Labour landslide after public opinion changed after the Springbok Tour. Thousands of people viewed the Springbok tour as an opportunity to isolate South African sport and call for a change in South … Footage[according to whom?] Consequences and Significance to New Zealand The 1981 Springbok Tour left New Zealand more divided than it had ever historically been. [7] Twenty-five African nations protested against this by boycotting the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. 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. Although not a major sport on a global scale, rugby had established itself not only as New Zealand’s number one sport but as a vital component in this country’s national identity. Despite this, Muldoon argued that New Zealand was a free and democratic country, and that "politics should stay out of sport. The Springbok tour was significant to New Zealander’s in many ways. 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. Two lawyers successfully sued it, claiming such a tour would breach its constitution. The 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour was among the most divisive events in New Zealand’s history. [5] Opposition to sending race-based teams to South Africa grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Springbok Tour 1981. One of the many social consequences of the tour … Despite pressure for the Muldoon government to cancel the tour, permission was granted, and the Springboks arrived in New Zealand on 19 July 1981. Yet 25 years later, the 1981 Springbok tour became one of the most divisive events in New Zealand history. [31] No one was injured. Wherever the – all … 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 … [24] Army engineers were deployed,[citation needed] and the remaining grounds were surrounded with razor wire and shipping container barricades to decrease the chances of another pitch invasion. [22][23], 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. After David Lange's Labour government won the election in 1984, there wouldn't be anymore tours. 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. [citation needed] After early disruptions, police began to require that all spectators assemble in sports grounds at least an hour before kick-off. "Lecturer admits 1981 tour sabotage", The Press, 14 July 2001. The greatest and most recognised consequence of the 1981 Springbok Tour Protests in my opinion was New Zealand's aid in ending apartheid in South Africa. Others remember the tour as rugby's nadir. [citation needed], With the American leg of the tour following directly after the events of New Zealand, further protests and clashes with police were expected. In 1985 the NZRU proposed an All Black tour of South Africa. A High Court injunction by Justice Casey stopped the tour. [8] In their view the All Black tour gave tacit support to the apartheid regime in South Africa. [14], The ensuing public protests polarised New Zealand. A short term effect was that it caused a divide between the country with immense disturbances to daily life. More than 150,000 people took part in over 200 demonstrations in 28 centres, and 1500 were charged with offences stemming from these protests. The allegedly excessive police response to the protests also became a focus of controversy. Discover the reasons behind this civil disobedience, as well as the demonstrations, police actions and … [19] Following reports that a stolen light plane (piloted by Pat McQuarrie)[20] was approaching the stadium, police cancelled the match. Over the eight-week tour, which was strewn with protests and violence, one 2,000 New Zealanders had been arrested. The Springboks and New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, have a long tradition of intense and friendly sporting rivalry. In 1981 a Springbok team was permitted to tour New Zealand, and protests against the tour reached a level unparalleled in New Zealand history. [9], 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. [citation needed], At Gisborne on 22 July,[18] protesters managed to break through a fence, but quick action by spectators and ground security prevented the game being disrupted. The NZRU constitution contained much high-minded wording about promoting the image of rugby and New Zealand, and generally being a benefit to society. This was significant to New Zealanders because after all the riots and protests New Zealand's status in the world improved dramatically. [6] In response, the NZRFU protested about the involvement of "politics in sport". 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. [citation needed] As protection for the Springboks, the police created two special riot squads, the Red and Blue Squads. 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. [29], Some of the protest had the dual purpose of linking racial discrimination against Māori in New Zealand to apartheid in South Africa. Significance to New Zealanders. Despite the controversy, the New Zealand Rugby Union decided to proceed with the tour. Major protests ensued, aiming to make clear many New Zealanders' opposition to apartheid and, if possible, to stop the matches taking place. Some protesters were injured by police batons. [30] The clandestine strategy seemingly worked as around 500 spectators gathered to watch the match. Protest and reform [36], Controversial rugby tour of New Zealand and the US by the South African rugby team. 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. [citation needed] A large demonstration managed to occupy the street adjacent to the ground and confront the riot police. The role of the police also became more controversial as a result of the tour. At Eden Park, an emergency escape route was constructed from the visitors' changing rooms for use if the stadium was overrun by protestors. Maori and Pakeha met on equal terms on the rugby field. was shown of the Clowns Incident, where police were shown beating unarmed clowns with batons. All non-text content is subject to specific conditions. 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 significance of rugby in New Zealand culture is another reason for the passionate protests, by each of the views. 1981 Springbok tour. This became a topic of political contention due to the international sports boycott. 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 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.) [5] The tour still happened, and in 1969 Halt All Racist Tours (HART) was formed.[6]. The violent clashes between anti-Tour protesters and pro-Tour rugby fans were evidence of a growing rift between the educated, urban …
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