Despite pressure for the Muldoon government to cancel the tour, permission was granted, and the Springboks arrived in New Zealand on 19 July 1981. For the first time in history, a public movement was being acknowledged in the media not only in New Zealand, but on an international scale, with the protests from the 1981 Tour having an enormous effect on apartheid in South Africa. , At Gisborne on 22 July, protesters managed to break through a fence, but quick action by spectators and ground security prevented the game being disrupted. Tom Hunt reports. I was a part of the South AfricanSpringbok rugby team that was selected to tour New Zealand in 1981 with the Springboks. After the tour, no official sporting contact took place between New Zealand and South Africa until the early 1990s, after apartheid had been abolished. 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. It was believed by some that allowing this to happen would that New Zealand did not have a problem with the apartheid problems occurring in South Africa. The role of the police also became more controversial as a result of the tour. The NZRU constitution contained much high-minded wording about promoting the image of rugby and New Zealand, and generally being a benefit to society.  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. …  Following reports that a stolen light plane (piloted by Pat McQuarrie) was approaching the stadium, police cancelled the match. Springbok Tour 1981 Protests against the South African rugby team touring New Zealand divided the country in 1981. The 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour was among the most divisive events in New Zealand’s history. New Zealand Protests-Springbok Tour 1981: ... to patch it up, but I haven't allowed that to happen." Because of this, many protesters began to wear motorcycle or bicycle helmets to protect themselves from batons and head injury. Read more... 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. 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. The green and gold machine had never been defeated in a test series anywhere in the world since 1896. 1981 Springbok tour: Background; Effects on New Zealand. 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 1981 Springbok Tour started on 19 July, as the Springbok rugby team arrived in the country and had their first tour game against Poverty Bay on the 22nd.  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. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. , To begin with the anti-tour movement was committed to non-violent civil disobedience, demonstrations and direct action. Commercial re-use may be allowed on request. The 1981 Springbok Tour made many Maori and Pakeha alike realise that life in New Zealand could be better and they used the tour to help these matters get better at home and in South Africa.  Opposition to sending race-based teams to South Africa grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s. They held the belief that 'sport and politics should not mix.' The 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour was among the most divisive events in New Zealand’s history. The first Springbok overseas tour was arranged in 1906–07 to Europe. The controversy also extended to the United States, where the South African rugby team continued their tour after departing New Zealand.  Twenty-five African nations protested against this by boycotting the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. 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. Nelson Mandela recalled that when he was in his prison cell on Robin Island and heard that the game in Hamilton had been cancelled; it was as ‘if the sun had come out’. Outside the ground, violence erupted on an unprecedented scale.  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. It was a very unnerving night and by the time the day of the set came, well, being … The veterans of the 1981 Springbok tour protests are still proud of having stood up for something they believed in, despite their scars. Rob Muldoon was one of our most polarising PMs, the voice of ‘the ordinary bloke’ to supporters and a dictatorial bully to critics. "Lecturer admits 1981 tour sabotage", The Press, 14 July 2001. Bill English has been asked that. 1809122 Some believed the tour was an opportunity. Following police warnings of civil strife, Prime Minister Norman Kirk informed the New Zealand Rugby Football Union that the government saw ‘no alternative’ to a 'postponement' of the planned tour by the South African Springboks. 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 first test was on 15 August in Christchurch. This site is produced by the History Group of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Some of the protesters, particularly young Māori, felt frustrated by the image of New Zealand as a paradise for racial unity. 1981 Springbok tour. Keeping sport and politics separate was becoming increasingly difficult. People did not want them in our country for many reasons for example at the time of the Tour, South Africa was practising a policy of apartheid which was supposed to be ‘separate but equal’ but was in fact incredibly unfair on the black population in South Africa. - 1981 Anti-Springbok Tour Protest Common sign found in South Africa. There were many long and short term consequences of the 1981 Springbok Tour Protests, both in New Zealand and throughout the world. 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