Halt All Racist Tours

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Halt All Racist Tours was a protest group set up in New Zealand in 1969 to protest against rugby union tours to and from South Africa.

Chronology[edit]

Up until 1970, South Africa refused to allow mixed-race sports teams to tour South Africa, and they were not happy about having to play against "natives" in New Zealand.[1] A protest movement against the 1960 New Zealand rugby union tour of South Africa used the slogan "No Maoris, No Tour", but it was unsuccessful at stopping the tour. In 1967, the New Zealand Rugby Union decided to cancel the proposed 1967 tour over the issue.

Trevor Richards, Tom Newnham and others formed HART in 1969 to protest against the proposed 1970 tour. The tour went ahead after the South Africans agreed to accept a mixed-race team.

In 1973, HART promised a campaign of civil disruption if the Springboks toured New Zealand. The Labour Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, prohibited the tour. Rugby supporters objected, complaining that politics should not interfere in sport.

The All Blacks were next due to tour South Africa in 1976. Newly elected National Prime Minister Robert Muldoon refused to cancel the tour, which went ahead. Subsequently Commonwealth leaders adopted the Gleneagles Agreement whereby they agreed to discourage sporting contact with South Africa. 21 African nations boycotted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal in protest against the All Black tour of South Africa.

HART merged with the National Anti-Apartheid Council in 1980 to become HART: NZAAM (Halt All Racist Tours: New Zealand Anti-Apartheid Movement). After ten years as National Chairperson, Richards was replaced by John Minto.

The high point of protest was around the 1981 Springbok Tour in which thousands of New Zealanders protested, invaded pitches, and were involved in civil disobedience to stretch police resources. HART was not the leading body in these protests, as broader organisations were set up in each major centre to coordinate protests, but HART members played a leading role in these organisations.

In 1985, a planned All Black tour of South Africa was stopped by the New Zealand High Court after two lawyers sued the NZRFU, claiming such a tour would breach the NZRFU's constitution. An unofficial tour did take place in 1986 by a team including the majority of the All Blacks players selected for the previous year's cancelled tour. These were known as the New Zealand Cavaliers, but often advertised inside the Republic as the All Blacks or alternatively depicted with the Silver Fern. HART organised nationwide protests, but they were much smaller than the 1981 protests.

HART's reason for existence ended with the dismantling of apartheid by the South African government.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Malcolm Templeton, Human Rights and Sporting Contacts: New Zealand Attitudes To Race Relations In South Africa, 1921-94, Auckland University Press, 1998, ISBN 1-86940-170-0
  • Trevor Richards, Dancing on Our Bones: New Zealand, South Africa, Rugby and Racism (Bridget Williams Books, 1999)