John Minto (born c. 1953) is a New Zealand-based political activist known for his involvement in various left-wing groups and causes, most notably Halt All Racist Tours. A 2005 documentary on New Zealand's Top 100 History Makers listed him as number 89. Today he is involved with the protest group Global Peace and Justice Auckland and the Unite Union. He also wrote a weekly column for The Press and was formerly editor of the (now defunct) Workers' Charter newspaper.
Minto is a long time member of the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) and also a National Vice Chairperson of QPEC, Quality Public Education Coalition (Inc) and co-vice-president of the Mana Movement.
Halt All Racist Tours
Trevor Richards, Tom Newnham and others formed Halt All Racist Tours to protest against rugby union tours to and from Apartheid South Africa, in 1969. Minto became the National Chairman of the organisation in 1980. He was assaulted by rugby supporters the evening after a disruptive protest at Rugby Park in Hamilton. This prompted him to add a protective helmet to his distinctive outfit of overalls. He remained at the forefront of the protests.
The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) listed Minto in 1981 on a list of 'subversives' for the events of that year. In 2005 a police baton owned by Ross Meurant, a former member of Parliament who was second in charge of the "Red Squad" during the 1981 Springbok Tour was put up for auction online labelled as a "Minto Bar", a "joke" based on the co-incidence of names between John Minto and Minties, the brand name of a popular mint-flavoured sweet. In 2009 John Minto's helmet appeared in an episode of Tales from Te Papa a television series of mini-documentaries about objects from the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Companion of OR Tambo Award
During January 2008 Minto publicly "rejected" a nomination for the South African Companion of OR Tambo Award, saying he was dismayed over current conditions in the country. However, the Presidency of South Africa later stated that Minto had not been nominated for any national award.
Global peace and justice protests in Auckland
In January 2009 Minto led a protest to the Auckland Tennis Stadium, where they demanded that Israeli player Shahar Pe'er, who served a compulsory two-years service in the Israel Defense Forces, withdraw from the tournament and denounce the Israeli Government and its actions in the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, adding that she should respect international calls for a boycott against Israel. Pe'er ignored the group's demands and participated in the tournament as planned, stating at a press conference that "I think [the politics] is nothing to do with what I am doing".
Maurice Williamson, a member of parliament, rebuffed the protesters at the event, stating that Pe'er was not representing Israel and was playing as a private individual, and that thus the protesters should "leave her alone".
A similar protest occurred at the January 2010 event, where Shahar Pe'er again competed. On the third day of protest (7 January 2010) John Minto was one of five protesters arrested outside the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland on a charge of disorderly behaviour. He was later issued[by whom?] with a 500-metre trespass-order to prevent him from continuing disruption of the play inside the tennis centre.
In April 2013, Minto announced his intention to run for the mayoralty of Auckland on the Mana Movement ticket. Minto has several candidates that are running for Councillor on the Minto for Mayor ticket.
Minto stood in the 2014 elections as a candidate for the Internet Mana party, Minto is ranked 4th on the party list.
- "Full interview with activist John Minto on anti-Israel protest – Video". 3 News. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- JohnMinto.org.nz Archive of Minto's Press articles, in weblog format
- "Quality Public Education". Qpec.org.nz. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Helmet". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Image of John Minto in his protesting outfit". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- Gregory, Angela (6 May 2005). "Meurant's Red Squad baton up for sale". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Rugby Ball & John Minto". Tales From Te Papa Episode 4. Television New Zealand. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Mail & Guardian – Anti-apartheid campaigner rejects SA award". The M&G Online. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080411044228/http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/show.asp?type=pr&include=president/pr/2008/pr01291610.htm. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2016. Missing or empty
- "Off-court". Shahar Pe'er official website. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Gaza conflict touches ASB Classic". Television New Zealand. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Anti-Israel activists protest at tennis". Television New Zealand. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Minto, John (7 January 2010). "Where are the Palestinian tennis players?". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Tennis: Five arrests at ASB". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Rowe, Jessica (10 January 2010). "Activist John Minto on anti-Israel protest". 3 News. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Long, David (7 January 2010). "John Minto arrested at tennis protest". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "John Minto for Auckland mayor?". 3 News NZ. 16 April 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Internet-Mana releases party list". Radionz.co.nz. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Minto for Mayor - About Us". mintoformayor.org.nz. Retrieved 21 September 2016.