Talk:1981 South Africa rugby union tour of New Zealand and the United States

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Untitled[edit]

Not entirely appropriate for this to redirect to the All Blacks (and thence to the more formal name "New Zealand national rugby union team"). Most of the games on that tour were against provincial sides. Robin Patterson 00:36, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Moved information from All Blacks to here. There is a lot that can be added! porge 08:26, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone have the match results anywhere? Lisiate 20:38, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Good point - we should probably make a quick note of who actually won what. test results under, don't have provincial matches to hand... 1981 SA vs New Zealand

0815 Christchurch SA 9 T 1 C 1 P0 D1 NZ 14 T 3 C 1 P0 D0

0829 Wellington SA 24 T 1 C 1 P5 D1 NZ 12 T 0 C 0 P4 D0

0912 Auckland SA 22 T 3 C 2 P2 D0 NZ 25 T 2 C 1 P4 D1

Hamilton[edit]

I've changed the account of the Hamilton match a bit. My details come from having been one of the protestors in the middle of the field, and from 1981: The Tour, by Geoff Chapple.

Chapple gives 350 people as the number who broke into the ground. I certainly agree it was substantially more than 50. About 50 people were arrested from that protest group by the police without the numbers remaining significantly diminishing. (The police also arrested other protestors who were not in the middle of the ground).

While there was certainly suggestions in the media throughout the tour that broken glass would be spread on grounds, I'm not sure that it ever happened. In Hamilton, people did not come armed with broken glass. Very few people knew that there would be an assault planned directly on the ground, and for the most part the anti-Tour movement had stayed away from rugby grounds up to that point. There certainly were beer bottles thrown from the crowd into the group of protestors, and some almost certainly smashed. There would have been deaths had we not been wearing crash and bicylce helmets. Paul Chalmers, one of those arrested before reaching the middle of the field, has a set of field glasses thrown at him while he was being led away by the police. The glasses smashed a hole in his helmet.[Chapple, p 90].

The police were really worried that the crowd was going to riot and tear the protestors to pieces. According to Terry Dibble (a priest), the police commissioner said "I've told my men to look after themselves first" [Chapple, p 101). The police didn't have the numbers to arrest everyone on the field - it took an hour to arrest the first 50. A baton charge might have cleared the field but that would have generated huge international publicity and probably caused deaths.

I can't be sure whether the approaching plane was the final straw causing the police to cancel the match, but that was the prevailing theory at the time. In retrospect, I don't think the police had any choice but to cancel it, but the plane gave them an excuse.

Above written by Gadfium. From memory a cop bio said reason for the cancellation was they thought broken glass had been spread, I will check this - but of course the policemen could be wrong too. Winstonwolfe

I have vivid memories of watching Hamilton on television, and the number of protestors on the ground was certainly around 2-300. Commentary did speculate that glass on the ground as the reason for cancelling. On the same afternoon there was a small bomb explosion at Christchurch airport (in a toilet, IIRC) with no injuries. dramatic 10:43, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


Baton charges don't result in deaths. Broken glass on grass can cause injury. Objects dropped from a plan could cause deaths. There were no serious injuries, as far as I can recall.124.197.15.138 (talk) 21:57, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
My recollection is that broken glass was scattered (or an attempt to scatter glass was made) over the Gisborne pitch on the preceding Tuesday (21 July - the day before the match) from a van or 4WD vehicle that managed to gain access to the pitch. A fear of broken glass on the Hamilton field would have been a reasonable fear, either by the police, or an imaginative media. Fanx (talk) 15:34, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

As the article is about the protests, not the gameplay, I suggest it be renamed to 1981 Springbok tour protests. If an article is created about the play (probably best a separate article), it could be called 1981 Springbok tour to New Zealand, similar to the naming of the Lions tour articles, eg, 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand (although I would prefer tour of rather than tour to). Nurg 05:29, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't have a big problem with the renaming as suggested, but I also think the political and sporting aspects can be covered in the single article, as was done for New Zealand cricket team in Zimbabwe in 2005-06. Just add a section for "The Rugby".-gadfium 07:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I think with the change in article title the reference in the intro (and subsequently) to 'The Tour' should now be changed to 'The Springbok Tour' - my experience is that this is how it is more commonly referred to these days. Also 'The Tour' is more universally known as the name for the Tour de France. Jamie Mackay (talk) 03:15, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Great article[edit]

One of the best rugby union articles I have read on here. Good work to those involved. Cvene64 08:33, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! It badly needs some pictures, though.-gadfium 09:09, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Spoke to a press photographer of the time about pics, but he was worried the paper held copyright.Winstonwolfe 04:39, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

The best thing to do would be to upload a photo claiming it as an historic image, and write a fair-use rationale on its page. Cvene64 17:08, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

-thanks, discussed that with him and it's no go - he's not going to take the risk - pity he had some good pics :-(.Winstonwolfe 07:23, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

1976 Olympics Boycott[edit]

The boycott of the 1976 Summer Olympics by 22 African nations as a result of Muldoons violation of the Gleneagles Agreement needs it's own article. It was quite a significant part of sporting history. At the moment I don't have enough time to research the issue though. Any takers? Mostlyharmless 01:39, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

You should request such an article also at Talk:1976 Summer Olympics, where there are already a couple of items discussing the boycott.-gadfium 04:24, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Muldoon's violation of the "Gleaneagle Agreement" is POV and wrong. The New Zealand Government did not violate the agreement, much less could one minister (albeit the Prime Minister) be accused of doing so.124.197.15.138 (talk) 21:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

External link submission[edit]

I've added an external link from this article to a site which I manage in my capacity as web editor for the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage (the site is www.nzhistory.net.nz).

The link is to a web feature on the 81 Tour recently published to mark the 25th anniversary. The content is written by a professional historian and includes images and film for which we have copyright clearance, but only for our use (sorry!). I will try and do a check this week to make sure factual information in the Wikipeda article is in accord with our feature and let you know if any changes might be required.

I hope this is considered appropriate for Wikipedia's purposes, please let me know if there is a problem.

Jamie Mackay 10:48, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Update - have now corrected the links used in the citations. Jamie Mackay 21:22, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Decision to proceed[edit]

The decision to proceeed with the tour was not Muldoon's alone but a collective cabinet decision. Support came from other ministers, including Ben Couch, a forner All Black of Maori descent denied a South Africa tour who was both Minister of Maori Affairs and Minister of Police at the time. As a Minister who fully supported the actions of his Police staff, and one whose own opposition to apertheid did not overrule his 'sport out of politics' stance, perhaps he deserves a mention.


And what does Robert Muldoon allowed the All Blacks to tour South Africa.mean? When were NZ citizens "allowed" to leave the county by the PM? He took no action at all - which is ezactly what any other PM would have done.

I would debate this also: Although the Muldoon government was re-elected in the 1981 election its majority was reduced from four seats to just one and as in 1978 Muldoon's National Party received fewer votes than the opposition Labour Party. Whether this decline in popularity was a consequence of Muldoon's support of the tour or part of a larger trend away from his governments paternalistic conservatism, is still a matter for debate.

The National Government won 47.9% (against Labour's 39.6%) of the vote in 1975, 39.8% in 1978 (Labour's 40.4%) and 38.7% in 1981 (Labour 39.1%). Between 1978 and 1981, Labour lost more support than National - an opposition party losing ground over a six year-old government. Muldoon's lost votes were not a result of the tour. Herne nz 06:12, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

My memory of exactly what happend in 1976 is now rather hazy, but I believe that Muldoon refused even to ask the All Blacks not to go to South Africa. The Gleneagles Agreement called for Governments to discourage sporting contacts with South Africa, but Muldoon didn't discourage them.
I would have thought the National Party gained support because of the Springbok Tour - that is, it got more votes than it would have had the tour not happened, even if the tour had been cancelled for reasons which didn't reflect on the Government. The majority of those who opposed the Tour were unlikely to have voted National regardless of the Tour. Of course, this is speculation, but I agree this section of the article could be revised.-gadfium 06:36, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Ben Couch was on record as saying that he supported apartheid, until corrected by Mulodoon. It is generally accepted that the Tour helped Muldoon win or hold onto a few key marginal seats. The govt did make a pretence of cutting off funding for the Rugby Union so they could disassociate themselves from the actions of the Rugby Union, but this was replaced the following year. 08:51, 13 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Noel Ellis (talkcontribs)


At the time many cynics- and critics of the tour- alleged that the government did not cancel the tour because it thought it would get more votes by allowing it to go ahead. I don't believe would be the case, or the reason. The government would not have wanted protests, and would realise that many people might be annoyed with its decision and vote against National. I doubt many people voted National because it didn't stop the tour. It is simply human nature that it is easier to alienate voters than to convert them. I believe that the governments decision was made for the reasons that it gave at the time - that while it would discourage the tour, it was neither proper nor legal to stop it. I could not understand then, and still cannot understand, why many people were so anti-South African and motivated by concern for a country a world away. They had far less concern for justice, and law and order, in their own country.124.197.15.138 (talk) 22:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Tour scheduling[edit]

If anyone is doing offline research (opportunities are more limited here in the provinces) could they please keep an eye out for references to debate/controversy over the tour schedule. I seem to recall that there was some, and from this distance it seems bizarre that a Saturday game was scheduled against a 3rd-division side (Nelson-Bays) while NZ Maori - regarded by most touring teams as the equivalent of an extra test match - were relegated to playing the midweek (B grade) team. This suggests influence by the SARFU not wanting their top team to be seen playing the Maori. dramatic 03:30, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Article Size[edit]

As this article is starting to get big, I suggest we start spiting it out into other articles Brian | (Talk) 07:38, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps this article could be limited to the actual tour, and the background stuff could be moved to a more general article on NZ's sporting contacts with apartheid south africa? Then we could spend more time on things like the Gleneagles Agreement, the Olympic boycott that we caused, etc. New Zealand sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa is probably too long a title, but I can't think of anything shorter off the top of my head. --Helenalex 09:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Eden Park flour bombs[edit]

Apparently one of the players were knocked out for around 20 seconds by a flour bomb during the game at Eden Park. I don't know if it would be useful or not, as the person who told me this can't remember the name of the player. Just an interesting fact that you may wish to put in. Lannah 04:23, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

According to Geoff Chapple's 1981: The Tour, page 311, "At 3:50 p.m. one of the last flour bombs sloped down on a team huddle, hit the All Black forward Gary Knight and dropped him, momentarily stunned, to the ground."
We have one paragraph in the article on the protest at that final game. Chapple gives 38 pages to it. If this was to happen again tomorrow, we'd have a separate article on each match, but I think for the current article, our existing coverage of this incident is adequate.-gadfium 05:36, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

1986 NZ Cavaliers Tour to SA[edit]

Advertised as All Black Tour?[edit]

I made a minor change to the article. It said that the NZ Cavaliers were advertised in SA as the All Blacks. This is partially true. They were advertised as the All Blacks in the 1st Test in Cape Town. In the 2nd test in Durban (which I attended (and still have the pgm somewhere)) they were advertised as the NZ Cavaliers. The match against Natal they were advertised as the NZ Cavaliers. I remember vividly that our Television largely gave them the name NZ Cavaliers. Certainly the circles I moved in called them the NZ Cavaliers. However there were conservative sorts that wanted to believe that these were the All Blacks and some authorities did pander to this misconception. Maybe the more liberal towns told the truth, I don't know. Therefore I just added an 'often' in front of the 'advertised' Tiucsib 19:58, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Not the majority of All Blacks players?[edit]

I am querying one point 'although after the official 1985 tour was cancelled an unofficial tour did take place in 1986 by a team including some but not the majority of All Blacks players.'


From what I understand - The Cavaliers side was the same as the 1985 All Black side bar 2 major exceptions - David Kirk and John Kirwin

See http://www.rugbymuseum.co.nz/asp/container_pages/normal_menu/rmArticle.asp?IDID=154

I quote from the above website "Further contact was made in February with all the players selected for the 1985 tour except John Kirwan (playing in Italy) in favour of the proposed tour. In the week before the Cavaliers departed David Kirk, after a deal of soul searching, withdrew and was replaced by Andrew Donald. Kirwan's place was taken by Bernie Fraser."

Surely the "some but not the majority' is inaccurate and should either

  • be replaced with 'the majority' OR
  • be removed altogether

I will leave it 7 days and then make the change if no-one makes any objection Tiucsib 10:36, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Far, far too biased and written in an inappropriate tone[edit]

I’m afraid I don’t rate this article. It is far too vague: “Activists asked New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon to cancel the tour, but he permitted the South African team to come to New Zealand”

Factual error. It could not have been Muldoon alone; what you mean is the government of which Muldoon was PM.

“The ensuing public protests polarised the New Zealand population as no other issue has in the nation's history. ”

Point of view – what about the cause of the Erebus crash, for example? Or the New Zealand wars?

“Many protesters were injured receiving serious head injuries from police batons, including women.” How many is many? Again, POV, and unreferenced as well.

Gang youths of rugby supporters waited outside the Hamiltion police station for arrested protesters to be processed and released, venting mindless violence as protesters made their way into Victoria Street. The aftermath of this game, followed by the bloody dispersal of a sit-down protest in Wellington's Molesworth Street in the following week, in which police batoned bare-headed, sitting protesters, led to the radicalization of the protest movement as a whole. A small minority of the protesters saw the opportunity to force a confrontation with authority, and came to protests wearing motorcycle helmets, with home-made shields and a variety of weapons.

POV, POV, POV. Reads as though it was written by the leader of HART.

“The scenes that appeared on television made the country look on the brink of civil war”

Wince, wince, wince. What is this, a cheap novel or an encyclopedia article?

“Perhaps because of this, the tour remained a bizarrely civilised breakdown of order. Neither side used firearms or tear gas. There were no deaths, and no serious injuries. Some of the more violent policemen were quietly disciplined. Protesters who might, in another country, have faced charges of attempted murder or treason, were charged and convicted of relatively minor and unimportant disorder offences — or acquitted after defence by pro bono lawyers. Leaders of both sides went on to fill important roles in public life.”

Ditto, ditto ditto. If all this comes from Chappel’s book, then the article should be renamed ‘Chappel’s interpretation of the 1981 Tour’ and someone else should have a go at writing an encyclopedia entry.

http://cricketandcivilisation.blogspot.com

Apart from perhaps the first few bits, I really can't see what exactly the problem is. More references could certainly be used, and perhaps the police and anti-tour perspective could be included a bit more (there are two bio's which cover the tour that I'm aware of - Ross Meurant's, and Glenda Hughes' Looking for Trouble, which is mostly unrelated but also has a chapter or two about being the only woman in the red squad. I'm in Belfast atm so someone else will have to do this). The final quoted paragraph I see absolutely no problem with. There is no way it has a pro-protester bias since it shows the police dealing with problem officers and suggests that some of the protesters were seriously violent - how else would you end up charged with attempted murder? Clearly this person has strong views on the tour politics, which is great, but they need to actually say specifically what is wrong, rather than just going 'oooh it's biased, oooh it reads like a cheap novel'. Signing is also a good idea. --Helenalex 23:02, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Fanatical anti-tour protestors dominated debate at the time, and still do. The suggestion of a "nation at war" were always ridiculous. It amazed me then, and still does, that there was more anti-South African violence in New Zealand in 1981 than there was in South Africa! Perhaps that was the result of years of propaganda and brainwashing by doggedly anti-South African elements here. It's ironic that the same people have been completely silent about Rwanda, Gaza, Darfur and such in more recent years- not to mention Poland, which in 1981 was suffering under a far worse government than South Africa then had.

On another matter, it is wrong to say that the objection was to South African teams selected on the basis of race. For SA teams still are selected on the basis of race, as are some teams in New Zealand. The issue was really the exclusion of blacks. Though ironically few blacks played rugby, so in reality probably no blacks were actually excluded from SA teams!JohnC (talk) 01:14, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

  • The entire article is written as if some piece of propaganda by those opposing the tour. It’s so biased that there really is no word to describe it, and absolutely no excuse for it. ¿Where are the moderators on this one? Asleep at the wheel- And about to wrap the entire thing abound a 2-year old. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.34.68.186 (talk) 03:32, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

We are stuck on the whole point of the Tour and protests. There were no touring rugby teams from Poland or Rwanda. The Anti-Tour Movement was formed for the purposes of opposing the Tour. One of the criticsm leveled against them was why they weren't involved in other causes. If they became invloved in other causes they were then labelled professional protesters. John C is trying to ignore the issue of a racially selected team. He is referring to the fact that we have a team representing NZ Maori. The claim that "few blacks played rugby so none were excluded" is false. Although it is correct that most black South Africans play soccer, a minority play rugby, and as blacks are the overwhelming majority in SA there are more black rugby players that white. There were 2 rugby organisations in SA: the Rugby Union which was integrated, and the Rugby Board which was not, and the Springboks were drawn from the Board. It should be made clear that there was one Black payer, Errol Tobias, and one Coloured Manager, Abe Williams. The point is that the team was selected on race, not merit. How about more on specific protests? Christchurch is important because of Wilsons Road, where I believe Rod Donald, later Green Party co-leader, was present. Invercargil and Dunedin are not covered. Also the closing down of the Studholme TV transmitter. 09:02, 13 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Noel Ellis (talkcontribs)

Legal action[edit]

195.144.132.66 (talk · contribs) added to the sentence "The 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand could arguably have been stopped by the courts: it is interesting that protest groups did not attempt such a remedy within the "system" in 1981." the note:

[DID THEY NOT???? Wasn't there a challenge to the visas issued to the team???]

I have moved the comment here as discussion should not take place on the article itself.

I don't recall any legal action to stop the tour in 1981. The legal action which stopped the 1985 tour was based on the NZRFU constitution, and few people had expected that action to succeed. It may be that there were relatively few lawyers interested in the issues until the 1981 anti-tour movement built momentum and so the possibilities were never really researched. This is pure speculation on my part; not suitable for the article.

The sentence quoted above should be sourced to someone arguing that there was a possibility of legal action stopping the tour, or else removed.-gadfium 19:44, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

It's years since I studied it, but I recall that the Tavita case (which made a few waves when I was at law school at Auckland in the mid-90s) was seen as 'inconsistent' with an earlier one, I think Fitzgerald, which concerned the visas issued for the 1981 tour. This is all a hazy memory as I've never had occasion to look at either since, but if someone has some NZ research tools at their fingers or a better memory than me they could follow it up. It certainly wasn't a challenge to the NZRFU constitution though, which as has been pointed out didn't occur to anyone at the time.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.144.132.66 (talkcontribs)

The case you're after is Ashby v Minister of Immigration - it was a challenge to the granting of the visas I think - the argument was that the Minister failed to take into account the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination when he granted the visa. The action failed though - that's why the tour went ahead. Just check that before publishing it. Ignorance.is.evil 10:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Injuries[edit]

"No serious injuries".

Oh dear, which clown wrote that? My grandfather was a policeman at the time, and was hospitalised with a back injury inflicted by a protester and forced into retirement after 34 years of service. The injury plagued him for the rest of his life (another 25 years). I call that serious. --71.137.137.126 (talk) 02:35, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Speaking of clowns, what about the protesters dressed as clowns at the Auckland game who were gratuitously attacked by a group of police. At least one of them was seriously enough injured to require hospitalization. Then there was the elderly gentleman attending a protest in Christchurch who had his teeth knocked out by a police baton. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.28.217.206 (talk) 01:32, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Suggestion - Removal of redundant listing under 'Photo Required' in NZ Portal/Opentask[edit]

I suggest that we remove the listing of 'Photo Required in NZ Wikiportal Open tasks as article seems to have enough images. Just a thought re tiding up Portal listings. --Tom Webb (talk) 06:52, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Election victory?[edit]

secure the votes of rural and provincial conservatives in the general election later in the year, which Muldoon would go on to win.

-Although Muldoon did win the election, he actually lost the pluarity of votes, as the tour was a key election issue I believe this needs to be added to the article. Also would be good to have polling about the tour as alot of media coverage was given to the event and I am sure there is support info out there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 119.224.1.163 (talk) 02:27, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Squads[edit]

Can someone provide the squads for both New Zealand and South Africa? Thanks, Fastardul (talk) 15:53, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

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Police Complants Authority[edit]

I have heard in my history class that the NZ police complaints authority was formed in the aftermath of the tour. If this is the case could someone research this and write a bit about it?

I'm not sure how correct the information is but I believe this is interesting.

thanks,

Bjm98765 ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bjm98765 (talkcontribs) 08:49, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Ban or Discourage[edit]

The statement that "countries were strongly discouraged from having sporting contacts with it" is correct.

The statement that "therefore" there was a split of opinion in New Zealand "as to whether ...the Springboks should be allowed to tour" is incorrect.

The Gleneagles Agreement provided for New Zealand to discourage sporting contact with South Africa, not to ban it.

Many critics of the Government of the time failed to understand the fundamental difference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 101.98.175.68 (talk) 01:01, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

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