Insight. 1981, Playing the Game, Springbok Controversy. Part 1

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Tono kōrero mai

An examination of the 1981 Springbok tour and the origins of the anti-tour movement, through the history of New Zealand’s sporting contact with South Africa.[See ID204081 for Part 2]

Political scientist Les Cleveland discusses the way the 1981 tour drew New Zealand into international political events and provoked a sense of national identity.

Read writings of historian J.G. H. Moore on early games between New Zealand and South Africa after the South African war and early criticism of racial inequality with a New Zealand team that excluded Māori players.
In 1921 a Springbok team toured New Zealand. A telegram by a South African journalist disgusted at the team having to play a New Zealand 'native' team is read.

Actuality of Jack Sullivan’s runaway try during New Zealand’s first tour of South Africa in 1937.
New Zealand Rugby Union’s response to the introduction of apartheid in 1948, reaffirming in accordance with the Māori Advisory Board, that only wholly European players may be part of the touring team.
Major General Sir Howard Kippenberger statement opposes the racial restrictions on the 1948 touring team. Actuality of Winston McCarthy commentary of a game.
In 1956 Deputy Prime Minister Keith Holyoake welcomed the Springbok team. [actuality]
Debate over the invitation to tour South Africa in 1960, with Māori players again excluded. Winston McCarthy and Rev Doug Stalkey debate on the radio and a statement by the NZRFU is read, deciding to exclude Māori players.
Ces Blazey explains that the Rugby Union wasn’t pressured into excluding Māori from the team.
Political scientist Les Cleveland comments.
Groups like Rolland O’Regan’s Citizens All Black Tour Association, CABTA was formed with the slogan 'No Maoris , No Tour', demanding equality in sports teams through leaflets, marches and petitions.
Unionist Sir Tom Skinner of the deputation of anti-tour representatives talks about meeting with Prime Minister Walter Nash about the issue.
Coverage of the 21 March 1960 Sharpeville Massacre.

Former NZBS broadcaster James Boswell recalls the subsequent protest march in Auckland of 7-8,000 people. All Black team manager Tom Pearce defends the decision to exclude Māori, saying it was to 'protect' Māori players.
Rolland O'Regan speaks at the winding up of CABTA.

In 1961 South Africa faced opposition from other African countries but had a successful tour in 1965. Prime Minister Dr Verwoerd reaffirmed his stance on prohibiting Māori in tours. Matt Rata MP for Northern Māori, urges the Government to take action to prevent tours with South Africa. Blazey says Holyoake’s statement that New Zealand can’t be represented by a team chosen on racial lines had no bearing on the decision to turn down the offer to tour in 1966.
Tom Newnham from CARE recalls the student protests that erupted after the acceptance of a tour in 1968. HART formed under Trevor Richards in 1969 as the issue became more widespread and protestors clashed with police as the All Blacks left for another tour. Protest groups urged non-violent means of protest and Trevor Richards emphasises their aims.

Prime Minister John Marshall promotes the 1973 tour as a means to create bridges of communication with South Africa. Robert Fenton establishes WARD [War Against Recreational Disruption] to prevent interfering in domestic policies regarding sport.
In 1972, new Prime Minister Norman Kirk said Labour wouldn’t coerce the NZRU, but later called them to postpone the coming tour and would only welcome a merit-based team.[Audio from PM's press conference announcing tour postponement.]
Ces Blazey of the NZRFU comments on their reaction.

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Year 1981

Reference number 204080

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Documentary radio programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits Radio New Zealand. National Programme (estab. 1964, closed 1986), Broadcaster
Cleveland, Les (b.1921, d.2014), Speaker/Kaikōrero
McCarthy, Winston John, 1908-1984, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Holyoake, Keith Jacka (b.1904, d.1983), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Boswell, James, 1906-1971, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Verwoerd, Hendrik Frensch, 1901-1966, Author of dialog
Blazey, Ces, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Marshall, John Ross, 1912-1988, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Kirk, Norman Eric (b.1923, d.1974), Speaker/Kaikōrero
NEWNHAM, Tom, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Kippenberger, Howard Karl, Sir (b.1897, d.1957), Author of dialog

Duration 00:31:27

Date 02 Jul 1981