Sport & Politics
SA and Apartheid
The Place of Rugby in NZ
Rugby Rivalry Runs Deep
1921 : 1949 Humiliation
The Greatest Rivalry – 2
1960: No Maori, No Tour
1970 Honorary Whites
Sport Vs. Politics
Politics and Sport is a
Many people feel that the two
should never mix.
Somehow sports is considered
‘pure’ in its pursuit of personal
Politics is somehow ‘grubby’
often attracting baser instincts
of greed and manipulation.
Many people and organisations
would argue that they should
In New Zealand, Rugby is where
the two have regularly collided.
South Africa and Apartheid
By the 1940’s South Africa was a country where the
majority were Black (Zulu, Xhosa etc) or Coloured
(Mixed Race) with a significant White minority.
Most Whites were Afrikaans (Dutch) with some
The Boers War 1899-1902 meant that many Dutch
Afrikaaners hated the “English”
Many Afrikaans were extremely Nationalist and had
objected to supporting GB in both World Wars.
After WWII they began to support the National Party
which wanted to further separate the Races, physically
This became a policy of “Grand” Apartheid which
would place Blacks and White into totally separate
However they later allowed for “Petty” Apartheid,
with some mixing for work. (Rubbish Cleaning Cooks
Apartheid was a policy of separating the
Black and White populations of South
Begun in 1948 it forced Blacks to live in
Apartheid stopped different races from
It dictated where they could live.
It restricted Black ability to vote.
It restricted Black access to
transportation and education.
Any Resistance was met with violence.
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Steve Biko was murdered.
The Place of Rugby in New Zealand
• First played in Nelson in 1870
• Quickly spread through towns
and rural areas.
• Rugby Clubs became social
centres in many small towns and
• It provided a strong sense of
identity for schools, club,
provincial and national identities.
• The All Blacks became important
to many peoples idea of national
Rod Derret: Rugby, Racing
Howard Morrison: My Old
Mans an All Black
• By 1900 Rugby was
beginning to dominate
almost every other
topic, including the
Boer War and Chinese
Nice Game... Using Rugby
Read the article by David Kirk.
What is NZ well known for?
What makes us unique?
How and why might Clinton ‘bond’
How does Sandra Coney view
Why is rugby bad for other sports?
What burden do rugby players
How does the 1 legged stool fit our
What does he think we should do?
• Read the article about the
9. Describe how Murray Ball viewed
rugby and the All Blacks? Use
10.How have Cartoonists viewed
11.How have they depicted the All
12.What themes did the exhibition
13.How did South Africa change the
focus of rugby cartoons?
Rugby Rivalry runs deep.
In South Africa the game of the White minority
was Rugby. Blacks preferred football.
Their greatest foe were the All Blacks.
For many years both sides were acclaimed World
Series have been filled with controversy, penalties
or tries awarded or not, thuggery and referees
who made questionable decisions.
In 1949 New Zealand lost 4-nil in South Africa.
For many New Zealanders defeating the
Springboks at home & in Africa became an
The 1956 series became war. Kevin Skinner, Peter
Jones and Don Clarke became household names as
we strove for revenge.
Defeat was unacceptable.
Springbok V All Blacks
1919 NZ defeat SA
1921 SA draw series 1-1 in NZ
1928 NZ draw series 2-2 in SA
1937 SA win series 2-1 in NZ
1949 NZ lose series 4-0 in SA
1956 SA lose series 3-1 in NZ
1960 NZ lose series 3-1 in SA
1965 SA lose series 3-1 in NZ
1967 Tour cancelled by Union
1970 NZ lose series 3-1 in SA
1973 Tour cancelled by NZ Govt.
1976 NZ lose series 3-1 in SA
1981 SA lose series 2-1 in NZ
1983 Tour cancelled by NZ High Court
A 1921 Report for a SA paper
• “Bad enough having play
team officially designated
New Zealand natives, but
Europeans frantically cheering
on band of coloured men to
defeat members of own race
was too much for Springboks,
who frankly disgusted.”
1949 Touring Team
Based around the
successful 1946 ‘Kiwis’
army team which had
defeated the best of
Europe this team was
expected to do well
against the Boks.
Losing the series 4 nil
was viewed as a
Taranaki celebrated a 3-3
draw with the tourists.
Waikato and Canterbury
had already defeated
Defeating the Springboks
was a huge honour for
any provincial team.
• Several Provinces found
the Boks could not cope
with the “Up’n’Under” or
‘bomb’ which they used
to terrorise the tourists.
• Inflicting as much injury
on the tourists was
considered a part of the
campaign to ‘soften’
them up for the Test
1956 – Maori Lose
• Maori affairs minister Ernest Corbett told the
1956 Maori All Blacks they must not beat the
• Maori All Black fullback Muru Walters, now an
Anglican bishop in Otaki, said Mr Corbett
visited the team in their Eden Park dressingroom and told them if they won the All Blacks
would never be invited back to South Africa.
1956 Series Won
• It was with a real sense
of relief that the Nation
celebrated the defeat of
the Springboks as
revenge for 1949.
• For the moment we
could call ourselves
1960: No Maoris, No Tour
In 1928,1949 the 1960 Maori
players were excluded from
these touring SA, which finally
raised protest in 1960.
New Zealanders began to
realize the implications of this
over-riding desire to play South
Africa at any cost:
– It discriminated against Maori
– It meant we sent a weaker
International pressure began to
build in the 1970’s and several
Springbok tours to Australia
and the UK were blighted by
protests, violence and
What was the issue being protested about?
• As often happens
with an All Black
began to drift to
The Ballad of Peter
Protest Movements in the 1960’s and 1970’s
In the 1960s a new generation emerged that
were less conservative than their parents.
They were prepared to argue, complain and
protest on issues they saw as being important.
Increasingly they took their protests to the
streets. Some of the inspiration came from
Black Civil Rights brought Racism to the fore.
The Vietnam War led to suspicion of the
Maori Land Issues raised awareness of
Contraception Law reform highlighted
Petitions, Street Marches and campaigning
created a strong core leadership for the antiapartheid movement.
• In 1964 South Africa was
banned from competing at
the Olympics until it chose its
teams on merit.
• Despite this am invitation
• The 1965 Springbok team was
unlucky to meet one of the
strongest All Black teams, just
starting a 4 year run of
Despite being outplayed by several
provinces the 1965 Springbok team
was still able to approach the final
test with the chance of drawing the
A draw meant they lost the series.
1967 Tour Cancelled.
• After the protests in 1960 the NZRFU
finally refused to bow to the SARFU’s
request not to include Maori in the
• When this could not be resolved the
tour was cancelled.
• The 1967 AB team was one of the
strongest and included a number of
Maori players. This should be
acknowledged as a victory for the
• Anti-apartheid now moved to a new
level as it focussed not on the Maori
issue to refusing to play against a
1970: Honorary White?
• Despite protests, the 1970 tour
to the Republic went ahead.
• Maori and Pasifika players finally
went on tour, but as ‘Honorary
• Several players were happy to
go, despite protests at the insult
this title conveyed.
• The touring party also included
Samoan Bryan Williams a
• Lacking talent in some key
positions and a consistent kicker
the All Blacks lost the series.
The Gleneagles Agreement
New Zealand was a strong supporter of the
British Commonwealth of Nations.
Our most popular sports were played against
Several agreements had been made
supporting campaigns against apartheid and
It agreed to discourage sporting contact with
South Africa, without stipulating what that
Some countries were prepared to deny visas,
refuse leave for players or to work with
organisations to stop further contact.
New Zealand signed the agreement.
...the urgent duty of each of their
Governments vigorously to combat the
evil of apartheid by withholding any
form of support for, and by taking
every practical step to discourage
contact or competition by their
nationals with sporting organisations,
teams or sportsmen from South Africa
...each Government to determine in
accordance with its law the methods
by which it might best discharge
these commitments. But they
recognised that the effective
fulfilment of their commitments was
essential to the harmonious
development of Commonwealth
1976: Rugby Vs Olympics
In 1976 NZ was due to return to the Republic.
By now South Africa was subject to a number
of sporting bans including since 1964, from
New Zealand had signed the Gleneagles
Agreement to ‘discourage’ sporting contact
with South Africa.
The Government decided it could not stop its
own citizens from travelling.
African nations threatened to boycott the
Olympics if New Zealand was allowed to
Rugby was no longer an Olympic sport so the
IOC had no control over the sport.
New Zealand attended, 28 African nations
• To reinforce the issues in SA unrest
broke out in the ‘Townships’.
• An important issue amongst Blacks
was education. There was little
• The Government had made classes
in Afrikaans compulsory.
• In 1976 the children of Soweto
marched in opposition to this
• They were fired upon and rioting
• The riots lasted only briefly, right in
the middle of the All Black tour.
• Several All Blacks even visited the
township during the riots.
Several hundred children were killed by SA
police. Estimates range from 200 to 700.
Hector was one of the first to be killed
1981: Individual Rights v Law & Order
The 1981 tour by the Springboks is
considered a watershed in our national &
It changed everything.
The previous year it had signed the
Gleneagles agreement to ‘discourage’
South African tours.
The Govt. claimed it had no right to stop
the tour from proceeding.
HART and CARE led the protests
Initially about apartheid, the Government
turned it into a “Law and Order” issue.
Games in Gisborne and Hamilton were
The final game in Auckland turned the
suburb of Mt Eden into a battlefield.
Groups who opposed the tour.
In 1981 a wide range of people were
drawn to opposing the tour, including:
Council of Churches
New Zealand society was shocked at
the violence and divisions that
occurred during the 1981 tour.
Rioting protestors and over vigorous
police were both condemned.
Friendships, families and entire
communities were split over the tour.
Some took years to reconcile, some
Racism became a topical and hotly
Rob Muldoon won the 1981 election
on the back of support for his “law and
In 1985 a return tour to SA was
cancelled after a High Court Challenge
by two rugby players.