Key Decides Five Will Represent NZ At Mandela’s Funeral – Including Two Pro-Tour Nats!

Image by and courtesy of John M Miller.
Image by and courtesy of John M Miller.
Image by and courtesy of John M Miller.

So John Key, Prime Minister, has decided four people will accompany him to officially represent New Zealand at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

Mr Key will be accompanied by the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples; Leader of the Opposition, Hon David Cunliffe, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Rt Hon Jim Bolger; and former Foreign Minister and Secretary‑General of the Commonwealth, the Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon.
“This distinguished delegation reflects the mana of Mr Mandela, and the highest regard in which New Zealand held him,” says Mr Key.
– Go here for the full statement on

The statement is another example of how out of touch this prime minister has become from the New Zealand way.

Recognising this, his officials could have delivered a brief excerpt on the 1981 Springbok Tour of this country.

From there the Prime Minister could have refreshed his memory, or perhaps recreated his position, on what side of the fence he sat on at that time, and drafted a list of people whom the South African icon could have most respected.

Of the five people John Key has decided will represent us all at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, one can’t remember if he supported the 81 Tour or not; two were definitely in favour of the Tour and gave their political support to the then prime minister Robert Muldoon and endorsed the brutal tactics deployed by the Police against those who protested; and two others were against it.

I’m sure you will be able to fill in below who is who in this awful riddle.

1981 Springbok tour demonstrators go head to head with riot police outside Eden Park. (Image sourced from
1981 Springbok tour demonstrators go head to head with riot police outside Eden Park. (Image sourced from
Surely, if John Key had a shred of decency in him, he would include in his official party members of those who put their lives and reputations on the frontline back in 1981.

Surely John Minto, Dick Cuthbert, Trevor Richards, or one or two from the many many thousands of others who protested against racist tours, or those who stood their ground on the Rugby field at Hamilton, or Marx Jones (who flew the Cessna over Eden Park dropping flour bombs onto the field as the Boks and the AllBlacks played on) should be included as representatives of New Zealand, on this occasion.

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Heaven forbid, perhaps even Police Red Squad commander Ross Meurant could be included so he could speak with authority on how brutal the Police were under his command and how wrong they all were to do what they did to so many, and apologise for their crimes. As any of the Clowns would tell you, it was no circus.

And to refresh our memories, do check out Patu!


  1. Can we clarify? Were Richards and Minto asked and declined? Minto was very disillusioned with the ANC so he may not have wished to go.
    If they were not asked it is a further example of the disdain that this government has for the majority of people in NZ.

    • Minto definitely wasn’t asked, this is a dam disgrace. There is a petition going round under I think it is calling on them to include him or some such. Fancy anyway it is a group of men only going. So they can brag about being at Mandela’s funeral I am really furious about all of this. Why is Hone Harawera not going – the only leader of any party in parliament who was on the front line!

  2. The attendance of Bolger and McKinnon is an insult to Madiba’s memory. Both were senior member of Muldoon,s government that fully endorsed and supported the apartheid government and did not Bolger once call Mandela a terrorist. Again our leader embarrasses us with his ignorance and his insouciance is staggering . National politicians clearly have no shame or dignity or no sense of humanity.

  3. Kevin Hague was the only current MP who was very active in the anti tour movement in 1981 as far as I remember. He was on the pitch at Hamilton, the only rugby game ever cancelled due to anti-apartheid protest anywhere in the world. It was particularly significant because South Africa had only recently got TV and it was was being broadcast live. Imagine the effect on all those Boers getting up during the night to watch! Replace the 3 Nats with Kevin Hague.

    • Hone harawira was also active and was indeed one of those on the front line and is after all the leader of a political party. Those going should hang their heads in shame!

  4. I am ashamed that this man represents our country and even more ashamed of the unthinking many who have repeatedly voted for him to do so.

    Obviously our delegation must include our PM, but there is no excuse for including McKinnon and Bolger. Key seems to be trying to appease the old boys and people like him, who won’t admit to it now, but would have been pro-tour at the time. Plus, thousands of NZ women were part of the anti-tour movement and sustained HART and other anti-apartheid pressure groups. I myself represented NZ at an anti-apartheid conference in 1987. Where are the female faces and voices?

    This is a funeral – it should be attended by people who have a genuine reason to grieve and to celebrate the life of a great man.

    As for the issues surrounding the modern ANC – I think it is perfectly reasonable to question how far SA has really come down the pathway to democracy and to improving the lives of many of its people. Mandela was only one man, though, and an elderly one by the time he was released and elected. He made some good decisions. Maybe he compromised too much on some things – he was trying hard to keep employment and financial stability. He was a great figurehead, though, and he (and De Klerk) helped to avoid what could have been carnage.

    • Where indeed are the women. I am not a Clark fan but I would much rather she represented our country than that bunch of right wing arse holes who didn’t give a fig about the black majority in 1981 and for many years following the tour!

  5. So let’s analyse Key’s claim that he can’t remember which side of the argument he was on during the ‘Bok tour. He was 20, and a student. The whole campus would have been seething with pro and anti sentiment. Anyone with a pulse would have joined in on one side or the other. Oh, hang on….

    • He was too busy getting ready to be a Merrill Lynch parasite. Be interesting to hear from anyone on the Canterbury Uni campus at the time he was there?

  6. Ok so what is to be done about? Selwyn, what about emailing those in Sth Africa who are organising the funeral and informing them?

  7. I guess Key and his buddies do not like to share the large “buffet” with Minto – at the events after the official ceremonies!?

    John Minto is not one of the “old boys club”, so that rules him out in their eyes, no matter how much he fought against apartheid from here in NZ, and no matter how much he deserves to also go.

    This is just another exposure of what New Zealand’s establishment is all about, dear folks. You are in with the top lot, or you are just another one of the “commoners” down here.

    So much for an “egalitarian” and respectful society.

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