The Liberal Agenda – 40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok Tour


2021 is the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok Tour protests and I’m doing a national tour covering each centre where the Springboks played (and where the games were cancelled – Hamilton and Timaru)

The tour is a celebration of New Zealand standing up in solidarity with oppressed black South Africans against apartheid in South Africa in 1981 and helping build the campaign standing up with Palestinians against apartheid in Israel in 2021.

Palestinians have always known Israeli policies as apartheid since Israel was established in 1948 but it has taken most of the rest of the world a long time to catch up.

Nobel Peace prize winner and South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, says international solidarity such as BDS is critical to ending injustices like apartheid.

“I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing in the Holy Land that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid,” says Tutu.

“We could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through… non-violent means, such as boycotts and disinvestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”

Tutu says of Israel we should “name it apartheid – and boycott”. I agree. It’s time New Zealand got on with it.

More recently the naming of Israel as an apartheid state has become routine in mainstream human rights organisations and the media.

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In December 2019 – The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination outlined how Israel is an APARTHEID state here.

In January this year B’Tselem, Israel’s largest and most respected human rights organisation, released a report entitled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – This is apartheid” It’s a short 8-page read and well worth the time.

And in April 2021, the US- based, Nobel Peace Prize-winning organisation, Human Rights Watch, released a detailed 213-page report accusing Israel of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.

I hope to meet up with a lot of Daily blog readers around the country during this tour.


  1. Great idea John.

    So many from ’81 are no longer with us–Syd Jackson, Tom Newnham, Terry Dibble, Marge Jones, and hundreds more too numerous to list here.–their memory certainly deserves another round. And those of us still here can catch up on political action 40 years on from the dark days when Govt. Ministers and Police clearly hated New Zealanders exercising their democratic rights way more than they did the SA Apartheid State!

    International solidarity action like any direct action fits an old maxim–“but if we fight we might lose…” the rejoinder being “if you do not fight–you will definitely lose!”.

  2. I can’t help thinking that if the tour happened now the protesters
    would be labels racist and canceled.

    • Er…the protestors tried and succeeded in stopping sporting games – that is the epitome of cancel culture. They were just ahead of their time in being woke cancel culturists.

  3. Post-apartheid South Africa is now tribally conflicted and crime-ridden, hamstrung by the all-too-familiar corruption that dogs these states. Zimbabwe, once labelled ‘the breadbasket of Africa’ is in ruins, torn apart by tribal rivalry between the Shona and Ndebele. Angola, Mozambique, Congo and so on and so on. I lived in Africa for years, saw it all firsthand. The blacks practise their own apartheid: it’s called tribalism. My black friends, who did not belong to the ruling tribe and therefore had few prospects, told me they were better off under the Europeans.

  4. Israel approves 31 new ‘settlement zones’ in the West Bank
    “…….According to Haaretz, chairman of the Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties, Ayman Odeh, denounced the approval of the construction in the settlements.

    “The government has existed for less than two weeks, and already, 31 construction plans have been approved in the settlements,” Odeh said. “The left is surrendering to the right and setting the diplomatic issue aside, but the right continues to sabotage the chances of peace and to deepen the occupation, repression, and dispossession of millions of Palestinians.”

    Yesterday, the United Nations accused Israel of blatantly violating international law and called on it to halt the illegal expansion. According to Al Jazeera, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Tor Wennesland, UN Mideast envoy, referenced a 2016 Security Council resolution that declared the occupation’s settlements as having “no legal validity.”
    “I again underscore, in no uncertain terms, that Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law,” Wennesland said. “They are a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, long lasting and comprehensive peace. The advancement of all settlement activity must cease immediately.”

  5. Ed Hilary and Tenzing Norgay knocked a bastard hill off and Ed gets his face on our currency.
    John Minto halts all racist tours in the name of love, peace and harmony and he gets a narcissistic half wit like gaby biting on him like a Tick in his hat band.
    To say we’re living in strange times would be an understatement.
    It’s never felt more fitting than now to mention the film ‘Idiocracy’.
    Meet Joe Bowers dumbasses?

    • Well said CB, I spent the winter of ’81 in reasonably close proximity to Mr Minto via the Auckland MOST (Mobilisation to stop the tour) coalition, and HART office in the Auck Trade Union Centre and various other situations over the years. The guy lived on wolfed down fish and chips with HART colleagues for months, and put up with all the rest of it–that ultimately somewhat salvaged NZ’s reputation among some Africans at least– after Muldoon and his mates had done their worst with the Gleneagles and all the other bollocks.

      So yes, critics the likes of “Gaby”, sucking up to the Israeli State and Military, are rather pathetic indeed.

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