For the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok Tour, we talked to two Wellington residents who remember those turbulent times. 

 During the winter of 1981, violent clashes between rugby supporters, protesters and the police erupted all over Aotearoa in one of our country’s most tumultuous periods. The Springbok rugby tour was a tumultuous time for the nation with many protesting the racial segregation of Apartheid South Africa and made links to racism at home. 

 Our Digital Communicator, Tom Etuata and our Senior Curator (Taonga Māori), Lawrence Wharerau, interviewed Liz Roberts and Anne Bogle, who both shared their stories of the protests. 

 The Merata Mita Estate permitted us to use the Wellington footage from PATU! (1983) – the powerful documentary directed by Merata Mita which shows the harrowing events of the 1981 Springbok Tour. Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision meticulously restored and preserved the original documentary for the 40th anniversary. With their approval, we were able to use their newly restored and remastered version for these videos. 

 Liz Roberts lived on Te Wharepōuri Street in Berhampore, close to Athletic Park, and recalls the events of the 2nd Test on August 29th, 1981, where she saw protesters clash with Police on her street. 

Anne Bogle was a young Victoria University student studying Law and History in 1981 – and attended a number of Anti-Tour protests in Wellington – she took part in the protest group that blocked the Wellington Motorway on July 25th and the infamous Molesworth Street incident a few days later on July 29th. The protester helmet she used during the anti-tour demonstrations is currently displayed at Wellington Museum. 

Thank you to the Merata Mita Estate for their permission to use parts of the film and also to Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision for their great mahi on the preservation and restoration of this important piece of film taonga. 

Also thank you to Anne Bogle and Liz Roberts for sharing their stories.