On 25 July 1981 hundreds of New Zealanders stormed the field at Hamilton’s Rugby Park, disrupting a rugby match to be played between Waikato and South Africa as part of the controversial 1981 Springbok Tour. Thousands waited outside.
One of urban Hamilton’s most violent days, 25 July was the outcome of months of planning, counter-planning, and public discontent: 1981 was a turbulent year for New Zealanders.
This exhibition revisits the anti-Tour movement through the work of local photographers working in the 1980s, among them Geoffrey Short, Kees Sprengers and John Mercer. It also tells the story of a nation at war with itself, at war over rugby, racism, and our place in the world.
Image: Geoffrey Short, Demonstrator and police lines Rugby Park, 1981. Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.