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For 56 days in July, August and September 1981, New Zealanders were divided against each other in the largest civil disturbance seen since the 1951 waterfront dispute. The cause of this was the visit of the South African rugby team – the Springboks.
The 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour was among the most divisive events in New Zealand’s history. In the 1960s and 70s, many New Zealanders had come to believe that playing sport with South Africa condoned its racist apartheid system. Others disagreed.
Jun 19, 2018 · Tension around the country grew as the Springbok Tour made its way around New Zealand. Here's a look back at one of the most controversial sporting tours eve...Author: Re: News
The sporting contact with South Africa was again considered an election issue in 1981 as it had been in the previous election. This emphasized that sport and politics do mix and the realization of this concept was an important effect that was imbedded in New Zealand society succeeding to the 1981 tour.
The 1981 tour was part of a long process that led to this significant change in South Africa, and in this respect, it represented New Zealand's contribution towards a major international development in the closing decades of the 20th century.
Yet 25 years later, the 1981 Springbok tour became one of the most divisive events in New Zealand history. Its impact went far beyond the rugby ground as communities and families divided and tensions spilled out onto the streets and into the living rooms of the nation.
The Springbok tour really made New Zealanders realise how important it is to treat everyone with respect and equality no matter what colour they were, even though there were many disputes New Zealand still was able to solve its racial problems step by step, forming a stronger racial bond with all ethnic groups in the country.
The 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand was a very significant event to New Zealand. A short term effect was that it caused a divide between the country with immense disturbances to daily life. Friendships and family relationships were harmed due to different perspectives on the tour.
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