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30th anniversary commemorative event of the Springbok Team

On the 30th anniversary of the Springbok Team being welcomed to New Zealand in Gisborne, a commemorative event is being held at Te Poho o Rawiri on Tuesday evening.

Members of the public are invited to a presentation on the Tour and to share memories of the pohiri and game in Gisborne on 22 July 1981. Organiser Manu Caddie said he is also seeking permission from the family of the late Merata Mita to screen her 1983 film Patu! during the evening.

The Springboks were welcomed on to Te Poho o Rawiri on 19 July 1981 and played the first game of the tour against Poverty Bay on 22 July.

"The is intended to be an educational opportunity for younger generations to learn about this important chapter in New Zealand history" said Mr Caddie. "We hope enough time has now passed that Gisborne people who supported the tour, those opposed and those working in the media and to protect public safety will all come along and tell a few stories for the rest of us to learn from."

Mr Caddie was eight years old at the time but says he believes the event was an important milestone in local history and should be commemorated appropriately.

"Civil disobedience in the pursuit of just causes has a proud history in our country, we need to recognise the role those protests had in bringing down the evil of apartheid in South Africa and the maturing for race relations in New Zealand that was another outcome of the anti-tour movement."

"It was Bishop Desmond Tutu's testimony at the Auckland trial of Hone Harawira in 1983 that saw the 96 charges against Hone dropped - and based on his action in Parliament last week, Hone must have learnt from that success and is continuing non-violent acts of civil disobedience for what he believes are just causes. So there's a nice synergy to the timing of this anniversary with the Rugby World Cup this year, Gisborne hosting the team from Namibia which was part of South Africa in 1981 and Maori protests for equal rights continuing."

A koha will be collected to cover costs, doors open at 6pm.


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