Springbok Tour protests – the third and final test match: 40 years ago this month

Springbok Rugby Tour protests continued 40 years ago this month.

Negative strip from the Christchurch Star Archive showing Springbok Rugby Tour protesters marching to Cathedral Square, opens a new window
Springbok Rugby Tour protesters marching to Cathedral Square, 12 September 1981, Christchurch Star Archive, CCL-Star-1981-5051-037-069N-03, opens a new window.
Negative strip from the Christchurch Star Archive showing Springbok Rugby Tour protest on the pitch at Lancaster Park, opens a new window
Springbok Rugby Tour protest on the pitch at Lancaster Park, 12 September 1981, Christchurch Star Archive. CCL-Star-1981-5051-037-069N-05, opens a new window.
Negative strip from the Christchurch Star Archive showing Springbok Rugby Tour protest in the stands at Lancaster Park, opens a new window
Springbok Rugby Tour protest in the stands at Lancaster Park, 12 September 1981, Christchurch Star Archive. CCL-Star-1981-5051-037-069N-06, opens a new window.

12 September 1981 was the day of the third and final test match of the controversial Springbok rugby tour. It was also the anniversary of the death of Steve Biko, an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa who died while being held by police in 1977. The All Blacks were playing the Springboks at Eden Park in Auckland but protests were again held throughout the country. In Christchurch the protesters started in the central city and then marched to Lancaster Park, successfully gathering on the pitch.

Explore other images from the 1981 Springbok Rugby Tour, opens a new window, which includes recently donated material!

These images are just some of thousands in the Christchurch Star Archive that we house and are working through to digitise and make accessible online. There are over 9,750 negatives, opens a new window and 6,000 prints, opens a new window to explore in this particular collection. We now have a total of over 32,650 items, opens a new window that you can explore in Canterbury Stories that include photographs, negatives and maps.

Do you have more information or memories about some of the images and negative strips that we have in the collection? You can add comments and stories to the images so that we all know more about what took place. You can register to post comments directly to the images in the toolbar for Canterbury Stories. Do you have images from this time? If you do and would like to contribute them, you can upload them directly through the Discovery Wall, opens a new window, or contact us, opens a new window if you have more than a few!

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