In the early 1960s, protests against racism in New Zealand society focused on the issue of the All Blacks touring apartheid South Africa. In 1960 thousands of protesters gathered at an Auckland rally to demonstrate against sending to South Africa an All Black team chosen without Maori players. A famous soldier, Lt. Col. Awatere of the Maori Battalion of World War II, led the march up Queen St. This 1960s idea of protesting against racism had a huge influence on the more famous anti-apartheid protests held during the 1981 Springboks tour of New Zealand. For example, the important Maori radical Donna Awatere, the daughter of Lt. Col. Awatere, was inspired to protest against the 1981 tour because of stories like the one of how her father and the rest of the Maori Battalion were refused entry to Cape Town, South Africa, during World War II. They were instead locked up on the navy ship while the Pakeha soldiers were allowed four days leave on shore. Groups such as Anti-Apartheid New Zealand, initially formed to fight racism in South Africa by protesting for rugby tours to be banned, began also to shift their attention to domestic racism in New Zealand.

1981 Springboks Tour Protests

In the 1950s and 1960s Maori people experienced huge changes in their way of life. Many Maori moved from their rural heartlands into the large cities in search of work. These new urbanised Maori of the 1960s often had difficulty fitting in to the cities, which were dominated by European culture. Maori experience of racist attitudes increased. To escape feelings of alienation they created new types of whanau. For some Maori men these new types of whanau were the gangs. The men often complained of persecution and harassment by the police in the cities, some compared their experience to that of the African Americans in the USA. Gang members expressed their dislike of the way they were treated by anti-social acts of defiance.

Other young Maori turned to radical politics to try and change the discriminatory society they were living in. Syd Jackson, a free thinker of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou descent, took the ideas of 1960s counterculture movements like the anti-Vietnam war, anti-apartheid and the African American civil rights movements and created a radical Maori protest group called Nga Tamatoa (The Young Warriors). He was inspired by the 1960s belief that young people could change the world. Nga Tamatoa staged street protests, land occupations and created guerrilla theatre. They wanted the Treaty of Waitangi to be honoured, the end of the selling of Maori land and the elimination of racism in New Zealand. In the 1970s they pushed for the teaching of Maori language in New Zealand high schools, disrupted the Waitangi Day celebrations in 1971 and organised the famous Land March of 1975.This march was led by Dame Whina Cooper. The protest was against the continuing alienation of Maori land (te Whenua o te Iwi). Another protest was staged at Bastion Point in Auckland from January 1977 to May 1978. The peaceful protesters had to be violently removed by the police and the army.

The ideas of the Maori Protest Movement, which began in the 1960s, continue to influence and change New Zealand society today.

Nga Tamatoa on Parliament Steps, 1972

Bastion Point Land Occupation, 1978


Land Occupation
Radical Politics
Street Protests


Write the following heading in your Social Studies books. The Maori Protest Movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Copy the following questions down in your social studies books and then answer them by reading the text above. (Note: When I check this work I want to see that you have copied the question, or, even better, built the question into your answer

1. What way of protesting against racism in the 1960s influenced the way some New Zealanders protested during the 1981 Springbok Tour of New Zealand?

2. What were two ways in which young urbanized Maori of the 1960s reacted to the alienation they felt while living in New Zealand cities?

3. What radical ideas, communicated to New Zealanders by the mass media from around the world, influenced Syd Jackson's decision to form Nga Tamatoa?

4. Describe three things that Nga Tamatoa wanted to change about New Zealand.

5. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement. "The ideas of the Maori Protest Movement, which began in the 1960s, continue to influence and change New Zealand society today". Give two or three reasons to support your answer.


Attempting to change society through protest was a major idea of the 1960s. Now is your chance to show you can think like a young person in the 1960s and create your own protest movement.

Write a heading in your social studies book titled Creating My Own Protest Movement.

1. What is something about life in New Zealand, or the values and attitudes of most New Zealanders, that you want to change?. Write this down under the heading What I don't like about living in New Zealand.

2. You are going to create a protest group to try and change this thing that you don't like. Syd Jackson named his protest group Nga Tamatoa (The Young Warriors) because he thought his parents' generation was not angry enough.

What are you going to call your protest group?. Under the heading Name of Protest Group write this name down and create a coloured logo or symbol that you will use in your protests.

Examples of Some Anti-Apartheid Symbols


Protest groups create protests that are related to the thing they are protesting about. For example, the protesters against South African racism choose to disrupt rugby games because all-white South African teams would tour New Zealand. Another example is that Maori protesters choose to draw attention to the issue of the alienation of Maori land by marching over it, from one end of the country to the other, or peacefully occupying it and refusing to leave (eg. Bastion Point).

Think about the issue, value or attitude you are protesting about. In your books, under the heading Methods of Protest, describe two ways you would protest against it.

Use these sentence starters....

1. The first way I would protest against....

2. The second way I would protest against....

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the way you choose to protest is somehow related to the issue, value or attitude you are going to protest about.




Research the following questions about Martin Luther King using this biography and timeline. Turn the answers into a star diagram in your social studies books under the heading "Martin Luther King and the African American Civil Rights Movement". See the whiteboard for a model of the star diagram.

1. List the ways in which Dr King protested against discrimination against African Americans in the USA under the heading "Methods of Protest" in your star diagram.
2. List the influences on Dr King's ideas of non-violent protest under the heading "Influences" in your star diagram.
3. List the things about US society that Dr. King wanted to change (Be specific!) under the heading "Protested Against" in your star diagram.
4. How did Dr King die?. Summarize how under the heading "Dr. King's Death" in your star diagram.


Create a table in your books titled "Similarities and Differences Between Dr. King's Movement and NZ Anti-racist Movements".

Label one column "Similarities" and the other "Differences".

Compare the information you have gathered on both movements (use your completed handout on Maori and Anti-Apartheid Protest Movements) and list their similarities and differences in the appropriate column.


How do you think life is different for African Americans in the USA in the 2000s?. As a class brainstorm what you know on the whiteboard from newspapers you have read, television programs you have seen etc. Copy the classes combined knowledge down in your books under the heading "Life of African Americans in the USA in 2000s".


Look at the images at this page to get a better understanding of the life of Dr. King.