Skip to page content
Home / Exhibitions + Events

PATU! Film screening with introduction by John Minto

25 July 2021


12.45pm - 1pm   Introduction by John Minto

1.15pm - 3.15pm  Film screening

4pm - 5pm  Talk by Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon


Free event (for priority seating book your place on Eventbrite)

Book now


In 1981 South Africa’s rugby team, the Springboks, were invited to tour New Zealand. The decision was extremely controversial; some people saw it as a tacit endorsement of apartheid while others insisted that politics had nothing to do with New Zealand’s favourite sport. PATU! is the definitive film of what followed, as attempts to disrupt the Tour pitched protestors against the government, police and rugby crowds, with violent results. Some of the era’s leading cinematographers captured the protests of winter 1981 in raw and confronting street-level footage, while the film made an explicit connection between apartheid abroad and racism at home.

Director Merata Mita (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi, 1942–2010) was a pioneering Māori filmmaker and activist, whose documentaries Bastion Point: Day 507 (created with Leon Narbey and Gerd Pohlmann) and PATU! captured some of the most dramatic events in modern New Zealand history.

This preservation by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision restores PATU! to its original length by reinserting scenes that were trimmed for television, and restoring the picture quality, colour and sound to the same state as when it was first screened. Using the 1983 masters, the preservation team worked for nearly five years to bring this important piece of New Zealand’s film history back to cinema screens. In director Merata Mita’s absence, her son Hepi, also a filmmaker, represented the whānau and Annie Collins (editor) and Gaylene Preston (co-ordinator) advised.

Before the film showing, John Minto will speak about the significance of the protest in Hamilton in 1981, the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the role of civil disobedience protests in a democratic society.

After the film screening, Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon of the Human Rights Commission Te Kāhui Tika Tangata will speak about positive race relations in New Zealand.    



In collaboration with