Patu! 1983

Directed by Merata Mita

Patu! is the definitive film of the 1981 Springbok tour protests, a technically complex piece of guerrilla filmmaking that explicitly connects apartheid abroad and racism at home. Newly preserved by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

113 minutes DCP



Merata Mita


Barry Harbert


Annie Collins
S. Maloney


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Preserved in 2021 by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

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.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Springbok tour, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision in collaboration with the whānau of director Merata Mita have produced a newly preserved version of the 1983 theatrical release of Patu!