NZ Rugby World
John Minto reflects Jim Kayes
AT JUST 28 JOHN MINTO WAS THE FACE AND VOICE OF EVERYDAY KIWIS WHO DIDN’T WANT THE SPRINGBOKS TO TOUR NEW ZEALAND. JIM KAYES CAUGHT UP WITH THE VETERAN PROTESTOR 40 YEARS ON FROM A TOUR THAT DIVIDED A COUNTRY.
with on the tumultuous 1981 Springbok tour that divided New Zealand.
John Minto tried out for the Napier Boys High School 3rd XV but didn’t get in. “I was tall, but I was skinny. I had no bulk and no speed,” Minto says. Undeterred, he later by for three years while he taught physics at Auckland’s Massey High School.
“I enjoyed rugby. I played it at school and I coached sixth grade for three years when I started teaching.” This seems incongruous with a man who, aged just 28, became the face of a nationwide movement intent on stopping the Springbok rugby tour to New Zealand in 1981. Sitting at a small table in the Auckland Irish Society hall at Fowlds Park, where the marches against the third test of that tour at Eden Park began, Minto is a warm and engaging presence.
I AM SO PROUD OF THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF NEW ZEALANDERS WHO ALSO SAID ‘THIS ISN’T US, THIS (LEGISLATED RACISM) ISN’T WHAT WE ARE ABOUT.’ ” - JOHN MINTO