22 Dec 2014

NZ Retro - The Year 1981

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:20 pm on 22 December 2014

This week we revisit what was a big year in anyone's language: 1981. New Zealand endured a hugely divisive winter, as protest and confrontation swept through the country, over the government's decision to allow the Springbok rugby tour. At the time neither side in the debate seemed willing to give in, leaving some to say the nation lost its innocence that year. Perhaps surprisingly, The National Party was returned to office in the general election later that year, albeit with a decreased majority. In fact, in the '81 election, as in 1978, it was Labour who secured largest portion of the popular vote. But it won only 43 seats to National's 47. Social Credit took two seats despite winning more than 20% of the vote.