Maori and the anti-apartheid movement : generating a space to oppose domestic racism 1959-1985 : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University
The unknown author has appropriated a space on a public fence, inscribed it with a message and created a new space of consciousness. The political graffiti is designed to provoke thought - to encourage the viewer to question and to perhaps translate consciousness into action. This demonstrates the use of public space as a political resource to construct and deploy a counter-hegemonic language and present an alternative vision of society. As the message suggests, New Zealanders are hiding behind myths which exist within and which influence New Zealand society. Implicit in the message is the demand for change. There is no hint as to who is 'hiding' or what the myths are. Context supplies the answer. The photograph appeared in an anti-racist newsletter to mark Christian Action Week in 1982. The purpose of the publication by the National Council of Churches (NCC) Programme on Racism was to raise the awareness of Pakeha New Zealanders about the reality of racism. 'It exists,' stated the publication, 'and has been a part of a way of life since Whites first landed in this country. Although we pride ourselves ...about human rights...freedom and equality, the bleak reality is that...this country is based on and operates under a doctrine of White racism ...White people [must] come out from behind the myths that have sheltered them for so long.'2 2 'Come out from behind the Myths', in National Council of Churches newsletter, 27 June-4 July, 1982, ACORD, NZMS 521 [uncatalogued], Auckland City Library (ACL). The National Council of Churches was one of many groups which either turned their attention to domestic racism or increased their anti-racist activities following the 1981 Springbok Tour.