Political graffiti has a much longer history than the hip-hop-influenced graffiti prevalent in the 2000s. ‘Will Tobias’, which was on the side of an inner-city Wellington building until the early 2000s, dates from the 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour to New Zealand. Initially it read ‘Will Tobias Defect’ (with the last word painted on the footpath), referring to Errol Tobias, the first black man to play test rugby for South Africa. Tobias was sidelined during the tour of New Zealand, and some people wondered if he would defect while in the country – but he did not.
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Photograph by A. D. Wright
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