Story: Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Bomb damage to the Wanganui Computer Centre, 1982

Bomb damage to the Wanganui Computer Centre, 1982

This photograph shows damage to the Wanganui Computer Centre after a bomb attack on 18 November 1982. The Wanganui Computer Centre, opened in 1976, held the National Law Enforcement Data Base. Its ability to record the personal information of citizens was seen as potentially dangerous by civil libertarians. These concerns grew with the polarisation of public opinion during the Springbok rugby tour of 1981 and subsequent protests against the policies of the government of Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. Neil Roberts, a 22-year-old anarchist who had long been involved in the protest movement, blew himself up in a bomb attack on the computer centre. His action appears to have been as much a symbolic blow against what Roberts saw as an authoritarian state as it was an attempt to destroy the computer centre.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1982/3990

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Lance Beath, 'Terrorism and counter-terrorism - Terrorism and New Zealand: the historical background', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Lance Beath, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Sep 2021