Story: Africa and New Zealand

Political leaders: David Lange’s tour of Africa (2nd of 3)

Political leaders: David Lange’s tour of Africa

David Lange was the first New Zealand prime minister to visit Africa. He is shown here with Ketumile Masire, the president of Botswana. Lange would later describe Africa as taking ‘a lot of my time’ in 1985; it was at the end of that year that he went to Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana. A tour by South Africa’s Springbok rugby team had polarised the New Zealand public in 1981 and damaged New Zealand’s international reputation and relationships with many countries, due to international censure of South Africa’s system of apartheid (racial segregation). The Labour government elected in 1984 sought to restore New Zealand’s standing. A South African consulate, which had worked hard to maintain the relationship between the two countries, was closed down in favour of a new focus on ‘states which were in the front line of the struggle against apartheid’. (David Lange, My life. Auckland: Penguin, 2006, p. 210)

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAWW 7122 W4640 Box 2

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Africa and New Zealand - Politics, apartheid and sport: 1940s to 1990s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/35922/political-leaders-david-langes-tour-of-africa (accessed 11 August 2020)

Story by Megan Cook, published 20 Jun 2012