The 1981 South Africa rugby tour of New Zealand brought widespread protest and global attention. It should be understood in an international context. Both anti-tour protestors and the New Zealand government viewed international perceptions of New Zealand as important and interacted with institutions and individuals around the world to influence them. For the New Zealand government, in addition to domestic considerations, relations with Britain were important for trade, geopolitical, and cultural reasons. Protestors drew inspiration from antiapartheid protests in Britain stretching back to the late 1950s, along with activism around Africa and throughout the Western world. The tour also needs to be viewed in the context of the cold war and international trade, which directly influenced British and U.S. policy toward South Africa and had a vicarious effect on New Zealand's attitude toward South Africa sporting contacts.