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Object: Helmet

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Title Helmet
Production Speedway (manufacturer(s)), circa 1981, New Zealand
Materials fiberglass, rubber, metal, foam rubber
Classification helmets
Dimensions Overall: 155mm (Height) x 252mm (Length) x 190mm (Width/Depth)
Credit line Gift of John Minto, 2008
Registration number GH012029

This scooter helmet was worn by John Minto, a leader of Halt All Racist Tours (HART), during the Springbok rugby tour in 1981. He was the most recognisable person of the anti-tour movement, andwas often seen out front of the protesters wearing overalls and his blue scooter helmet for protection.

Hard heads

Minto’s girlfriend at the time gave him the helmet for protection after the cancellation of the Waikato-Springbok game in Hamilton, at which he had been pursued and beaten by pro-tour supporters. The helmet is an evocative reminder of the violence the tour provoked. Many front-line protesters wore tougher helmets than this, including motorcycle and safety helmets, to protect themselves from police batons.

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