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Salient. Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 41 No. 3. March 13 1978

Why no New Zealander should Travel to South Africa

Why no New Zealander should Travel to South Africa

Tourism is big business in South Africa, and per head of population. New Zealand is its biggest investor. With the campaign against Vorster's regime moving more and more into the economic sphere, it is important to realise the extent to which New Zealand supports that regime. This article has been prepared by the National Anti-Apartheid Committee, (NAAC), who are currently engaged in a campaign to end New Zealand's cultural and economic relations with South Africa.

Given all the rhetoric on the freedom of New Zealanders to travel wherever they wish, there is an unfortunate temptation to take this freedom to the point of abuse, to mean that you don't have to question the rights and wrongs of going wherever you are going.

Freedom to travel does not imply that the innocent practise of travel is something that never hurt anyone. When you go into a travel agent's office and pick up a glossy South African Airways brochure depicting quasi-erotic wildlife on the front cover, why should you stop and think beyond the sun, surf, game parks and luxuriant suburbs, the things you'll undoubtdedly enjoy in white man's paradise; beyond these things not only to the things you won't see by going there, but about the positive effects your visit will have.

You may go there with views mildly opposed to the evils of apartheid, or perhaps "neutral" views, but don't be misled into thinking that the effect of your visit will be neutral as well — far from it. The individual tourist to South Africa is just as responsible for giving sustenance to the apartheid regime as is the business investor, as is the individual rugby player.

All are involved in making the same basic decision — do I or don't I undertake an action which will boost the morale, economy and propaganda of the white racist regime and undermine black efforts at liberation, or do I act in such a way as to undermine apartheid morale, economy, and prpaganda efforts? Whichever decision you make, it is one which drastically affects the lives of 20 million people.