New Zealand had been granted a mandate over the former German colony following the First World War. Growing Samoan calls for independence came to a head during a Mau demonstration in Apia which left 12 people dead.
In Hamilton the protestors occupying the pitch had chanted 'The whole world is watching'. The same applied to New Zealand as a nation. Some believed the tour was an opportunity to address racism in New Zealand and show solidarity with the oppressed black majority in South Africa.