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Dear America Wiki

Sitting on the Fence: The Diary of Martin Daly is the fourteenth book in the My New Zealand Story series by Scholastic New Zealand. The book was written by Bill Nagelkerke. It was first published in February 2007 and reissued in July 2021 as Stop the Tour!. The book was followed by Kauri in My Blood.


"For Halina"

Book description[]

"1, 2, 3, 4, we don't want the Springbok Tour,
2, 4, 6, 8, don't play sport with a racist state.

It is 1981 and Martin senses big trouble brewing at home. The South African rugby team has been invited to tour New Zealand. Martin's sister, Sarah, is out to stop the tour in protest against South Africa's racist apartheid system. His rugby-mad dad is equally determined that the tour should go ahead. Martin wishes the whole thing would simply go away.
"You just fence-sit like a dumb bunny," Sarah tells him. But Martin would just rather not take sides.
Then a new school leads to a new friendship, and Martin is faced with a choice. He can walk away, or he can become involved in something that will end up being bigger than anybody could have predicted.


Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Sitting on the Fence characters
  • Martin Daly


Main article: Bill Nagelkerke




"In writing this story, I referred to many items published in the Star and the Christchurch Press newspapers during 1981 as well as to several books about the Tour written in the years that followed. Especially helpful was Juliet Morris' 1982 account of the anti-tour movement in Christchurch, With All Our Strength. I also read accounts written by people who were either for or against the tour. These accounts are held in the Tour Archive of the University of Canterbury's Macmillan Brown Library. In this book Martin sends his fictional diary to the Archive.
I talked to a number of people who were involved in the events that took place in Christchurch during that momentous year. I am very grateful to all of them for sharing their experiences and memories of 1981. They are in no way responsible, however, for any mistakes of fact or interpretation I may have made.
I would especially like to thank David Small, Robert Consedine, Annie Bowden, John Truesdale, Fiona Barkess and Julie Stapleton. Special thanks are due to David Small for reading a draft of the story and for his very helpful comments and suggestions, and to Robert Consedine for access to his personal photographs. Thanks also to Halina Keenan for her improvements to the story. The lyrics on pages 13 and 197 are from the song 'Ain't Gonna Take It', by Tom Robinson and recorded by the Tom Robinson Band on their 1978 album
Power in the Darkness. They are reproduced with the kind permission of Tom Robinson."


  • The cover of the second edition of the book, Stop the Tour!, was illustrated by Minky Stapleton.[4]
  • The book was reprinted in 2021 to commemorate the forty-year anniversary of the Springbok Tour.[5]


See also[]

File:Sitting on the Fence Teacher Notes.pdf, File:Stop the Tour! Information Sheet.pdf, File:Stop the Tour! Teacher Notes.pdf

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