This video from Gaylene Preston, shot on her VHS camera, captures an anti-nuclear protest four years before Aotearoa officially went nuclear-free. The footage documents a large team creating dozens of papier-mâché masks and costumes, led by artist Debra Bustin. While listening to Elvis and Johnny Cash, they prepare for a march on 10 August 1983 against the visit to Wellington of nuclear-powered missile cruiser USS Texas. Later there's extended footage of protestors holding handmade anti-nuclear signs, and parading puppets of Robert Muldoon, Ronald Reagan, and the Statue of Liberty wielding an atomic weapon.
What to do in case of a nuclear accident: Kiss your children goodbye.– Poster on the wall as the protesters work on their costumes
Video interview with artist Debra Bustin from 1987, City Gallery Wellington
Article and photo on this & other anti-nuke protests, NZ History website
Photograph of sea protests against the USS Texas shorty before the Wellington protest, Greenpeace website
Section on nuclear-free protest and legislation in New Zealand, NZ History website