Te Manawa Museum Champions Conservation with Peter Bush Silent Auction

Te Manawa and the New Zealand Rugby Museum became a hub of rugby nostalgia, hosting a silent auction of 12 prints from legendary photojournalist Peter Bush.

12 auction prints which featured left ‘The Banishment of Murdoch,’ Courtesy of the Rugby Museum, 2024

The event took place amidst the Rugby Jamboree Hui on the 13th of April this year, offering Peter’s fans an opportunity to own a piece of his gritty work. These prints, each bearing the authentic signature of Bushy himself, span a 60-year journey through New Zealand’s rugby history, immortalising its key players and truly unforgettable moments.

Peter Bush, whose lens has captured the essence of rugby as New Zealand’s pride through the ’60s and ’70s, has a collection that’s nothing short of a national treasure. The auction’s success, which resulted in the sale of all 12 prints, is a testament to the enduring love of the game and genuine respect for Bush’s work. The proceeds from the auction are going toward the conservation of Bush’s extensive collection of 300,000 items, all generously donated to Te Manawa Museum.

One of the auction’s most talked-about pieces was “The Banishment of Murdoch,” a haunting image that captures a pivotal moment in New Zealand rugby history. Murdoch was a talented rugby player whose actions off the field led to his infamous exit from the All Blacks team during their 1972 tour of Britain. After a match against Wales at Cardiff Park, Murdoch was involved in an altercation with a security guard at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff, which led to him being the first All Blacks player to be sent home from a tour. Bush himself later reflected on this as ‘The saddest photo I ever took’.

A black and white photograph of two men carrying travel bags out of a venue, looking stoic.

The Banishment of Murdoch, 1972, Peter Bush (1930-2023), Signed print displayed in auction, Courtesy of Te Manawa Museum, 2024.

This and other treasured snapshots were part of the acclaimed 2010-2011 exhibition “Peter Bush: Hard on the Heels,” which contains prints of great All Black moments, controversial and contentious times, and candid behind-the-scenes shots.

Plans for future auctions in August this year are already in motion. Te Manawa remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding this invaluable collection. This initiative is more than just a fundraiser; it’s a tribute to the enduring spirit of rugby in New Zealand and a pledge to protect the visual records of its storied past. Watch this space.


Attendants at the Rugby Jamboree viewing the signed Peter Bush prints held at Te Manawa Museum, Courtesy of Te Manawa Museum, 2024