The mid-late 1980's was a crucial period in the politicising of the Wellington scene. There was a strong undercurrent of activism in punk, with politically charged music and attitudes. The influence of late 80's US thrash and post-apocalypse, nuclear threat themes were evident in the music of bands such as Nazgul and Compos Mentis from Upper Hutt.
Punks challenged public misconceptions of anarchy as mere chaos by developing their own methods of direct action. Protests on a range of welfare issues were organised by members of bands like SMUT and Schitzofrantics.
Neil Roberts Day was an annual event to remember a young Auckland punk who died on November 18, 1982, attempting to blow up the Wanganui Computer. Initiated by Wellington punks the commemoration was held in Wanganui each year and drew punks and anarchists from around the country.
Fanzines were a central means of communication with several titles published including Submission, Communicade and Divided We Fall. Simon Cottle documented the music scene and local activism in Anti-System from 1985-1991.
The Screaming Asylum at 41 Hawker Street and all ages gigs at Thistle Hall became mainstays of the scene during this period.
A 50 minute recording of an NZAVS benefit gig at Thistle Hall in 1993 featuring Septic Noise Grinder, Flail, Prolapse and Swamp Goblin.