Government And Politics, New Zealand Government, New Zealand, Oceania, Auckland, Tonga

Government And Politics, New Zealand Government

New Zealand apologizes for historic raids on Pacific people

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has formally apologized for a racially charged part of the nation’s history, known as the Dawn Raids

8/1/2021 5:42:00 PM

New Zealand ’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has formally apologized for a racially charged part of the nation’s history, known as the Dawn Raids.

New Zealand ’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has formally apologized for a racially charged part of the nation’s history, known as the Dawn Raids

The Associated PressNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center right, is hugged during a ceremony in Auckland, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, to formally apologize for a racially charged part of the nation's history known as the Dawn Raids. The Dawn Raids are known as the time when the Pasifika people were targeted for deportation in the mid-1970s during aggressive home raids by authorities to find, convict and deport visa overstayers. (Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP)

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sat motionless Sunday as members of the Pacific Island community pulled a large white mat over her head, completely covering her. Moments later they removed it and embraced her.

It was part of a emotional ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall during which Ardern formally apologized for a racially charged part of the nation’s history known as the Dawn Raids.It’s when Pasifika people were targeted for deportation in the mid-1970s during aggressive home raids by authorities to find, convict and deport visa overstayers. The raids often took place very early in the morning or late at night. headtopics.com

By being covered in the mat, Ardern was taking part in a traditional Samoan ritual known as an ifoga, in which the subject seeks forgiveness by exposing themselves to a kind of public humiliation.Ardern told a tearful crowd of several hundred that the government was offering a formal and unreserved apology.

“The government expresses its sorrow, remorse, and regret that the Dawn Raids and random police checks occurred and that these actions were ever considered appropriate,” Ardern said.At the time of the raids, many Pacific people had come to New Zealand on temporary visas to help fill a need for workers in the nation's factories and fields. But the government appeared to turn on the community by deciding those workers were no longer needed.

People who didn’t look like white New Zealanders were told they should carry identification to prove they weren’t overstayers, and were often randomly stopped in the street, or even at schools or churches. Even though many overstayers at the time were British or American, only Pacific people were targeted for deportation.

Ardern said that while the raids took place almost 50 years ago, their legacy continued.“It remains vividly etched in the memory of those who were directly impacted. It lives on in the disruption of trust and faith in authorities. And it lives on in the unresolved grievances of Pacific communities that these events happened and that to this day they have gone unaddressed,” she said. headtopics.com

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Ardern said that as a gesture of goodwill, the government would fund new education and training scholarships for Pacific communities and would help compile an official account of the raids from written records and oral history.“As part of this, the community will have the opportunity to come forward and share their experiences,” Ardern said.

Tongan Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili said the impact of the Dawn Raids had haunted her community for generations.“We are grateful to your government for making the right decision to apologize,” she said to Ardern. “To right the extreme, inhumane, racist and unjust treatment, specifically against my community, in the Dawn Raids era.”

The princess said that while some members of her Tongan community might have been on the wrong side of the law at the time, it didn't warrant the extreme measures taken against them.But the princess said the government could do a better job of responding to current

needs, a comment which drew sustained applause. She said petitions had been submitted to find pathways and residency for overstayers and visa-holders.“This is a new dawn for my community and the Pacific community at large,” she said. Read more: ABC News »

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Ardern is such a superwoman- Brits, are you seeing this? When will you do it? ofc with reparations. “Racially charged” we are still doing that We still can’t use the word racist? Most welcome precious people! Pointless virtue signaling nonsense.. I still want to vote for Jacinda Ardern for US president She stays winning

I love her so much!!! I’m so ready to move to New Zealand but I don’t have the $$$ Do they let people stay in NZ now who have expired visas? This is good, they actually still have victims alive to apologize to.

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