New Zealand apologizes for raids on Pacific people in the 1970s

Wellington – Aupito William Sio remembered the horrifying day when a police officer with a German Shepherd dog appeared at his parents’ house before dawn and turned his flashlight on his face while his father was helpless.

Now, Pacific Ministers Shio and Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the government will formally apologize for the infamous part of the country’s history known as Dawn Raid.

It was then that the Pacific Islands were targeted for deportation during the mid-1970s, when authorities found overstays, convicted them, and actively searched for homes to deport them. Raids often took place early in the morning or late at night.

Shio became emotional when he and Ardern discussed the apology at a press conference.

“We felt invited to New Zealand as a community. We responded to the call to fill the necessary workforce, just as we responded to the call of soldiers in 1914.” It was.


But he said the government turned on the Pacifica community when they felt they were no longer needed.

According to Ardern, people who didn’t look like white New Zealanders at the time were told to carry ID to prove they weren’t overstayed, and even streets, schools and churches were random. I often stopped at. She said the Pacific people were often dragged into court in their pajamas and without proper representation.

“Not only were they targeted, but they were truly inhuman and targeted using processes and practices that really terrorized the people in their homes,” Ardern said.

She was a group that had never been targeted for deportation, with 40% of overstays being either British or American when computerized immigration records were introduced in 1977. He said he showed that.

“The raid and what it represents created a deep wound,” Ardern said. “And we can’t change our history, but we can admit it, and we can try to correct what’s wrong.”


In the case of Shio, his family is a legitimate resident of the house, but a couple of his father’s nephews from Samoa were with them and taken to the police without their clothes or belongings. He said he was later deported.

He said his nephew was working in the factory and their visa had expired. He said they were preparing to go home and wanted to do a little more overtime shift before they left. Mr. Shio said his father advocated regaining their clothes and money, allowing them to leave New Zealand with some dignity.

The official apology will take place at a commemorative event in Oakland on June 26th. There is no monetary compensation or legal amendment to the apology, but Sio believes it is an important first step. He said trauma is still fresh for many and it is good to tackle the problem and prevent such a situation from occurring in the future.


Ardern said the government has made such an apology for the third time.

Earlier apologies were for imposing immigration taxes on Chinese immigrants in the 1880s, causing a deadly influenza pandemic in Samoa in 1918, killing more than one-fifth of the population.

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New Zealand apologizes for raids on Pacific people in the 1970s

Source link New Zealand apologizes for raids on Pacific people in the 1970s

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