New Zealand Government to Apologise for Dawn Raids

The New Zealand Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, “the Dawn Raids were a defining moment in New Zealand’s history and the emotional harm caused by them remains etched in the living memory of those who were directly impacted.”

An apology can never reverse what happened or undo the damage caused but we can acknowledge it and we can seek to right a wrong.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the Government apology is an opportunity to promote a reconciliation process for those directly impacted by the Dawn Raids. “I am hopeful that the apology will affirm New Zealand as a country where every person irrespective of their colour, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs should be treated with dignity and respect.

The formal Government apology for the Dawn Raids will be held at a commemoration event on the 26th of June in the Auckland Town Hall.

The apology comes as the Polynesian Panthers mark their 50th anniversary and their fight against the raids.

Image credit: John Miller