June 14, 2021

New Zealand PM To Apologize For Racist 1970s Raids On Pacific People

UBAA Global

This movement was almost exclusively followed against Pacific Islanders, even though during the 1970s and into the 1980s, the bulk of overstayers (individuals who remained in New Zealand after the expiry of their visas) were from Europe or North America.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — The New Zealand government will officially apologize for its racist raids on Pacific people in the 1970s.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the time had come to deliver an apology for the “dawn raids” when officials would target people believed to have overstayed their visas purely on the basis of their ethnicity.

“The dawn raids period is a defining one in New Zealand’s history,” said Ardern. “To this day, many members of our Pacific community still struggle to talk about their experiences during that period. They were routinely severe with demeaning verbal and physical treatment.”

“To this day, Pacific communities face prejudices and stereotypes, an apology can never reduce what happened, or undo the decades of disadvantage experienced as a result, but it can contribute to healing for Pacific peoples.”

The practice took place under both of New Zealand’s major political parties, beginning under Labor Prime Minister Norman Kirk and continuing during the days of National’s Robert Muldoon.

Ardern says she will give the apology on June 26 at Auckland Town Hall.

Some of our Polynesian members were being picked up on the streets and being asked for passports. (ConvertKit/Unsplash)

The apology is timed alongside the 50-year anniversary of the Polynesian Panther Party, a social justice movement founded to fight the mistreatment of Pasifika people.

Founding member Will ‘Ilolahia said that the inequality was shocking and led to intergenerational trauma.

“It was really hard to be a Polynesian. Some of our members were being picked up on the streets and being asked for passports,” said ‘Ilolahia.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio said the raids were racist and discriminatory.

“I do not think there was any Pacific family who was not impacted by the dawn raids,” he said. “There is a strong moral impulse to acknowledge those past actions were wrong through an apology. The legacy of the dawn raids era lives on today, etched in the memory and oral histories of Pacific communities.”

“It will be an important step in helping people retain and restore their mana, to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, and to move forward with dignity and a sense of confidence in the future wellbeing.”

The dawn raids started in the northern city of New Zealand, Auckland, in 1970. During that time, New Zealand police were instructed by the then government to enter homes or stop people at roads and ask for valid documentation such as passports, visas, etc.

This movement was almost exclusively followed against Pacific Islanders, even though during the 1970s and into the 1980s, the bulk of overstayers (individuals who remained in New Zealand after the expiry of their visas) were from Europe or North America.

The New Zealand government will officially apologize for racist raids on Pacific people in the 1970s.

On Monday, prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the time had come to deliver an apology for the “dawn raids” when officials would target people believed to have overstayed their visas purely on the basis of their ethnicity.

“The dawn raids period is a defining one in New Zealand’s history,” said Ardern. “To this day, many members of our Pacific community still struggle to talk about their experiences during that period. They were routinely severe with demeaning verbal and physical treatment.”

“To this day Pacific communities face prejudices and stereotypes, an apology can never reduce what happened, or undo the decades of disadvantage experienced as a result, but it can contribute to healing for Pacific peoples.”

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the time has come to deliver an apology for the 1970s raids.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the time has come to deliver an apology for the 1970s raids. (AAP Image)

The practice took place under both of New Zealand’s major political parties, beginning under Labor Prime Minister Norman Kirk and continuing during the days of National’s Robert Muldoon.

Ardern says she will give the apology on June 26 at Auckland Town Hall.

The apology is timed alongside the 50-year anniversary of the Polynesian Panther Party, a social justice movement founded to fight the mistreatment of Pasifika people.

Founding member Will ‘Ilolahia said that the inequality was shocking and led to intergenerational trauma.

“It was really hard to be a Polynesian. Some of our members were being picked up on the streets and being asked for passports,” said ‘Ilolahia.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio said the raids were racist and discriminatory.

“I do not think there was any Pacific family who was not impacted by the dawn raids,” he said. “There is a strong moral impulse to acknowledge those past actions were wrong through an apology. The legacy of the dawn raids era lives on today, etched in the memory and oral histories of Pacific communities.”

“It will be an important step in helping people retain and restore their mana, to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, and to move forward with dignity and a sense of confidence in the future wellbeing.”

The dawn raids started in the northern city of New Zealand, Auckland, in 1970. During that time, New Zealand police were instructed by the then government to enter homes or stop people at roads and ask for valid documentation such as passports, visas, etc. This movement was almost exclusively followed against Pacific Islanders, even though during the 1970s and into the 1980s, the bulk of overstayers (individuals who remained in New Zealand after the expiry of their visas) were from Europe or North America.

(Edited by Gaurab Dasgupta and Saptak Datta)



The post New Zealand PM To Apologize For Racist 1970s Raids On Pacific People appeared first on Zenger News.

The post New Zealand PM To Apologize For Racist 1970s Raids On Pacific People appeared first on UBAA Global.

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