Reposted from @jacindaardern Today I was humbled to offer these words- an apology that has been a long time coming. Many of you will know this story.
To those who don’t, please read on.“During the economic boom of the 1950s, New Zealand encouraged significant migration from the Pacific region to fill labour shortages in the manufacturing and primary production sector.
It was a time of economic prosperity and many migrated from the Pacific to New Zealand as a result.
However, at the downturn of the economy in the early 1970s, parts of our society began to see migrants as jeopardising their financial security and quality of life.
The migrants who became the focal point and scapegoat for these fears were largely Pacific peoples, and when Police and Immigration enforced immigration laws around overstaying, not everyone was targeted.
Instead, Police and Immigration officials overwhelmingly conducted raids on the homes of Pacific families.
Officials, often accompanied by dogs, undertook late night and early morning (dawn) raids of homes.
Residents in those homes were woken abruptly, physically removed from their beds and forced into Police vans to be taken for questioning.
Some were hauled to the police station to appear in court the next day barefoot, in pyjamas or in clothes loaned to them in the holding cells; others were wrongfully detained……
Today, I stand on behalf of the New Zealand Government to offer a formal and unreserved apology to Pacific communities for the discriminatory implementation of the immigration laws of the 1970s that led to the events of the Dawn Raids.
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.
Our Government conveys to the future generations of Aotearoa that the past actions of the Crown were wrong,
and that the treatment of your ancestors was wrong. We convey to you our deepest and sincerest apology.”