New Zealand apologises for historic raids on Pacific people

There were tears in an emotional ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall on Sunday during which Jacinda Ardern formally apologised for a racially charged part of the nation's history known as the Dawn Raids.

New Zealand apologises for historic raids on Pacific people

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sits motionless as members of the Pacific Island community pull a large white mat over her head, completely covering her. Moments later they remove it and embrace her.

It was part of an emotional ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall on Sunday during which Ms Ardern formally apologised 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.

READ MORE:

By being covered in the mat, the Prime Minister 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.

Ms 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," she 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.

READ MORE:

Ms Ardern said 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," she said.

"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 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," Ms 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 apologise," she said to the Prime Minister.

"To right the extreme, inhumane, racist and unjust treatment, specifically against my community, in the Dawn Raids era."

The princess said 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 she said the government could do a better job of responding to current immigration 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.

Sunday's ceremony had originally been scheduled for June but was delayed due to coronavirus measures.

The apology didn't come with any broader financial compensation or legal changes, but many Pacific people say it represented an important first step.

Source : 9 News More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

Virus alert for parts of UQ and RBWH as Queensland exposure list grows

Queensland's coronavirus outbreak has hit the state's largest university and hospital as health authorities issue more than 30 new close-contact exposure alerts in a day.

Virus alert for parts of UQ and RBWH as Queensland exposure list grows

Queensland's coronavirus outbreak has hit the state's largest university and hospital as health authorities issue more than 30 new close-contact exposure alerts in a day.

Multiple parts of the University of Queensland campus in St Lucia were added to the list on Sunday evening, along with the UQ Health Science Building and a coronary care unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

Authorities are also concerned about the potential for transmission on multiple inner-city bus services, as well as bust stops, dentists and eateries in Sunnybank, Toowong and Spring Hill.

READ MORE:

https://twitter.com/qldhealthnews/status/1421766009023700992

The latest update came after Queensland Health released new exposure site locations on Sunday afternoon in the Pullenvale, Moggill, Bellbowrie, Wilston and St Lucia areas.

The sites included Pullenvale State School, a Coles, post office and news agency, an acupuncture clinic, and Caltex petrol station. Public transport sites have also been added to the list.

The full list of exposure sites and times can be found at the .

Anyone who visited the following venues at the relevant times is considered a close contact and must immediately quarantine, get tested, complete the Queensland Health contact tracing form and remain in quarantine regardless of test results.

  • St Lucia: UQ Basketball Courts (Between the tennis courts and Athletic track), Saturday 24 July 2021, 3.50pm - 5pm
  • St Lucia: Toilets between UQ Basketball and UQ Netball Courts
  • Sir William Macgregor Drive, Saturday 24 July 2021, 3.50pm - 5pm
  • St Lucia: Shalom Restaurant, Saturday 24 July 2021, 5.13pm-6.30pm
  • Herston: Royal Brisbane Hospital, UQ Health Science Building, Sunday 25 July 2021, 10.44am - 1.30pm
  • Herston: Royal Brisbane Hospital Dr James Mayne Building Level 3 Coronary Care Unit, Pod 1 Western section, and seats outside CCU, Sunday 25 July 2021, 5.43pm - 6.10pm
  • St Lucia: The University of Queensland, Building 69, rooms 511, 512, 513, Tuesday 27 July 2021, 2.54pm - 6pm
  • St Lucia: The University of Queensland, Abel Smith Lecture Theatre Building 23, Tuesday 27 July 2021, 6pm - 7pm
  • Spring Hill: Bus stop waiting area Gregory Tce at Torrington street, stop 5, Spring Hill, Wednesday 28 July 2021, 3pm - 3.18pm
  • Spring Hill: Brisbane Grammar School (Boys) including extracurricular activities, Thursday 29 July 2021, 8am - 3pm
  • Milton: Esquire Male Grooming Barber, Thursday 29 July 2021, 11.45am - 12.30pm
  • Sunnybank: That Viet Place, Thursday 29 July 2021, 12pm - 12.40pm
  • Sunnybank: Southside Bistro: Thursday 29 July 2021, 12.25pm - 12.55pm
  • St Lucia: Ironside State School, Outside School Hours Care, Thursday 29 July 2021, 3pm - 5.17pm
  • Toowong: Ethos Orthodontics Toowong, Thursday 29 July 2021, 3.55pm - 4.30pm
  • Milton: Studio 99 Fitness Centre, Friday 30 July 2021, 8.10am - 9am
  • Sunnybank: Pacific Petroleum, Friday 30 July 2021, 12.40pm - 1.05pm
  • St Lucia: Saigon Yummy, Friday 30 July 2021, 1.15pm - 1.55pm
  • Toowong: Bupa Dental, Friday 30 July 2021, 2.55pm - 3.25pm
  • Spring Hill: Bus stop waiting area Gregory Tce at Torrington street, stop 5, Spring Hill, Friday 30 July 2021, 3pm - 3.26pm

Public transport

  • Bus 28: PA Hospital Bus Station to UQ Lakes Bus Station, Wednesday 28 July 2021, 2.30pm - 2.55pm
  • Bus 411: Gregory Tce at Torrington street, stop 5, Spring Hill to Swann Rd at Ironside School, stop 23/24, St Lucia, Wednesday 28 July 2021, 3.18pm - 4pm
  • Bus 411: Gregory Tce at Torrington street, stop 5, Spring Hill to Swann Rd at Ironside School, stop 23/24, St Lucia, Thursday 29 July 2021, 3.15pm - 3.51pm

More casual and low-risk exposure sites have also been added the state's coronavirus alert list, which is constantly updated on the Queensland Health website.

https://twitter.com/qldhealthnews/status/1421735126057185294
Source : 9 News More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.