WELLINGTON — Aupito William Sio described a horrific day as a youngster when police officers with German shepherd dogs arrived at his family’s home before dawn and flashed headlights in their faces, leaving his father helpless. For that New Zealand’s government apologized.
Sio, the minister for Pacific peoples, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated on Monday that the government will publicly apologize for the Dawn Raids, an infamous aspect of New Zealand’s history.
It was amid vigorous house raids by authorities to discover, prosecute, and deport overstayers in the mid-1970s that Pacific Islanders were targeted for deportation. Early in the morning or late at night, the raids were common.
However, he claims that when the government no longer required those employees, it turned against the Pasifika people.
People who didn’t look like white New Zealanders were informed they needed to carry identification to prove they weren’t overstayers at the time, according to Ardern, and were frequently checked in the street, even at schools and churches. She claimed that Pacific people were frequently hauled into court in their pajamas and without legal representation.
“Not only were they targeted, but they were targeted using a demeaning procedure and procedure that frightened people in their homes “According to Ardern.
“The raids, and what they represented,” Ardern added, “created profound wounds.” “And, though we can’t undo our past, we can accept it and try to correct a wrong.”
Previous apologies included levying an entry tax on Chinese immigrants in the 1880s and bringing the terrible influenza pandemic to Samoa in 1918, which killed more than a quarter of the population.