The event was part of a touching ceremony at Auckland City Hall where Ardern formally apologized for part of the country’s history with strong racial overtones known as Dawn raids.
In the mid-seventies they made Raids to deport Pacific immigrants, in aggressive home raids for authorities to locate, convict and deport Persons who overstayed their visa. The raids were often carried out in the early morning or late at night.
These occurred between 1974 and 1976, when the economy New Zealand Suffered from the first oil crisis and government The conditions for the survival of the Pacific migrants whose arrival was encouraged two decades ago were enhanced.
to be covered with cloth, Ardern participated in a traditional Samoan ritual known as ifoga, in which a person exposes oneself to some kind of public humiliation to apologize.
Ardern told hundreds of event attendees that the government offered an unreserved formal apology.
“The government expresses its pain, remorse and regret over the occurrence of the dawn raids and the indiscriminate oversight of the police, and that these measures were deemed appropriate at some point,” the prime minister said. New Zealand.
raid time, Many people from the Pacific have traveled to New Zealand on temporary visas To help fill the shortage of workers in the country’s factories and farmland. But the government seemed to be turning against society when it decided that these workers were no longer needed.
Those who did not look like white New Zealanders were always required to be identified to show they were not people who had overstayed their visas, and were often questioned on the street or even in schools and churches.
Although many of the residents overstaying their authorized stay at the time were British or American, only Pacific immigrants were persecuted for deportation.
Ardern noticed it Although the raids took place over 50 years ago, their legacy lives on.
“It is still vivid in the memory of those directly affected. It survives the blow to trust and faith in the authorities. It persists in the unresolved claims of peaceful societies that these actions occurred, and to this day they remain. They remain unaddressed.”
Ardern noted that, as a goodwill gesture, the government New Zealand Funding new educational and training grants for members of peaceful societies He will help compile an official account of the raids from written documents and testimonies.
Princess of Tonga Mili Siwelikotapu Kalaniuvallu Photophile He claimed that the impact of the dawn raids had affected his community for generations.
“We thank your government for making the right decision to apologize,” he told Ardern.To correct the extreme, inhuman, racist and unjust treatment, specifically against my community, in the era of the dawn raids.”
The princess noted that while some members of her community may have committed wrongdoing at the time, that does not justify the extreme measures against them.
However, note that The New Zealand government will be able to improve its response to current immigration needs, a comment that has been warmly welcomed. He pointed out that petitions were submitted to search for ways to obtain legal residency for people who have obtained a visa and who have exceeded their authorized residency period.
The apology did not include larger financial compensation or legal changes, but many people with roots in the Pacific said it was an important first step
Source: AP and EFE.
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