Sunday 01 August 2021
Racism scandal in the 1970s
New Zealand apologizes for raids
In the 1970s, New Zealand police were particularly strict on non-white people whose permits had expired. Now the government apologizes for the racist raids at dawn.
The New Zealand government has apologized for its often brutal crackdown on immigrants from other Pacific islands in the 1970s. In what became known as the “dawn raids,” police mostly targeted non-white people from Pacific nations whose residence permits had expired. They were often treated in a degrading manner. In fact, at the time, the number of British Americans and Americans who overstayed their visas was far greater than the number of South Sea Islanders.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a typical Samoan toga to a party. “I stand before you as a symbol of the crown that wronged you almost 50 years ago,” she said. Immigration enforcement is a thing, but the Dawn raids go well beyond that. The government wanted to express its “sadness, remorse and regret”.
As part of the apology, you will be offering scholarships and providing educational resources to tell the story of the dawn raids. This would pave the way for “a new dawn and a new beginning for the peoples of New Zealand in the Pacific”.
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