New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has apologized for a dark page in the country’s history: the dawn raids. The raids were racially motivated arrests of immigrants whose visas had expired.
At a party in Auckland City Hall. The Prime Minister sat motionless during the ceremony, covered in a white sheet. The paper was removed minutes later and Ardern hugged.
It’s part of Ardern’s apology to the people of Pacifica. In the 1950s, many people were drawn to come and work. People from Pacific islands like Samoa, Tonga and Fiji can find jobs in New Zealand. By 1970 the population grew steadily. Some setbacks have caused economic hardship and mass layoffs on the island, which have hardly hit other Pacific residents. The government then decided on mass deportation and people whose visas expired in the morning could be arrested at dawn.
The Prime Minister participated in a Samoa celebration, where someone asked for forgiveness and at the same time was publicly humiliated. “The events of fifty years ago are engraved in the memories of those who lived in them. To this day, it creates mistrust towards the government. There is still resentment among the peoples of the Pacific. We have to admit what happened there,” the prime minister said. The government promised By allocating more money for the education of the Pacific peoples and by recording the “dawn raids” in the history books.