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Official apology - 4th August 2021 View All

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, made an apology to the Pacific communities in the country. She asked for forgiveness for the way New Zealand's government treated them in the past.

Immigration officials and police officers raided people's homes early in the mornings. This is now known as the “dawn raids”. They were arresting and deporting anyone who had expired visas.

Jacinda Ardern: "Today, I stand on behalf of the New Zealand government to offer a formal and unreserved apology to Pacific communities for the discriminatory implementation of the immigration laws of the 1970s that led to the events of the Dawn Raids."

New Zealand had a lack of workers after World War Two. They invited Pacific peoples, Europeans and Americans to come and work there.

However, there was an economic crash in the 1970s. People started blaming immigrants for New Zealanders' unemployment.

New immigration rules targeted people mainly from Tonga, Fiji and Samoa. This group represented only one third of immigrants with expired visas; however, they make up 86 percent of arrests made.

Jacinda Ardern: "Our government conveys to the future generations of Aotearoa that the past actions of the Crown were wrong, and that the treatment of your ancestors was wrong. We convey to you our deepest and sincerest apology."

Ardern is focused on ending racism in New Zealand. She hopes her apology will bring healing. She also hopes it'll rebuild trust between her government and the community. View Less

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