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2021 Dawn Raids Apology Timeline

Media 12 Aug 2021

Earlier this year, many groups, including the Polynesian Panthers were becoming vocal about the Dawn Raids that occurred in the 1970s.

This was followed by a letter campaign that encouraged people to write to the Prime Minister seeking a formal apology.

On 17 May 2021, a petition by Josiah Tualamali'i and Benji Timu was established, calling for the House of Representatives to:

- urge the Government to apologise for the Dawn Raids

- hold a special debate to acknowledge and reflect on the Dawn Raids

- set up a legacy fund to allow education about them to continue

On 6 June, the petition closed and was signed by 7,366 people.

On 14 June, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made an announcement that on behalf of the Government, she would formally apologise to the Pasifika community for the race-based dawn raids of the 1970s, which traumatised the family of one of her ministers.

Between 16 and 19 June, the Polynesian Panthers celebrated their 50th anniversary marking the beginning of their social justice movement in New Zealand which played a role in the eventual halt of the deportation scheme, that targeted Pacific Islanders.

On 23 June, the petition was presented to Parliament and was received by Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, co-leader of Te Paati Māori/The Māori Party alongside Māori Party MP Rawiri Waititi, Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono, National MP Matt Doocey, and Labour MPs Dr Neru Leavasa, Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, and Terisa Ngobi. The petition is currently before the Petitions Committee.

To view the full album click here.

On Sunday 1 August the Government issued a formal apology from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, at the Auckland Town Hall and observed a contemporary practice of ifoga – a traditional Samoan display of reconciliation involving draping an ie toga (fine mat) over the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern. The ie toga was removed by elders of the Pacific Community as a symbol of forgiveness. To view the Prime Minister’s speech click here.

On 10 August, a special debate to acknowledge and reflect on the Dawn Raids was held in Parliament and included 10 speeches from MPs across the House.

You can view each special debate speech below:

Speech one - Hon Aupito William Sio (Labour)

Speech two – Hon Judith Collins (National)

Speech three – Teanau Tuiono (Green)

Speech four – Dr James McDowall (ACT)

Speech five - Rawiri Waititi (Maori)

Speech six – Anahila Kanongataha-Suisuiki (Labour)

Speech seven - Dr Shane Reti (National)

Speech eight – Barbara Edmonds (Labour)

Speech nine – Todd McClay (National)

Speech ten – Dr Anae Neru Leavasa (Labour)