New Zealand's Ardern Formally Apologises for 1970s Crackdown on Pacific Islanders
12:14 GMT 01.08.2021 (Updated: 12:18 GMT 01.08.2021)
© AP Photo / Yoan ValatIn this May 15, 2019, file photo, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, as part of the "Tech For Good" summit in Paris. New Zealand's government is planning further restrictions on gun ownership in a proposed law that emphasises owning guns is a privilege and not a right.
© AP Photo / Yoan Valat
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern on Sunday offered apologies for an immigration crackdown in the 1970s against Pacific Islanders, known as the Dawn Raids.
"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. The government expresses its sorrow, remorse, and regret that the Dawn Raids and random police checks occurred and that these actions were ever considered appropriate", Ardern said.
As part of a traditional Samoan ceremony, in which people ask for forgiveness or receive forgiveness, the prime minister had a mat draped over her by several of her ministers and lawmakers at the Auckland Town Hall.
In the early 1970s when New Zealand suffered from an economic crisis and unemployment, the authorities conducted early morning raids in the homes and workplaces of people from the Pacific Islands who had overstayed their visas. The operations resulted in the deportation of individuals to their countries of origin and prosecution of thousands of Pacific Islanders.