The Reading / Listening – Dawn Raids – Level 1

New Zealand apologized to people from South Pacific islands like Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. Over 65,000 Islanders worked in New Zealand. There was a shortage of workers in the 1970s. Police with dogs woke up some Islanders early in the morning to deport them. This was known as the Dawn Raids. Police focused on people who overstayed their visas. Police put the children of over-stayers in government care homes.

Ms Ardern said she regretted the raids happened. She took part in a Samoan forgiveness ceremony. She said Islanders still hurt today because of the raids and still “suffer the scars”. Many do not trust the police. She said the Dawn Raids policy was wrong. A princess from Tonga thanked Ms Ardern for the apology. She called it “a new dawn” for her community. She said the treatment of her people in the 1970s was “inhumane”.