It has been 50 years since the Polynesian Panthers were formed, and now a call for a formal government apology for the Dawn Raids has come.
“This apology is long overdue. The Dawn Raids are a shameful stain on New Zealand history, defined by racial tension and unrest as police and immigration authorities victimised Pacific Islanders they suspected of abusing the terms of their visas. It was a racist attack on Pacific families & communities that was fuelled and enabled by the New Zealand government”, says Green Party spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono.
“It is important we also acknowledge the legacy of the Polynesian Panthers and the role they played to stand up for the rights of Pacific communities. They ran food co-ops, homework centres, lobbied for support services and importantly organised against the Dawn Raids.
“Ensuring that this history is remembered and taught in schools is not only crucial to ensuring we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, but it also highlights and recognises the unique relationship between Māori and whānau mai Te Moana Nui-ā-Kiwa.
“This is why we also support the call for a pathway towards residency for today’s over stayers.
“We must do better than past governments. An apology is well due.”