Dawn Raids apology anniversary heralds Pacific-Māori partnership

Pacific Peoples

Pacific peoples and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei  welcomed a new dawn of partnership and prosperity at a Dawn Raids apology commemoration ceremony in Auckland this morning, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

Pacific representatives, the central Auckland hapū - Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and Government officials came together for the three-hour dawn ceremony at Ōrākei Marae.

“This event not only commemorates the one-year anniversary of the Dawn Raids apology, but also symbolises the past, present and future journey of Pacific in Aotearoa,” Aupito William Sio said.

“Last year when the Prime Minister delivered the Government’s apology for the trauma, hurt and pain ­Pacific and Maori experienced from the racist and discriminatory 'Dawn Raids' policies of the 1970s, we wanted to help usher in a period of healing, and a process where we can collectively work together to address the harms caused by racism and discrimination in society generally. 

“This partnership will help ensure our young people are not shackled by racism and can thrive, prosper and realize their fullest potential as present and future leaders of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“What we are looking to now is a future of lasting prosperity between tangata whenua of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Pacific peoples,” said Aupito William Sio.

The ceremony began with a Remembrance and Reflection segment that included a pōhiri onto Ōrākei Marae.

The final segment of the ceremony – Looking Towards Our Future – included the announcement of scholarship award recipients for the Ministry of Education’s Tuli Takes Flight Fund and the launch of round two of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ Teu Le Va Dawn Raids History Community Fund, which provides funding to enable Pacific communities to share their experiences of the Dawn Raids.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Chair Marama Royal says she is proud to host the commemorations and celebrations at Ōrākei Marae.

“As we look to the past, present and future, we note that the kaupapa that took place today is an important moment in history.

“It’s a symbol of strength and unity between tangata whenua and Pacific people across our city of Tāmaki Makaurau, and Aoteraroa,” Marama Royal said.

“Fifty years on, from what will forever be a hurtful chapter in Pacific peoples’ story, we continue to honour the foundations of Pacific Aotearoa with love and respect,” said Aupito William Sio.