Story: Tongans

Tongan overstayers

In the 1960s and 1970s many Tongans stayed on beyond their three-month work permit. In 1974 the New Zealand government announced an amnesty: they were to return to Tonga by a set time or be arrested. In this interview the Tongan lawyer Clive Edwards discusses the panic caused by this announcement. Eventually the police began making dawn raids on the overstayers. The flyer records a protest in March, 1974, following one of the first dawn raids.

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Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero
Reference: Race - New Zealand Issues Record ID 31

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Radio New Zealand collection. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (Overstayers panic over amnesty misunderstanding/Reference number MR880121).

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How to cite this page:

Melenaite Taumoefolau, 'Tongans - Migrations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/3905/tongan-overstayers (accessed 13 December 2019)

Story by Melenaite Taumoefolau, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 25 Mar 2015