Story: Samoans

Dawn Raids apology

In August 2021, following lobbying by the Polynesian Panther Party and others, the New Zealand government held an event to apologise for the distress and hurt caused to Pacific communities living in New Zealand during the period of the Dawn Raids in the 1970s. During the three-hour ceremony, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took part in a modified ifoga, a traditional Samoan ceremony of apology and the asking or receiving of forgiveness. As shown in the video, Ardern, seated, was covered in a traditional mat. Pacific and Māori members of Parliament, including Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio (on the prime minister’s right), stood behind her and assisted with the placement of the mat. Representatives of the communities impacted by the Dawn Raids came to stand in front of her while the mat was in place, and then embraced her as the mat was removed. 

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How to cite this page:

Lupematasila Melani Anae, 'Samoans - History and migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 July 2024)

Story by Lupematasila Melani Anae, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 7 Sep 2022 with assistance from  Lupematasila Melani Anae