Prime Minister of New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern repaired bonds on Sunday with a faction of the society, who were ethnically charged and targeted by the government authorities through crackdown on them in a bid to arrest and deport the overstayers in the Country during the 1970s. This atrocious campaign of New Zealand LEAs is known as dawn raids. However, after a half century Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reached out to the members of the Pacific Island Community and took part in the traditional and emotional ceremony of “ifoga” at the Auckland Town Hall to get an apology on behalf of the New Zealand government for all those misdeeds. While seeking apology, the New Zealand Prime Minister announced funds for education and training scholarships for Pacific communities and promised to compile an official account of the raids from written records and oral history.
According to reports, the New Zealand government introduced an incentivized visa policy to fulfill its labour demand from Pacific Countries during the 1950s and Pacific Islander community grew rapidly during this time. However, during the early 1970s the New Zealand economy declined due to some international developments including UK participation in European Economic Community. The downturn in Economic position led to increase in unemployment, crimes, and other social problems in the Country. The New Zealand government created a Special Police Task Force to root out the illegal immigrants and overstayers and launched an operation, which remained continuous for a decade and its memories are still fresh in the minds and hearts of the Islander Communities. The issue of dawn raids remained a stigma for the victim community as well as the government. The pacific Islander Community is of the view that there may be some individuals who violated the law but the policy of penalizing the whole community was not based on justice. The Pacific Island Community sees the government’s apology as a new dawn for themselves and hopes it would be the beginning of a solution of immigration problem in the country. Although Jacinda did not announce any monetary compensation for the victims, her emotional words and acts have induced great relief to the broken hearts of the victim community.