The Prime Minister New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has apologized Pacific Islanders an immigration policy in the early 1970s. The policy was known as the Dawn Raids. These involved police dogs waking up Pacific Islanders the early hours the morning to deport them. Pacific Islanders are from islands the South Pacific such as Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. Over 65,000 Pacific Islanders relocated New Zealand for work to help fill a shortage workers. The Dawn Raids focused those who allegedly overstayed their visas. Police deported them and put their children government care homes. Most over-stayers that time were from the UK, South Africa and Australia.
Ms Ardern expressed her government's "sorrow, remorse and regret" the raids. She took part a traditional Samoan forgiveness ceremony as part her apology. She was covered a large white mat to show forgiveness. Ardern said people still suffered the memories of the raids, and that "they live [today] in the disruption of trust and faith authorities". She told Islanders: "The treatment your ancestors was wrong." Ardern said Islanders in New Zealand today still "suffer the scars" the discriminatory policy. A Tongan princess thanked Ardern apologizing for the "inhumane and unjust" treatment her people. She said the apology was "a new dawn my community".