Dawn Raids

New Zealand Parliament reflects on Dawn Raids in special debate

The acknowledgement and reflection of the 1970s Dawn Raids is now forever etched into government records after a special Parliamentary debate.

All political parties in the debate expressed their sorrow towards Pasifika who were traumatised and impacted by the Dawn Raids.

For a couple of Labour's Pacific MPs, the Dawn Raids hit home.

Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki relayed the words of her mother, who survived the Dawn Raids.

"I found refuge in my prayers to God to keep us safe and found peace in singing hymns as we leave our homes before dawn. 

Tongan survivor speaks out about Dawn Raids to Abuse in Care Royal Commission

Tesimoni Fuavao and his father moved to New Zealand in May 1975 through a medical visa, as Fuavao needed to undergo medical treatment. He was 19-years-old. His mother and the youngest of six siblings came soon after on the same medical grounds, while Fuavao’s other siblings stayed back in Tonga with their grandparents.

They lived in a five-bedroom house in Grey Lynn, Auckland with three families from the Tongan community who were New Zealand residents.

Fuavao had his operation and was in hospital for two weeks. “I continued to received outpatient care,” he said.

Tongan family releases '50-year-old secret' of unlawful arrest during dawn raids in NZ

Tesimoni Fuavao was 20 years old when four palagi (Pākehā) police officers barged into the family’s Grey Lynn home at 4.30am, entered his parents’ room and handcuffed them, accusing them of overstaying their visa.

They were carted away, leaving him and his 6-year-old brother alone for 30 hours while his parents were in custody.

Fuavao has been battling anger and resentment ever since that era of dawn raids, and he only recently told his parents’ 19 grandchildren what had happened.