Pacific Communities

Pacific community makes super vaccination effort

Thousands of Pacific people have taken the chance to be vaccinated against Covid-19 - with organisers going out of their way to make many events as much fun as possible.

In Onehunga at the Langimalie Supervax Event long queues of cars held occupants waited to be vaccinated, while outside people danced in the streets, waving Tongan flags, and brightening the mood of all those around them.

In Ōtara, while the vibe was more chill, long lines still snaked slowly around the MIT carpark as large numbers waited for their doses.

Ardern gives formal apology on behalf of government for Dawn Raids

Ardern delivered the speech as part of a three and a half hour ceremony in front of more than 1000 people at the Auckland Town Hall.

She said the raids to find, convict and deport overstayers often took place late at night or early in the morning and were said to involve harsh verbal and physical treatment.

"Today I offer, on behalf of the government, a formal and unreserved apology to Pacific communities for the discriminatory implementation of immigration laws that led to the Dawn Raids," Ardern said.

Tongan princess in tears as she accepts formal Dawn Raids apology

The practice saw immigration officials target the homes of Pacific Islands people in the early hours of the morning, beginning in the 1970s, in a crackdown on alleged “overstaying” on their visas.

Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili began her acceptance speech by mixing the tears with laughter, Kaniva News reports.

“This is a typical Polynesian, crying, we are so emotional, I tell you, I’m sorry, it goes with the make-up,” she said.

She then went on to thank Ardern.

New Zealand Pacific communities ‘living with financial strain' of COVID-19

That was the message that community leaders heard at last week's meeting of the Pacific Leadership Forum in Auckland.

“It came through loud and clear that our people are feeling the impact of losing jobs and reduced hours at work," says Forum Chairman, Teleiai Edwin Puni.

“There is a huge social concern in the community.”

It was the first time in 15 months that the Forum's 36 community representatives were able to gather and discuss issues that affect Pacific people. ​

Among the other topics that came up were the Dawn Raids apology. 

NZ Government to formally apologise for 1970’s Dawn Raids on Pacific communities

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families.

The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers often took place very early in the morning or late at night and were routinely severe with demeaning, verbal and physical treatment.

“The Dawn Raids were a defining moment in New Zealand’s history and the emotional harm caused by them remains etched in the living memory of those who were directly impacted,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Important to keep Pacific communities informed - minister

Pacific people make up close to 75 percent of the cases in the Auckland cluster.

Commenting on whether he was concerned about the susceptibility of Pacific Islanders to Covid-19, Kris Faafoi said things like the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the community were concerning.

But he said Pacific people were no more susceptible now than they were during the first wave of Covid-19 and he reiterated that everyone was at risk.

Auckland's Pacific community celebrates new drivers

Their success came through a new programme supported by government agencies and business leaders in the city.

Pacific community churches helped to identify people who needed to learn how to drive, and those who were driving without a licence.

A ceremony marking the group's graduation was held in Mangere last week.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson said the aim of the 'Licensed for Success' programme was to help Māori and Pasifika gain employment and to reduce driving infractions.