(Picture caption: Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio and Secretary for Pacific Peoples Laulu Mac Leauanae plant a Fijian hibiscus plant on Ngāti Whātua land to commemorate the signing of a partnership between the Pacific community and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.)
Pacific peoples and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei welcomed a new dawn of partnership and prosperity at a Dawn Raids Apology commemoration ceremony in Auckland.
Government officials, Pacific representatives, and the central Auckland hapū Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei came together for the three-hour dawn ceremony at Ōrākei Marae, on Saturday.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio says this event not only commemorates the one-year anniversary of the Dawn Raids Apology, but also symbolises the past, present and future journey of Pacific in Aotearoa.
“When Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern delivered the Government’s apology in 2021 for the trauma, hurt and pain Pacific and Māori experienced from the racist and discriminatory Dawn Raids policies of the 1970s, I was absolutely clear this apology would help usher in a period of healing, and a process where we can collectively work together to address the harms caused by racism and discrimination in society generally,” he says.
“This partnership will help ensure our young people are not shackled by racism and can thrive, prosper and realise their fullest potential as present and future leaders of Aotearoa.
“What we are looking to now is a future of lasting prosperity between tangata whenua of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Pacific peoples.”
The ceremony began with a Remembrance and Reflection segment, including a pōhiri onto Ōrākei Marae.
To end the ceremony, there was a segment entitled Looking Towards Our Future, which included the announcement of scholarship award recipients for the Ministry of Education’s Tuli Takes Flight Fund and the launch of round two of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ Teu Le Va Dawn Raids History Community Fund, which provides funding to enable Pacific communities to share their experiences of the Dawn Raids.
“Fifty years on, from what will forever be a hurtful chapter in Pacific peoples’ story, we continue to honour the foundations of Pacific Aotearoa with love and respect,” Minister Sio says.
Meanwhile, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Chair Marama Royal says she is proud to host the commemorations and celebrations at Ōrākei Marae.
“As we look to the past, present and future, we note the kaupapa that took place today is an important moment in history,” she adds.
“It is a symbol of strength and unity between tangata whenua and Pacific people across our city of Tāmaki Makaurau, and Aotearoa.”
To see a livestream of the event, please visit our MPP Facebook page.