In June 2021, Cabinet agreed to a formal government apology to Pacific communities for the events of the Dawn Raids. Cabinet also agreed to goodwill gestures to accompany the apology, which included developing a community-facilitated historical account of the Dawn Raids.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) received government funding to facilitate and deliver this Vaka of Stories historical account.
The Vaka of Stories is an initiative intended to facilitate healing by enabling people impacted by the events of the Dawn Raids, both directly and indirectly, to share their experiences in a safe environment.
A ‘Vaka’ will travel around Aotearoa New Zealand to collect stories and experiences of the Dawn Raids from communities. The stories will then be collated into a historical report.
The Vaka of Stories was launched on Thursday 6 July 2023 at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa EFKS Grey Lynn, 20 Leighton Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland.
Following this event, we will have spaces available across the regions as we would love to have you visit and share your journey with us.
The Vaka of Stories aims to bring our communities together in a safe space to share our Dawn Raids experiences. We understand that sharing this information will be difficult, and we want you to know that our team will be there to listen and support you as you tell us your story in your language. This is a one-on-one Talanoa session with you or your family and friends.
If you want to change the future by sharing your story, we invite you and your family to come to our drop-in centre in Ōtāhuhu or Ōtara this week, where our team will be available to listen and support you as you share your truth.
Below are key dates and locations, including RSVP links to attend:
For information on what to expect at each Malaga stop, click on the 'Vaka of Stories stops - what to expect' tab further down this page.
Date: Saturday 16 September 2023
Location: Level 1, BNZ Centre, 120 Hereford Street, Christchurch CBD
Staff will be on hand to welcome and guide you to the correct floor.
Date: Saturday 23 September 2023
Location: Pacific Trust Otago, 16 McBride Street, South Dunedin
The drop-in centre is your space to share your story, whether you were directly impacted, or your loved ones were affected. You could also have been affected due to perceptions or attitudes around you that were informed by the Dawn Raids.
You are welcome to come along with your family and friends to support you on the day.
A vaka stop is a full-day drop-in session facilitated locally at either a church or community centre that is accessible to the public. People can join in at any time throughout the session. People will also be encouraged to tell their stories in their own language if they choose to.
A typical vaka stop programme allows people to choose how they want to participate. These components will run at the same time across the day:
At every stop and in all three components of a vaka stop there will be a support team and trained facilitators to ensure we meet the objectives of the Vaka of Stories.
We’ve developed this step-by-step guide to help you prepare our Dawn Raids stories if you want to create them yourself.
Step 1: Plan your story
Step 2: Find a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed
Step 3: Prepare your device to record (see the tips below)
Step 4: Make your recording
|The Dawn Raids impacted my grandparents, can I still share my story as a family member?
Yes. You can either share about your grandparents’ experience or you can share about your own experience growing up in a family that had endured through the Dawn Raids period.
|Can I share my story in my own language?
|Yes, you are welcome to share in your own language. You can also bring along a family member or friend if you would like your story translated for those present.
|I don't want to share my story publicly. Can I share in private during the Vaka of Stories?
|Yes. The Vaka stops will include different sessions including a public session, smaller group sharing and one-on-one story sharing. You are welcome to engage in any session you feel comfortable with.
|What happens to my story after it's been recorded?
|The stories shared through the Vaka stops will be collected and compiled into a historical record of the Dawn Raids period.
|What happens to my story if I later decide to withdraw it?
|We understand that for a number of reasons, you may wish to later withdraw your story. Should you wish to withdraw your story from the historical report, please contact the Vaka of Stories team at [email protected].
|Where can I see updates about the Vaka of Stories?
|You can find up-to-date information on this webpage and social media channels. You can also contact the team via email at [email protected].