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New Zealand to celebrate anniversary of Dawn Raids apology today

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New Zealand to celebrate anniversary of Dawn Raids apology today

New Zealand Dawn Raids apology
New Zealand Dawn Raids apology | Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The official one-year anniversary celebration of the Dawn Raids apology will be held in Ōrākei Marae, New Zealand.

The Dawn Raids were a series of government raids in the 1970s disproportionately targeting Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand for deportation despite many having legal status. Last year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologized for the government’s actions. This year’s celebration will focus on educating the public on New Zealand’s past racism while also celebrating current and future diversity and culture.

The raids have been a sore spot in Wellington’s diplomatic relations with their Pacific Island neighbors, particularly Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Recently, New Zealand has sought to repair and strengthen diplomatic relations with the Pacific islands to counter China’s strategic involvement in the region.

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Today’s celebration will most likely further good relations between New Zealand and its neighbors in the short-term. Improved relations will open more avenues for diplomatic cooperation. in areas such as trade, investment, and security. This will strengthen New Zealand and Western presence in the Indo-Pacific in the medium-term. Long-term, however, it is unclear if the West will be able to pull these strategic islands back into their orbit without trade deals to counter China.

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