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Collins says formal dawn raids apology is 'absolutely' the right thing to do

National leader Judith Collins says the Government formally apologosing for the dawn raids is "absolutely" the right thing to do. 

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National’s leader told Breakfast the policy was “absolutely racist” and targeted at Pasifika people. Source: Breakfast

The apology will be delivered later this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday. 

Immigration officials targeted the homes of people from the Pacific Islands in the early hours of the morning, beginning in the 1970s in a crackdown on alleged "overstaying".

The policy followed a boom in jobs after World War II, where many people from the Pacific Islands were encouraged to come to New Zealand to fill roles in growing industries.

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Government to formally apologise for dawn raids targeting Pasifika later this month

Pacific People's Minister Aupito William Sio wiped away tears as Ardern confirmed the apology

Collins told Breakfast the policy was "absolutely targeted at Pasifika people" and was "absolutely racist". 

She said the policy was "driven by fear", largely over unemployment, "scapegoats were sought" and Pasifika were an "easy target". 

Collins acknowledged Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk had brought in the policy, but that National Prime Minister Robert Muldoon had "kept it up with vigor". 

Ardern and the Government will formally apologise for the 1970s dawn raids that targeted the Pacific community on June 26 in the Auckland Town Hall.