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Morning Briefing June 15: The Government moves to right a wrong

The Government prepares a formal apology over the dawn raids, producers share the synopsis for the controversial March 15 film, and the UK delays the easing of its Covid restrictions.

Jacinda Ardern and Aupito William Sio. Source: 1 NEWS

The Government’s upcoming formal apology for the infamous dawn raids of the 1970s has been touted as a first step towards healing scars within the Pasifika community.

The politically driven crackdown on overstayers from the Pacific Islands involved special squads raiding homes and workplaces, often in the early morning. It followed decades of Pasifika people being lured to the country to fill labour shortages.

Critics say the raids were racist attacks given most overstayers at the time were from Europe or North America. 

Emotions ran high at Parliament yesterday as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed details of the apology slated for June 26. She described the dawn raids as “severe” and “discriminatory”

"An apology can never reverse what happened or undo the damage caused but we can acknowledge it and we can seek to right a wrong,” she says.

Ardern was joined by Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at yesterday’s announcement, who wiped away tears while describing his own experience of the dawn raids.

He says the apology is about helping traumatised people to heal. 

The Polynesian Panthers, who have been pushing for the apology, say they welcome the move, but they also want measures in place to stop history repeating.

Dr Melani Anae told RNZ they want “action, not words”. Anae and several other Polynesian Panthers will join TVNZ’s Breakfast just after 7am to discuss the apology further.

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Community to collaborate on film

Those affected by the Christchurch terrorist attacks two years ago have agreed to work with filmmakers on the controversial new film They Are Us.

The movie has been met with criticism for focusing on Jacinda Ardern’s actions following the attack rather than on the victims.

However, the Muslim Association of Canterbury has released a joint statement with the film’s producer overnight, indicating their intentions to collaborate and highlight the stories of survivors and acts of heroism. The synopsis for the film has also been shared

The news follows a New Zealand producer withdrawing from the project yesterday, citing its intense criticism.

UK delays easing of lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the Government is holding off on their final relaxing of Covid restrictions as concern grows over the spread of the Delta variant of the virus.

All restrictions were set to lift next week, however that date has now been pushed back until July 19. 

The Delta variant, first identified in India, has now been detected in more than 70 countries and researchers are warning it may be mistaken for a milder illness.

A headache, sore throat, and runny nose are now the most commonly reported Covid symptoms, while a cough or loss of smell or taste are apparently becoming less frequent.

Their data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible, increases the risk of hospitalisation, and can potentially render vaccines somewhat less effective.

That research comes as vaccine maker Novavax reveals its Covid jab is highly effective against the disease and protected against variants in a large study. However, authorisation of their two-dose vaccine is still months away. 

Controversial landfill gets green light

Auckland Council has granted resource consent for a landfill in Dome Valley that some locals fear could pollute nearby waterways.

Waste Management applied for the resource consent for the 60-hectare dump near Warkworth, saying the landfill is needed to cater for Auckland’s growth.

However, the plan is strongly opposed by iwi and community groups due to cultural and environmental concerns.

Protest group 'Fight The Tip, Save The Dome' say they will continue their campaign against the development. 

Caution over mail order DNA tests

Direct-to-consumer or mail-order DNA tests have become increasingly popular, with more than 200 companies lining up to test your DNA for a whole range of things.

Fair Go presenter Pippa Wetzell underwent two such tests with two companies – and wound up getting vastly different results.

But as her report last night found, there are other things to be aware of before signing up and handing over your DNA...

Other news of note this morning: 

- A man whose drawings led to the exposure of torture and abuse at the Lake Alice psychiatric unit for children has spoken about his horrific treatment at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse.

- Jacinda Ardern says she was misled by the authors of a new book that centres on her leadership.

- The man eventually pardoned for one of New Zealand's most notorious unsolved murders has gone on trial on five historic sex charges.

- Farmers and tradies say the Government's clean car package is an unfair tax on them as no alternatives are currently available for their work vehicles.

- A campaign’s been launched to encourage conversations around intimate images as new research shows five per cent of young New Zealanders have shared a nude picture of themselves. 

- The Waitematā District Health Board has been found in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights after a surgical instrument was left in a man's abdomen following surgery.

- And not all berms are maintained equally – so one Auckland man has decided to do something about the issue.

And finally...

Wasabi, a Pekingese, rests on the winner's podium with its trophy and ribbons after winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Source: Associated Press

A Pekingese named Wasabi was the flavour of the day at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Judges awarded Wasabi best in show after he waddled around the ring and “stood there as though he was a lion” rather than a small dog.

And how did this very good boy celebrate winning dogdom’s most prestigious title? With a filet mignon, obviously.