Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 417, 4 August 2021

New Zealand: Pacific communities receive a long-overdue apology
Avishka Ashok

In the news
On 1 August, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern represented the government and formally apologized to the Pacific communities for the relentless "Dawn Raids" which targeted individuals from the Pacific islands of Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and more. While addressing the crowd gathered at the Auckland town hall, she said: "The immigration laws of the time were enforced in a discriminatory manner and that Pacific peoples were specifically targeted and racially profiled when these activities were carried out."
 
Issues at large
First, the Dawn Raids. The Dawn Raids refer to the crackdown on the Pacific communities by the Labour government in the mid-1970s. In 1974, the police in Auckland, equipped by the government, started conducting raids in an attempt to deport outsiders who were overstaying their work permit. The raids were conducted at dawn to catch overstayers before they left for work. This move was initiated due to the economic downturn which led to heightened unemployment and jobs scarcity. There was a growing anti-foreigner sentiment as New Zealanders were increasingly losing out to Pacific Islanders on economic opportunities. The Dawn Raids were problematic because the raids intentionally targeted people who did not look like "White New Zealanders." Even though both, Pacific communities and the Europeans, represented one third of the overstayers each, the rate of deportation was 86 per cent for the Islanders while that of Europeans was five per cent.
 
Second, the Pacific communities in New Zealand. The Pacific Islanders include people from Hawaii, Samoan Islands, Tokelau, Tahiti, Tonga and other Micronesian and Melanesian islands. This populace has steadily evolved in New Zealand; from 2200 people in 1945 to 2,95,941 people in 2013 which is almost 7.4 per cent of the total population. The Islanders starting moving to the country in big numbers in 1950s during the industrial boost. However, this minority community is often subject to discrimination which had been covertly institutionalized in the 1970s. The 2013 National Statistics prove this discrimination as the group of Islanders earned lesser than the national average and over 28 per cent of the children belonging to the community lived in poor conditions. The Recognized Seasonal Employer Scheme (2007) further propagates this discrimination as it allows for the agricultural sector to employ foreigners for seasonal work; thereby exploiting the Islanders as cheap and disposable labour and also limiting their right to live permanently in the country.
 
Third, intolerance in New Zealand. Despite being considered as a tolerant country, New Zealand has also had a history of discriminatory policies against select groups of individuals. It imposed a poll tax on Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century and there have been numerous instances of discrimination against Samoan communities. A small part of the population in the country continues to see Islanders as secondary citizens who drain the economy.
 
Fourth, the Polynesian Panther's demands. The Polynesian Panthers Party ignited a movement to protect their community's rights and improve their quality of their life in New Zealand. They also pushed for the national apology in April 2021 and demanded schools to educate students regarding the unfair discrimination and provide scholarships for students from the community. The party aims to end the prejudice against the Pacific Islanders by enlightening the people regarding the conduct of the government instead of brushing it off.
 
In perspective
New Zealand's apology to the community comes after half a decade but is a positive step towards accepting Islanders as a part of the country. The apology also comes at a time when there is a growing indigenous movement, not just in the Pacific Ocean region but also across the world in Canada, the US, Mexico and more.

October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 447
The US: Protests against the Texas anti-abortion law
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 444
Brazil: Anti-Bolsonaro protests across the country

September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 441
Yemen: Houthis continue to capture territories
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 439
Europe: Pride Marches in Serbia and Ukraine
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 437
Brazil: Protestors call for the impeachment of Bolsonaro
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 435
Guinea: Another coup in Africa
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 431
Climate Change: Hurricane Ida destructs the US Gulf Coast
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 422
Europe: Measures to curb pandemic trigger protests
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 418
Peru: Protests a sign of challenges facing Castillo
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 411
Wildfires: Siberia to the US

July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 409
Bosnia: 26 years after the Srebrenica Massacre
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 405
Colombia: Two months of protests
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 399
Myanmar: New UNGA resolution

June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 397
Myanmar: The Aung San Suu Kyi trial begins
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 390
Burkina Faso: Another massacre in Africa
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 386
Nigeria: Another mass abduction grips Niger state
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 385
Colombia: The protests continue
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 382
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: The long road to peace
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 380
Colombia: Three weeks of protests
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 378
Israel-Palestine: Who wants what?
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 374
Yemen: The Battle for Marib rages on
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 371
Pakistan: Meetings with Afghan leaders

April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 369
Israel-Syria: Continuing Missile Strikes
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 362
Iran: Another act of
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire

February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars

December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists

November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan

September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations

August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal
January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings
December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019

November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar