Psychiatrists welcome Government’s Dawn Raids apology

03 August 2021

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) welcomes the New Zealand Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids.

The Dawn Raids carried out in the 1970s were a racist targeting of our Pasifika communities – especially Tongan and Samoan households.

Dr Francis Agnew, spokesperson for the Tu Te Akaaka Roa – RANZCP New Zealand National Committee, said the acknowledgment of the Dawn Raids is important for the harm the Dawn Raids caused.

‘Now Aotearoa New Zealand can begin to move forward,’ said Dr Agnew, who was awarded the MNZM for services to Pacific mental health.

‘The trauma endured because of these policies was significant and ongoing. The impact is still felt by many Pasifika accessing our mental health services.

‘The Raids occurred against a backdrop of racist immigration policies and policies where Pasifika (and Māori) were subjected to random checks in hotels, on the streets and in their homes.

‘It was a very difficult time for us, and some Pasifika have experienced mental health issues as a result.

‘Pasifika also felt let down by the Government. An apology will help to begin rebuilding trust of government agencies.' 

The RANZCP acknowledges the generous response from Princess Mele Siu'ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili of the Kingdom of Tonga, Toesulu Brown, Reverend Alec Toleafoa, and the many others who attended the ceremony on Sunday.

'We hope that the funding for educational and training scholarships will support Pasifika youth as they shape a thriving future for our communities,' said Dr Agnew.

For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 437 315 911, or email