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Ed Sheeran

Dawn Raids apology brings back tough memories

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Auckland Councillor Alf Filipaina says this month’s Government apology for the Dawn Raids could be a chance to heal for many people carrying long-standing trauma from the harsh immigration enforcement of the 1970s.

Mr Filipaina says the reason he was born in Taitokerau was his mother was hiding his Samoan father in her home kainga at Awaroa.

When he joined the police in 1978 his colleagues were still talking about how conflicted they were.

"Of course they didn't like it but it was their job at the time as police officers and the bosses said 'you need to do this,' so they did it. And they didn't like it. I feel sorry for the police then and also in situations now where they are caught in the middle and they get abuse, but that doesn't compare with what happened to the families who ended up getting raided,"

He says it was clearly a racist policy, as the majority of overstayers who were from the United Kingdom were ignored or approached with a knock on the door rather than a sledgehammer.

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