An education campaign needs to follow the Government's apology over the immigration Dawn Raids that racially targeted Pasifika in the mid-1970s, say those who delivered a petition to Parliament.
It comes as the official apology originally scheduled for this Saturday in Auckland has been postponed due to Wellington moving to alert level 2, meaning politicians including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would not have been able to attend.
Ardern had announced the apology this month, saying it would be in line with past government apologies, and not look into any amnesty or compensation issues.
She also did not commit to any specific education policies.
On Wednesday Josiah Tualamali'i and Benji Timu presented their petition calling for an apology for the Dawn Raids and to enable education in Aotearoa about them, with nearly 8000 signatures.
The petition was part of a broader campaign, including from the Polynesian Panthers, for the Government to apologise for the immigration raids of the mid-1970s that disproportionately targeted people of Pasifika heritage, suspected of overstaying their visas.
A study a decade later showed Polynesians had made up only a third of overstayers but more than 80 per cent of all prosecutions for overstaying.
Tualamali'i said while it was "huge" to get the apology, they would continue pushing for resources for education.
He also praised the news there would be a general debate next Thursday in Parliament about the Dawn Raids, giving politicians the opportunity to have their views recorded in history.
"It will help a lot of hearing those words. We hope this is the beginning of more to come, for a legacy fund for education to follow."
He said he supported calls for an inquiry into the Dawn Raids and wider Pasifika identity in Aotearoa, but that was not their current focus.
Te Paati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who accepted the petition, said the apology needed to be "the beginning not the end".
She reflected on her own whakapapa to Taranaki and the "uprooting" of their people and culture, and four mokopuna with Sāmoan heritage.
She had pushed for the House debate next week, and said that would be another step in asserting the facts about this "shameful" chapter of Aotearoa's history.
"This brings accountability. You cannot apologise and expect that to be the end of it."
She supported the idea of an inquiry, and said funding needs to be provided to ensure the Dawn Raids were taught about in schools.
Green Party spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono said the apology was an important first step but needed to be accompanied by education.
He said the curriculum review was the perfect opportunity to ensure this occurred.
He also reiterated calls for a broad amnesty for overstayers and changes to immigration.
Timu said since the apology was announced he'd had four family members share their experiences of the Dawn Raids.
"I am 27, grew up in Auckland and only learned about the Dawn Raids in general two years ago."
He hoped more and more stories would come out as a result of the apology.
"Pacific people we are easily shamed and embarrassed, especially those who lived in a country that didn't want them.
"Maybe they did not have a capacity to think of it as a race issue. But young people now 50 years later people are able to think in retrospect. It is about getting the stories out there."
Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio, who recently shared an emotional account of a Dawn Raid his family experienced, said he had heard the calls for the apology to be accompanied by further action but urged people to wait until after the apology.
The delay was disappointing, but more for those ready to share their stories, he said.
There was no new date decided yet.
The dawn raids began in 1974 when the then Labour government, faced with an economic downturn, clamped down on people overstaying their working visas.
Samoans and Tongans - welcomed into New Zealand with open arms in the 1950s and 60s to relieve a huge labour shortage - became the scapegoats of rising unemployment, and were the main targets.
Police with dogs would burst into homes at dawn across the country; Pacific people were randomly stopped in the street.
The election of a National government at the end of 1975 was followed by a fresh wave of raids against Pacific Island communities.
Opposition, led by Pasifika community groups including the Polynesian Panthers, grew slowly and by 1977 immigration procedures were changed.
In announcing the apology last week, Ardern said the raids were "routinely severe, with demeaning verbal and physical treatment", and racially targeted Pasifika.
They were accompanied by racist checks in the streets of Pasifika and other people of colour, including Māori.