Armed police and dog squads burst into the homes of terrified families in the early hours of the morning in what critics call state-sponsored "terrorism" against Pacific communities in Aotearoa.
Nearly half a century on from that "shameful stain on New Zealand history", the Polynesian Panther Party says it's past due for the Government to apologise to those targeted in the dawn raids of the 1970s.
"There is ongoing trauma; broken people and families," says the party's foundation member Dr Melani Anae.
"The Government needs to take responsibility for its unjust treatment of Pacific people at the time, and to be held accountable for its abuse of power," Anae said.
Modelled on the Black Panthers who fought for racial equality in the US, the party established itself in the early 1970s as community leaders and advocates for Polynesians in Aotearoa.
It was a dark era for Pacific communities, culminating in government-authorised early-morning raids on homes of people suspected of over-staying the terms of their visas.
Police were armed with batons and megaphones. Disrupting children asleep in their beds, they shone torches in their faces and demanded identification and residency credentials of the families they found.
As the Polynesian Panthers look to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, leaders say families still haven't recovered from that time.
"People we have spoken with reflect a deep sense of shame," Anae said.
"One person was dawn raided at the age of 20. They were so damaged that to this day they were unable to talk about this experience - even to his wife.
"We are finding that there are many Pacific people who are reluctant to come forward with these stories because the feelings are still raw."
Panthers co-founder Will Ilolahia remembered a Pasifika woman who fled to the South Island and kept her story quiet for 40 years.
"She couldn't understand why police would smash her door down for looking like a Pacific Islander.
"She stayed silent for decades as a result of the trauma."
The Panthers have put their support behind an open letter from Pasifika film-maker Benji Timu calling Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to make a public apology over the raids.
Timu's letter says the raids have led to generational-trauma.
"Aggressive reinforcement epitomised the police as an organisation, creating a further distrust in the government, still prevalent today.
"The past is implied as forgiven and forgotten; however, the effects of the past still linger in the fabric of our identity 50 years on."
Timu told the Herald addressing this part of history and issuing an apology would be the foundation towards Pasifika growth in New Zealand.
Failing to acknowledge the past could effect rangatahi (youth) because of the ongoing distrust between Polynesians, police and government.
Anae said the Government "seems receptive to the idea of an apology" but both parties are still discussing what that would entail.
"In general terms, the outcomes we are looking for will be educative, enduring and restorative."
The party is trying to ensure that history is not lost by educating Auckland students through school visits.
"The government has always controlled the historical narrative of NZ through policy and educational curriculum."
"The Polynesian Panther Party sees a change coming in 2022."
The Green Party is also calling on Dawn Raids history to be taught in schools, crucial to ensuring past mistakes are not repeated.
"It also highlights and recognises the unique relationship between Māori and whānau mai Te Moana Nui-ā-Kiwa [people of the Pacific]," Green Party spokesman for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono said.
"It is important we also acknowledge the legacy of the Polynesian Panthers and the role they played to stand up for the rights of Pacific communities. They ran food co-ops, homework centres, lobbied for support services and importantly organised against the Dawn Raids."
"The Dawn Raids are a shameful stain on New Zealand history, defined by racial tension and unrest as police and immigration authorities victimised Pacific Islanders they suspected of abusing the terms of their visas.
"It was a racist attack on Pacific families and communities that was fuelled and enabled by the New Zealand Government."
A spokesperson for Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said talks are underway and the Government wants to see the issue resolved.
"It is a complex matter that has to be thoroughly discussed and the minister is working hard on this."