The Pacific's $196 million package in this year's Budget includes a big chunk set to help deliver a proper historical account of the infamous Dawn Raids.
Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, has revealed several big wins for Pasifika communities that focus on improving health, housing, incomes and education.
One of the standout announcements is $13.7 million to implement the Government's commitment to deliver a historical account on the immigration raids of the mid-1970s.
Police at the time were known for carrying out raids on Polynesian and other Pacific families suspected to be overstayers. The raids were usually carried out in the early hours of the morning - resulting in them being referred to as dawn raids.
Ensuring Dawn Raids history is right
Many Pacific families in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, were impacted at the time; with Minister Aupito himself calling it a "traumatising" experience for his own aiga.
Last year, the Government made a formal apology that saw Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern being draped with a fine mat - carrying out the act of ifoga, the traditional Samoan apology.
"The Government is committed to delivering on its Dawn Raids apology package in this Budget as well," Aupito said.
"The package will give greater public understanding of what Dawn Raids means to our nation and to enable the Teu le Va - to help restore harmonious relationship of mana and dignity and empower our young people especially to be resilient, confident and vibrant."
The money will go towards the Teu le Va Community Fund for community-led multimedia history projects that help capture a historical account of what happened during that time.
The fund is part of a reconciliation process and will see people being able to share stories of their experiences during the Dawn Raids.
The aim is to generate, preserve, raise awareness and pass on knowledge of this time in New Zealand's history.
The money will also be used for initiatives to produce a historical account report - led by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples - as well as a fund for Pasifika artists and historians to complete professional arts and history projects and an online Pacific histories platform.
"Pacific peoples signalled that they are seeking meaningful commitment to the Dawn Raids apology; which allows us as a nation to move forward together with alofa (love) and fa'aaloalo (respect)."
South Auckland councillor and Auckland mayoral candidate Fa'anana Efeso Collins praised Aupito's work to help Pasifika in this year's Budget.
On the Dawn Raids historical account boost, Collins said it was imperative that we get such an account right as it was a relevant part of history not just for young Pacific children, but all children growing up in New Zealand.
"It's a part of our history and when the curriculum is relevant to them, then they're able to grasp it well - because it's about them."
300 new homes for Pasifika in Porirua
As well as that, a package to build up to 300 homes over the next decade for Pacific families in Eastern Porirua has been announced - with initial funding of $49m in the forecast period.
Collins said he was "absolutely supportive" of the move; saying it showed this Budget was helping Pasifika families around the country and not just those in Auckland.
"I think that's a fantastic development. Those are our families too."
Another $49.9m will go to the Pacific Provider Development Fund in a bid to support Pasifika providers adapting their models of care into the new health system.
Meanwhile, $20m goes to implementing a diabetes prevention and treatment programme that will target Pacific peoples in South Auckland.
Aupito said this year's Budget continues the work done through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy - an initiative that aims to lift Pasifika wellbeing and aspirations in health, housing, education, business, employment, incomes, leadership, Pacific arts, sports and music.
There is also an emphasis on boosting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, maths) career pathways among young Pasifika.
Aupito acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic had changed certain dynamics within families and society. So prioritising the lifting of Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities; as well as having access to safe, affordable and stable housing, were important.
"Working closely with our Pacific communities to deliver and support Pacific-led responses will be critical to supporting their resilience, recovery and an accelerated upwards mobility," he said.
"Budget 2022 will also help accelerate Pacific Aotearoa's economic and social recovery from Covid-19 so that Pacific peoples aren't left behind.
"The significant investments from Budget 2022 will help us to forge ahead creating jobs and income streams for families."
Pacific Package 2022
- Initial $49m to build 300 homes over the next 10 years for Pacific families in Eastern Porirua
- $13.7m to implement the Government's commitment to deliver a Dawn Raids historical account
- $49.9m for the Pacific Provider Development Fund to support Pasifika providers to adapt their models of care into the new health system
- $20m to implement a diabetes prevention and treatment programme for targeted Pacific communities in South Auckland
- $8m boost to continue the delivery of Tupu Aotearoa, which enables the delivery of personalised Pacific employment and training services
- $15.5m investment into Pacific economic development, which aims to meet community demand for services to sport shovel-ready Pacific businesses and social enterprises in New Zealand
- $1.6m to maintain the Pacific Work Connect Programme, which supports the continuation of a Pacific migrant support service
- $18.3m boost to the Toloa Science, Technology, Education, Arts and Mathematics programme
- $2m to maintain and grow the Tuli Takes Flight and Pacific Education Foundation Scholarships - Pacific education scholarships to address education system inequities
- $13m to support the growth of the Pacific bilingual and immersion schooling workforce and the retention of the current workforce
- Up to $5m of reprioritised funding over four years to fund other professional learning and development focused on Tapasa: cultural competencies for teachers of Pacific learners.