Government Minister Aupito William Sio in tears as he recalls family being subjected to dawn raid

Government Minister Aupito William Sio wiped away tears as the Government today confirmed it would apologise for the dawn raids.

Sio was emotional at the announcement as he described what an apology meant, and the significance of restoring mana for the victims of the raids.

The Pacific People's Minister, whose family moved to New Zealand in 1969 from Samoa, spoke of being dawn-raided, having "memories about my father being helpless".

"We bought the home about two years prior. To have someone knocking at the door at the early hours with a flashlight in your face, disrespecting the owner of the home, with an Alsatian dog frothing at the mouth wanting to come in without any respect for the people living there."

Sio described it as "quite traumatising".

"The apology is about helping people heal. People who have been traumatised."

Ardern and the Government will formally apologise for the 1970s dawn raids that targeted the Pacific community on June 26 in the Auckland Town Hall. 

At the announcement of the apology date, Sio said he was "quite emotional".

"I'm trying to control my emotions today."

He said it was restoring the mana of those targeted. 

"We were invited to come to New Zealand. We responded to call to fill labour shortage. We were coming to aid a country," Sio said.

However, he said when the Government "felt they no longer needed us, they turned on us".

The apology was about restoring trust, he said. 

"I do not want my children and nieces and nephews to be shackled by that pain."

He did not think there was a Pacific family in New Zealand who were not impacted by the raids, adding it was a "moral imperative" to acknowledge those past actions were wrong through an apology, and would highlight the historical racism. 

Sio called the raids "absolutely intolerable" in today's human rights standards, adding the legacy of the dawn raids were etched in the memories of Pacific people. 

"Many continue to struggle. An apology is a step in the right direction."