The Dawn Raids - Educate to Liberate

6 April 10:00am - 25 May 5:00pm
Fresh Gallery Ōtara 5/46 Fair Mall, Ōtara Town Centre, Auckland 2023

Fresh Gallery Ōtara is transformed into a Pacific Island family’s lounge from the 1970s. This nostalgic setting forms a backdrop for artworks, memorabilia, photographs and personal accounts of the dawn raids.


In the mid-1970s the government authorised the practice of ‘dawn raids’. Police and immigration officials entered the homes of Pacific Island people in the early hours of the morning, wanting proof of residency, work permits, and passports. The Polynesian Panthers, a political group that emerged during this time, fought against the unfair treatment, injustice, and oppression of Pacific Islanders and encouraged immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their human rights.

This powerful and insightful exhibition seeks to inform and educate about this period in New Zealand’s history and honour the courageous role that the Polynesian Panthers played in the fight for social justice.

The exhibition showcases a range of creative projects by artists who have documented the period by developing imagery related to the issues surrounding the dawn raids. Contributors include; John Miller, Minky Stapleton, Emory Douglas, Robert George, Jos Wheeler and the unknown designers of the iconic identity, posters and other ephemera created for the Polynesian Panthers.

Complementing the exhibition are screenings of New Zealand documentaries Dawn Raids directed by Damon Fepulea’i and Polynesian Panthers directed by Dan Salmon.