Government under fire for holding Dawn Raid apology on a Sunday

The Government is under fire for holding a historic apology for the Dawn Raids on a Sunday - when a significant number of those impacted would be in church.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern apologised unreservedly on Sunday for the Raids which saw Pacific people targeted and taken from their homes.

"The Dawn Raids period cast a shadow over our shared history. Upholding immigration laws is one thing, but the Dawn Raids went well beyond that," said Ardern.

"Expressing our sorrow, regret and remorse for past actions is the right thing to do and provides an opportunity for closure and reconciliation."

But a member of the Polynesian Panther family, Julie Puia, said holding the apology on a Sunday was a poor choice - and one that disappointed a lot of people in the community.

"There are a hundred million other ways this could have been done," she told Newshub.

Puia criticised Minister for Pacific Peoples Auptio William Sio for the choice, saying he should know better.

"What would his parents think, doing this on a Sunday, when most people would be in church? They'd be disappointed I'm sure - much the same way a lot of the community was." 

She said the apology overall was a good start - but not enough to make up for years of trauma caused by the raids.

"There were a lot of heartfelt feelings that came out today. I strongly believe that the actions over the next few years will speak to that apology."

Puia said it's crucial the community sees action, to know the apology was sincere.

Ardern has been tight-lipped on what if any action will follow the apology.