Samoan Independence Anniversary Celebrations
29 May 2002
PM Leads Delegation To Samoan Independence Anniversary Celebrations
Prime Minister Helen Clark goes to Samoa on Monday to attend celebrations marking the country’s 40th anniversary of independence from New Zealand.
Helen Clark will lead a fifty-person delegation, including Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel, Samoan New Zealand members of Parliament Taito Philip Field, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, and Anae Arthur Anae, as well as New Zealand-based Samoan leaders and Pacific media representatives. Helen Clark will also declare officially open the new buildings for New Zealand’s High Commission building in Apia, built after an assessment concluded that it was uneconomic to upgrade the old premises to acceptable standards.
“Samoa was the first Pacific island nation to gain independence,” Helen Clark said. “Over the past 40 years it has established itself as a leader in the South Pacific.
“Today New Zealand enjoys a very close relationship with Samoa. That relationship is reinforced by the large population of Samoan descent in New Zealand.
“The fortieth anniversary of independence is a time both to celebrate Samoa’s achievements and to look forward to continued good relations between us built on mutual respect and understanding,” Helen Clark said.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and representatives of Pacific island nations are also attending the celebrations.