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New Zealand Samoans gearing up for game

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
9 September 2014 Media Statement

New Zealand Samoans gearing up for game

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is welcoming the official announcement of the All Blacks vs Samoa game in Apia next July 8 and says the local Samoan community are already preparing to attend en masse.

“It is an honour for Samoa, but also an event not to be missed for the local Samoan community who make New Zealand their home. No doubt there will be a lot of mixed emotions about who to support and the atmosphere will be incredible,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

“As this is part of the build-up for next year’s world cup for both teams, the stakes will be high.”

The Prime Minister of Samoa and Samoa Rugby Union chair Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi met the New Zealand Rugby Union today to finalise details after months of negotiations. Australian-based property firm Cromwell is confirmed as Samoa Rugby's new sponsor, and offer a $1 million bonus for the team if it wins next year's World Cup.

“The All Blacks have a special place in the heart of Samoan people, the game has made several Samoans household names so this is a significant occasion,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

“It is a chance for the island nation to welcome back family, friends and overseas visitors and with this comes significant opportunities for Samoa’s businesses and tourism operators.”

He adds it is also a prime opportunity for New Zealand Samoans to be on the winning team’s side, no matter what the result is.

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