By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: 1st June 2012: The New Zealand Governor General, Rt. Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae has acknowledged Samoa long journey as an independent nation. He was speaking at a function hosted in his honour at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence this week.
He congratulated His Highness the Head of State Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and the people of Samoa for continuing the legacy left by those who struggled to fight for Samoa’s independence.
He also highlighted the important ties between NZ and Samoa which was sealed with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship which will be a part of Samoa’s commemoration of her 50th anniversary.
“Samoa is the only pacific country who has a friendship treaty with New Zealand,” said the Governor General.
Sir Mateparae last visited Samoa in 2009 as the New Zealand Defence Force Director and now leads New Zealand delegation to the celebration of Samoa’s 50th independence celebrations.
New Zealand is Samoa’s former colonial master and Prime Minister Helen Clarke came to Samoa in 2002 to apologize for New Zealand’s past wrongs that include the mishandling of the Spanish influenza that killed 8,000 Samoan people and the shooting of Mau leader Tupua Tamasese Lealofi 111 by New Zealand police.