Rugby & Cuisine on NZ/Samoa Friendship Week

APIA: THURSDAY: 1 AUGUST 2013: There are a range of exciting events planned to celebrate the anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa starting today.

The Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union with All Blacks envoy Victor Vito holding the Webb Ellis Cup

The Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union with All Blacks envoy Victor Vito holding the Webb Ellis Cup

Headlining Friendship Week 2013, commences 1 August, is the return of the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge.  This year, ten restaurants and resorts are competing to showcase the best of Samoan and New Zealand Cuisine.  Prizes will be awarded to the overall winner, best Samoan style and best service.  Diners ordering the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge special will also go into a draw to wine a case of New Zealand wine.

“I am delighted that there has been such a positive response” said High Commissioner Jackie Frizelle.

“Samoan Cuisine is attracting increasing international attention and we are hopeful that this competition will encourage local restaurants and resorts to develop new and exciting dishes.  I would encourage all those interested in good food to make a booking and sample some of the best Samoa has to offer.”

Restaurants and resorts competing include Aga Reef Resort, Seabreeze Resort, Sinalei Resort and Spa, Paddles, Leon’s, Scalini’s, Portofino, Sails, Café Sele and Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.  The event runs from 1-11 August.

On the cultural side the New Zealand High Commission is pleased to be able to sponsor the extension of the successful “Play it Strange” secondary school song writing contest to include Samoa.  The winners of the contest will see their songs featured along with their New Zealand counterparts on the annual Play it Strange CD which will also be available for free downloads online.

The High Commission is also maintaining its association with former Samoan Artist in residence Fiona Collins, who along with Asolelei To’alepai is putting on a performance of Frangipani Perfume, a play by Makerita Urale at the National University of Samoa from 8-10 August.

Rounding out Friendship Week is a focus on rugby, one of the strongest ties that bind our two countries.  Alama Ieremia typifies the best of both New Zealand and Samoa, and he has capped a distinguished career as a dual international and a Hurricane by returning as Assistant Coach at his former club.  He will be working with the Samoa Rugby Union High Performance Unit from 5-7 August, providing specialist coaching input and advice.