/ Diplomacy / Samoa farewells a great friend

Samoa farewells a great friend


Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malelegaoi, Tupa’i Murray McCully and His Highness the Head of State Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi at McCully’s farewell as politician and New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

BY Pai Mulitalo Ale

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY, 17 MARCH 2017: Described as a great friend of Samoa, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreigner Affairs Tupa’i Murray McCully was farewelled on his last ministerial visit to Samoa yesterday before he steps down from politics 01 May 2017.

Led by His Highness the Head of State, the Prime Minister, government leaders, officials and the private sector attended the farewell reception at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence where McCully announced his retirement.

Bestowed the honourary chiefly title Tupa’i in recognition of his contribution to Samoa, he was accorded the warm acknowledgement by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Government and people of Samoa.

“We are here to celebrate the importance of this Ministerial visit as a highlight of our bilateral relationships in this instance with New Zealand,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi

“But more importantly we are here to farewell a friend of Samoa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Sports and Recreation of New Zealand.”

Tuilaepa thanked Tupa’i for his good work done to Samoa and his continuous support over the years.

“We have benefited from your drive and initiative to shift the region, Samoa included to new frontiers of renewable energy in order that we are able to address many of our developing needs.

“We wish you all the best on your future plans and we hope that you take Samoa as your tourist destination in the future,” said Tuilaepa.

Tupa’i Muray McCully said “It has been a privilege to have had eight and half years of being at the forefront for New Zealand’s relationship with Samoa.

He said it’s been a habit to try and visit Samoa in a regular basis and this year he wanted to make sure that the relationship expands a whole range of different fields and is in good shape.

“Politically we are talking about big issues affecting our relationship, our region and our international affairs as well.

“And today it’s been no exceptions to that we are talking about what we have and enduring big partnerships and of course we have a relationship that we value with your government,” added the Minister.

Having being in the post for eight and a half years, Tupa’i acknowledged the closeness of the relationship between Samoa and New Zealand.

“We will mark 55 years of the Treaty of Friendship which is a unique document between New Zealand and any other country in the world, but we have is quite a complex and a very modern relationship.”

Tupa’i also referred to the contribution of the Samoans living in New Zealand and their influence on the national character of New Zealand and the role they play in their sporting, business and cultural life.

The Regional Seasonal Employment scheme which employs many Samoans on New Zealand farms is becoming an essential and important part of the economies of both Samoa and New Zealand.