Photo: So’oalo Setu Mua, Peseta Sam Lotu-I’iga, Tuilagi Saipele Esera and Teleiai Edwin Puni.
Release: Pacific Collective
Today, 29th August 2014, marks the 100 years centenary of the occupation of Samoa by New Zealand forces at the request of the British empire, ending the German rule of Samoa. It is also the starting point for the special relationship between Samoa and New Zealand.
For some Samoan leaders like Tuilagi Saipele Esera, Teleiai Edwin Puni, So’oalo Setu Mua who are joining Minister Peseta Sam-Lotu I’iga at the commemoration, it is also a time to remember their ancestors who per part of the MAU A PULE, the original Samoa resistance movement during the German administration. Certainly an emotional commemoration for many whose ancestors were ridiculed, imprisoned, and some exiled for Samoa to be free from colonial powers.
The New Zealand national commemoration is at the Auckland Cenotaph, Auckland Domain, from 4.15pm which will be webcast live www.youtube.com/WW100nz .
This ceremony will be led by His Excellency Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand and His Excellency Leasi Papali’i Tommy Scanlan, High Commissioner for Samoa. Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy will form a Guard of Honour and conduct a Royal Salute in the presence of His Excellency The Governor-General.
A celebratory cocktail function is being organised by the Pacific Collective to mark this historical occasion, but more important is the journey of many Samoans and their families who have made New Zealand their home.
According to Teleiai Edwin Puni, “We also acknowledge Germany and Her people for a positive economic legacy they left for Samoa in which we are most grateful including the funds that built Samoa College when New Zealand took over.”
Due to unavailability of significant others, especially Government Officials, who wish to be present but are attending the United Nations sponsored forum of Small Independent Development States (SIDS) in Samoa, the celebratory cocktail is now scheduled to after the New Zealand general election, making it a double celebration.