The ‘Iceman’ visits his home away from home

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La’auli Michael Jones

La’auli Michael Jones

The Taumeasina Island Resort (T.I.R) had an impromptu visit from their very own ambassador, La’auli Michael Jones, last week.

The legendary All Black and former Manu Samoa coach visited to look at the progress of the resort’s construction scheduled to open at the beginning of June.

La’auli, who is from the village Moata’a where Taumeasina Island Resort is located, was incredibly pleased to see that the resort has utilized labour from the Moata’a village.

La’auli will be staying at the Resort during the first week of June, as he will be helping and attending all the official opening ceremonies.

Last week’s visit left La’auli mightily impressed. 

“Having an opportunity recently to visit the Taumeasina Island Resort and seeing first hand the progress made towards opening date on June 1 later this year, one couldn't help but be extremely impressed,” he said. 

“What will no doubt be one of the real jewels in the crown of Samoa’s growing  array of hotel and resort properties is quickly taking shape, and will look like a sparkling gem come the opening day celebration "fiafia".

T.I.R's General Manger, Nathan Bucknall, provided La’auli with a memorable tour of the property.

“I was able to witness first hand the outstanding workmanship and quality of the rooms, apartments, restaurants, conference facilities, pools, tennis courts, spa and health facilities, all taking shape with meticulous attention to detail, including a cutting edge energy, water and waste management plant and equipment that is second to none. 

“As a “local boy” I was thrilled to see so many (at least 70%) of the construction workers and associated hotel staff all from my village of Moata'a in which T.I.R is located. 

“This speaks of Taumeasina Island Resort’s commitment to the people of Samoa and supporting the local economy. 

I feel they have set a benchmark now for all other developments of this scale, making a clear statement that our people are capable, are skilled and need to be engaged at every phase of the development and operation of tourist projects such as this.” 

La’auli is especially proud that a “five star hotel" development was very much becoming a reality on an island that is very dear to the people of our district and one we have always wanted to share with the world.

“Indeed many developers were drawn to the unique selling points of Taumeasina island- a unique resort, the only hotel accommodation in Samoa on a small island, connected to the mainland by a tar sealed road, and yet only a few minutes by car or taxi to the capital city of Apia. 

“Only Lamana have made it happen and discerning travellers and clients, locally, regionally and from around the globe will soon enjoy the fruits of Lamana’s and the local communities belief in the potential of Taumeasina island.”

La’auli acknowledged the commitment by the project team.

“The Lamana Group and Taumeaisna Island Resort Ltd. deserve a hearty thank you, "fa'afetai tele lava" and a huge congratulations, "fa'amalo lava", on having the  vision for a 5 Star resort on spectacular Taumeasina Island and their diligence and commitment to making the dream a reality. 

“I can't wait to see many, many customers enjoying and experiencing first hand one of the real jewels in the crown of Samoa's ever expanding  hotel accommodation offerings.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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