Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has praised the work of New Zealand’s outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tupa’i Murray McCully.
Tuilaepa heaped praises on Tupa’i’s commitment to Samoa when he spoke during a reception at Letava on Thursday night.
Tupa’i arrived on Wednesday night for his last official visit to Samoa before he steps down from Parliament.
During a farewell reception hosted by New Zealand’s High Commissioner, David Nicholson, Tuilaepa paid tribute to Tupa’i’s commitment to the Pacific.
He described him a true friend of Samoa.
“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 development needs,” Tuilaepa said.
“We are already reaping benefits of the largest solar power plant in the Pacific and look forward to the investments in new hydro schemes.
“Furthermore, there has been continuing support in the development of our tourism sector; we are indeed appreciative of the recent declaration by New Zealand of its investment interests in the Waterfront Development Project.”
Tuilaepa also thanked Tupa’i for his great contribution in the area of sports development in Samoa.
“We face the reality that the lack of financial resources is an impediment to how far Samoa can move and rise in the competitive world of sports.
“But we are determined that our talented youth receive the exposure that is needed both through participating internationally and being able to host international sports events.
“We wish you all the best in your future plans; may you have continuing good health and hopefully you will one day be back to enjoy Samoa as a tourist destination.”
The farewell was well attended by the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, the Masiofo, Her Highness Filifilia Tamasese, Cabinet Ministers and members of the New Zealand community in Samoa.
Speaking about the Samoa New Zealand links, Tupa’i said this year marks 55 years of the partnership between the two countries.
“We will mark 55 years of the Treaty of Friendship which is a unique document between New Zealand and any country in the world,” he said.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister and all people who have given me so much hospitality and friendship and work so professionally and skilfully with us in my time in my job. Thank you very much for the friendship you’ve shown.”