A reception on last Thursday night to mark the visit of the Honorable Tupa’i Murray McCully , New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs took place at the New Zealand residence at Letava.
The Honorable Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Cabinet Ministers, members of parliament and representatives from Tokelau were present along with friends.
Tupa’i was in the country for the purpose of launching the Mataliki ferry for the people of Tokelau.
However the occasion was also a chance for Samoa’s Prime Minister to thank the New Zealand government for their assistance in a number of completed and ongoing projects.
Additionally, Samoa plays a big role in projects such as that where the Samoa Shipping Corporation gives assistance for travelers to reach isolated Islands in the Pacific
“I am here so that we can hand over the new vessel the Mataliki ferry which will be a lifeline during a new chapter in the lives of people in Tokelau” Tupa’i said.
“This is a special milestone for which we have traveled over to be with you for this official handover because it has been a mission that has been long in the making.”
“It’s been the result of great deal of reflection and debate amongst the people of Tokelau. But it has also been a challenging exercise to be able to manage a contract of this size,” Tupa’i said.
“I hope that the results for both of us, are everything that we have expected and hoped for.”
Another key purpose of the night was to further strengthen bonds of friendship between Samoa and New Zealand.
“Tonight we are here to express again to you how important your friendship is to us,” Tupa’i said.
“And to let you know that we will continue to work with you in the many partnerships that we have.”
“I want to take this opportunity to record the significance of the ties that we have not just through history but through our Treaty of Friendship.”
“This is a very, very important day. We came knowing that it is the general elections here in Samoa and therefore we have been appropriately deferential to the political season and low key about our visit.”
“But it is appropriate nevertheless for me to record how important this relationship is between our two countries,” he said.
The last time Tupa’i was in the country was for the S.I.D.S. conference two years ago.
The P.M. gave a speech of thanks for some of the projects New Zealand is involved in which include the Tui Samoa cable, the Apia Waterfront project and the energy partnership.