P.M. Leuluaiali’iotumua impressed by Samoa’s independence

The New Zealand government is doing the best it can to help Pacific communities become the best they can be in New Zealand.

The promise was made by New Zealand Prime Minister, Leulua’iali’iotumua Bill English in Samoa last week when he visited for three days.

Speaking during a reception at Letava to mark 55 years of the Treaty of Friendship between Samoa and New Zealand, Leulua’iali’iotumua reiterated his government is working with the Pacific Communities to ensure they have the ability to participate in the same way all other New Zealanders.

“We are getting some real success and the number of Pacific kids who are passing their NCA level 2 is essentially their Six Form level has gone up by about 25 percent in the last five years,” he said.

“Thousands more each year are getting to that line for further qualification and positive entry into the work force and just in the last few budgets we’ve been able to do a lot more for families on low incomes.”

“And that will certainly be the case in the next nine months.”

“It recognizes that these are hardworking families driven by family and faith, driven by the education, the desire for success, the need for secure jobs and secure incomes. We are doing special work in helping in health and education which I believe we’re going to bring about generational change in New Zealand and we are very committed to that.”

Reflecting on Samoa’s independence day, Leuluaiali’iotumua said he was impressed,

“I very much enjoyed Independence Day in Samoa,” he said. “Our National day in New Zealand has always been a place of some controversy but we saw yesterday (Thursday) just pure celebration of Independence Day of Samoa and it was fantastic to experience that.”

“And then we visited the health services today and talked to RSE workers and visited the Cocoa Samoa after the title conferred in Faleula.”

Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa acknowledged Leuluaialioiotumua’s presence and thanked him for his work. 

 “It has been our honor and pleasure to welcome you and the daughter of Samoa you have married Dr. Mary English, members of your delegation and of course members of you families both from your side and of Dr. English’s side,” she said.

“So we celebrate 55 years of Treaty of Friendship but I think for Prime Minister English we’re not just friends, we’re now families.

“This week also in New Zealand you are marking Samoan Language week and as I reflect on what might be useful for you as a new matai and thinking of family.

“We have the expression in Samoa between two families and in this case yourself to Dr. English’s family you are now the “Paolo” to the family in Faleula.

“And paolo in its general meaning means “shade”

“And this speaks to one particular aspects of the Samoan culture when we become family we become that shade for each other.

“Leulua’iali’iotumua you are the ‘paolo’ and you are the ‘paolo’ also and it’s about relationship in your leadership capacity you are also that shade for your country especially as its leaders.

“And we pray for God’s blessings upon you Prime Minister.

“You are not a new politician you are a veteran politician, you have played a big part in the development of your country but now you have stepped up to the leadership.

“Rest assured of the friendship of Samoa but most also the familiar connection that we now have and the affections that Samoans will hold for you.”

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