Samoa should back Tahiti for the Games

Dear Editor,

Re: Sports chief keen on 2019 Pacific Games 

I think Samoa should support Tahiti to bid for the 2019 games in light of Tonga’s pullout.

I’ve changed my mind on this subject. 24 hours ago I thought it was a great opportunity for Samoa to boost its economy but now I think Samoa could benefit to a greater degree in the long-run if it supports Tahiti’s bid.

Tahiti, of course, lost to Tonga in the bidding to host the 2019 games and more recently lost the bidding to Solomon Islands to host the 2023 games. Tahiti, in light of the latest news from Tonga, will probably be itching to put their bid in to host the 2019 games and in my opinion, it would only be fair if they get the first chance to host. 

They haven’t hosted since 1995. Samoa only hosted in 2007 and if we are honest, the Pacific Games Council is highly unlikely to go back to Samoa so soon after 2007.

Samoa would stand to benefit from the growing economic and political ties with Tahiti (or French Polynesia to give them their proper name) if the government and SASNOC support any bid from Tahiti to host in 2019. 

Samoa has already signed cable agreements for the Honotua cable to be connected to Samoa from Tahiti, through the Cook Islands, and there have been talks for Tahiti Nui airlines to fly through Samoa. The potential to grow these ties is certainly there.

In the circumstances, Samoa would be prudent to throw it’s support in behind Tahiti and reap the political and economic brownie points from Tahiti in the medium-to-long term. If Tahiti decides not to put in a bid, Samoa might wish to consider a bid at that point.


PS Jeffery

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