A meeting of Attorney Generals
Attorney General Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff and New Zealand’s Attorney General, Christopher Finlayson QC, met late last week and formally established future ongoing contact between their respective offices.
Finlayson made it clear to Lemalu that links and an ongoing willingness to assist Samoa is not only important, but something he feels personally attached to.
"Whatever can be done to assist Samoa, we are committed," said Finlayson.
He has links with senior counsel at the local bar in Apia and has, in the past, appeared in court in Apia.
Lemalu then referred to meetings with the Parliamentary Counsels drafting team of New Zealand, as well as the Law Commission of New Zealand.
Lemalu said the Parliamentary Counsels office of New Zealand has a Pacific desk and he was granted an audience to meet with that team.
He also met with his past colleagues from the prosecution team of Crown Law Auckland, including the Crown Solicitor of Auckland, Brian Dickey.
"It is vital for Samoa's legal capacity building that the natural links with our brothers and sisters of Aoeteroa New Zealand are fanned and properly respected," said Lemalu.
He also had an opportunity to meet with members of the New Zealand judiciary and was culturally welcomed by His Honour Judge Taumanu, at a conference to update the New Zealand Evidence Act.
"Our Chief Justice Patu had asked that my office carefully review this key legislation so I was fortunate to meet key people and attend the update conference, as hosted by Canterbury University and the New Zealand Law Commission.
“I will now work on this legislation and commit to fan these ambers as lit, by the wonderful manner in which I and Samoa was hosted."