Common sense is what we urgently need upstairs

Many a time when we face challenges of today’s world we forget to use our God given common sense which on hind sight would have provided the right relief that was appropriate.

Thirty years ago, Cyclone Ofa and Cyclone Val in 1990 and 1991, completely wiped out our copra and cocoa exports that our economy depended on for over 100 years. We exported our copra to markets in the UK and our cocoa to Hamburg, Germany.

Samoa was one of the 14 Countries in the world that produced the most-high flavored cocoa needed for the chocolate industry in Europe. 

About 400 acres of cocoa plantation at Tuanaimato were also turned into sports-fields for use by our youths. It was the most sensible thing to do by our Government under the circumstances.

The original expectation of Cabinet was to carve up the 400 acres at Tuanaimato into quarter acre sections for settlements. 

The alternative use, which I proposed however as Minister in charge of the Samoa Lands Corporation, which dealt with the use of former Samoa Trust Estates Corporation lands now placed under the SLC to administer, was accepted immediately by our Cabinet 

Execution of the new policy was not smooth. Neighboring villages subsequently occupied Tuanaimato by force and the use of police to evict the squatters became unavoidable. 

An 18 hole golf course, a horse racing track, bowling greens, gymnasiums, cricket fields, soccer stadium and fields, Rugby Union High Performance Unit, swimming and diving, weightlifting, boxing, bodybuilding, archery, multiple passion lanes etc., the Tuanaimato Sports complex provided space for all. 

 The gymnasiums also provided the ideal spaces for International meetings hosted in Samoa.

 It was at Tuanaimato that the historical Small Island Developing States Conference (SIDS) of the United Nations was hosted in 2014 and the UN Secretary General HE Ban Ki-Moon presided as Chairman. About 4500 delegates attended. 

The Conference outcome statement - The SIDs accelerated modality of Action Pathway – (Samoa Pathway for Short) became the blueprint for the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide the World’s Economic and Social Development, adopted in 2015.

 It became sweet music since, to hear repeatedly the words “Samoa Pathway” uttered a thousand times on the floor of the UN and in other International conferences elsewhere when debating the latest status of the “Samoa Pathway” and the related 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations

The initiative in turning the Tuanaimato Cocoa plantation into sports fields was one of the best decisions made for our youth’s development by the HRPP government. 

Not all of our children are academically oriented. And so, our programs of sports field constructions in the rural areas must continue. 

We should also announce in advance of major International competitions incentives for our competitors, as a boost for their morale to win championships.

In sports as in music, there is no discrimination and no enemies, whether the sports field is located in a district under the HRPP MP, the benefit accrues equally to all the sons and daughters of Samoa. 

The culture of hate and vindictiveness propagated these days has no place in our traditional religious and peaceful society. 

Simple common sense tells us that such attitude can only drive the nation backward not just in sports, but in everything that makes us a proud Nation.


Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP


Samoa Observer

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