Kapiti Independent Exclusive

Historic Friendship Treaty Honoured in Samoa

Special report from Apia by John Tristram
Juniper Film’s Director
Film director John Tristram, who is making the official record of Samoa’s 50th  Independence celebrations, has sent us this report of  the poignant ceremony recalling events in 1962. Here’s his account:

Samoan community members from the Wellington area and throughout New Zealand have been in Samoa for the 50th anniversary this week of the Treaty of Friendship between Samoa and New Zealand.

(The photo shows the Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa (left), the Prime Ministers of Samoa and New Zealand (centre), and Mr Alex Wright (right).

The actual day (August 1) was celebrated officially with the arrival of the NZ Prime Minister , John Key and a plane-load full of NZ officials, Samoan community members and representatives from various sectors within NZ.

They were officially welcomed by Samoa’s Prime Minsiter, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.

There was an impressive State Luncheon at ‘Vailima’, outside Apia, the historic home of the author Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent the last part of his life in Samoa.

The Prime Ministers of the two countries took time out to share a poignant moment with the Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa, the Minister of Justice and Mr Alex Wright, a NZ diplomat.

The Hon Fiame is the daughter of Samoa’s first Prime Minister, the Hon Fiame Mataafa Faumuina M II, and Mr Alex Wright is the son of the former NZ high Commissioner, His Excellency J. B. Wright.

Mr Wright senior (left in photo signing Treaty) and the Hon. Fiame Mataafa Faumuina (right) were the original signatories of the Treaty of Friendship signed in 1962 on the 1st August at  Vailima.