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"Samoa opposition leaders deliver oral submission in person in New Zealand."


Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his Party members
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his Party members-PMN SAMOA Live Screen Shot


Today, opposition leaders in Samoa, including HRPP Leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Deputy Leader Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, and Party Secretary Lealalepule Rimoni Aiafi, attended an important event advocating for New Zealand citizenship for Samoan individuals whose status had been revoked by the New Zealand Government. Many speeches and submissions were made by those who wished to contribute, as the event was open to everyone.


Fonotoe, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, expressed gratitude to the organizers for hosting an event in support of the "Restoring Citizenship Removed By Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 Bill." He stated, "We strongly believe in this bill, which is why we traveled all the way from Samoa," before handing the microphone over to his leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.


Tuilaepa used the opportunity to provide some background information, talking about when Vaai Kolone was Prime Minister of Samoa. He explained that the bill aimed to get rid of a 1982 law that prevented Samoans from claiming New Zealand citizenship. At that time, the Privy Council decided that Samoans born between 1924 and 1949 should be recognised as New Zealand citizens. However, the New Zealand government under Robert Muldoon quickly overturned this decision by passing the 1982 Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act.


Tuilaepa stressed that the then-Samoan Prime Minister and HRPP leader, Vaai Kolone, had agreed to this decision under strict instructions from Muldoon. "It caused a significant leadership crisis within our party, and a vote of no confidence was proposed," Tuilaepa said. He emphasised the role of the party elders, who chose to observe Vaai's actions and let the party see what had been written.


He then added, "For New Zealand to do what they did, it was pure racism."


Tuilaepa has persistently raised this issue in meetings with New Zealand Government leaders, seeking a workable protocol. Unfortunately, the situation has only deteriorated. "I believe that all those people who were sent over to Samoa to occupy the immigration section of the NZ High Commission of Samoa were trained to hate and be rude," he asserted. He also highlighted recent incidents of neglect from the High Commission, where a delegation member was not informed about necessary arrangements to assist in the movement.


The leaders highlighted the importance of addressing this issue and supporting Samoan citizens in their efforts to regain New Zealand citizenship.



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