His Highness Honours the Many Achievements Amongst the Samoan-New Zealand Community

"New Zealand and Samoa have deep community links, and it was very moving to see those connections as His Highness used his visit to honour the many achievements amongst the Samoan-New Zealand community.”

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Source: Press Statement NZ High Commission Office in Samoa.Samoa’s Head of State, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and His Good Lady, Masiofo Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano have completed a successful visit to New Zealand where the Head of State honored the many achievements of the Samoa-New Zealand community.

Building on the foundation of a shared history and close whanaungatanga, Aotearoa New Zealand welcomed le Ao Mamalu o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and His Good Lady this past week.

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It was their first official visit to New Zealand since His Highness assumed his role in 2017.

The official state visit to New Zealand came at the invitation of Her Excellency the Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro after her own visit to Samoa in September 2022, during the 60th anniversary of Samoa and New Zealand’s formal diplomatic relationship.

Her Excellency the Governor General formally welcomed His Highness to New Zealand on Tuesday at Government House in a ceremonial welcome including pōwhiri, a royal guard of honour, and stirring performances from students of Wellington College and Naenae Primary School’s Tavae’ Samoan Bilingual Unit.

“After the heartfelt welcome Samoa offered Dame Cindy Kiro in 2022, it was truly special to be able to return the honour, and affirm the shared history and close whanaungatanga between Samoa and New Zealand,” New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, HE Si’alei Van Toor said.

HE Si’alei Van Toor accompanied His Highness’s delegation to New Zealand.

His Highness paid his respects in a formal ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial, laying a wreath at the Pacific Island Memorial.

His Highness also visited Te Papa Tongarewa and the Royal New Zealand Police College and participated in several community engagements held in his honour.

Photos: NZ High Commission Office, Samoa.

Their Highnesses also met with Prime Minister Christopher Luxon.

“This is a notable time for us to meet, with Samoa preparing to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October. This is an important opportunity for Samoa to advocate for the needs of the Pacific region on the world stage.” Mr Luxon said.

“His Highness is a highly respected leader in Samoa. His visit is an important opportunity to reaffirm New Zealand’s support as a trusted friend and bilateral partner to Samoa,” added the New Zealand Prime Minister.

His Highness concluded his official visit with a visit to Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where he was hosted by New Zealand’s first Pacific Vice-Chancellor, Professor Damon Salesa.

Photos: NZ High Commission Office in Samoa.

His Highness met with students from the University, including Samoan-New Zealanders, and Manaaki Scholarship students from Samoa.

“New Zealand and Samoa have deep community links, and it was very moving to see those connections as His Highness used his visit to honour the many achievements amongst the Samoan-New Zealand community.” said New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa HE van Toor.