Today in History: 01 Aug 1962 – Samoa and NZ Sign Treaty of Friendship

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01 August 1962: on this day 60 years ago (Western) Samoa’s first Prime Minister, Fiamē Mataʻafa Faumuina Mulinuʻu II,  signed the Treaty of Friendship with New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Mr J B Wright.

The treaty was signed following the granting of Independence to Samoa on 1st Jan 1062, after 47 years of New Zealand administration.

Representatives of Australia, Nauru and the United States attended the ceremony held at Vailima home of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Home of Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894), Ohoto taken: 01 August 2022. PC: Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.

The document written in both English and Samoan includes a Preamble that sets out the circumstances leading to the drawing up of the Treaty.

This is followed by seven articles setting out areas of cooperation and expressing the spirit of friendship between the two countries.

The Treaty included the following provisions…

  • NZ will increase its technical, administrative and other assistance designed to help Samoa achieve its objectives in social and economic development.
  • NZ will help the (Western) Samoan Government to conduct its international relations “for as long as the Government of Western Samoa wishes and in such manner as will in no way impair the right of the Government of Western Samoa to formulate its own foreign policies.
  • When requested, NZ will act as the dipomatic channel of communications with other Governments with other Governments and international organisations and as Samoa’s representative at certain conferences; and that it will supply information on international affairs and undertake diplomatic protection and consular functions on behalf of Western Samoan nationals overseas.
  • The two countries will consult together on matters of mutual interest and concern; and will ensure that citizens of one country ensure that citizens of one country living in the other will be given equitable treatment, full legal protection and access to the courts.
  • The Treaty does not provide for  any change in the nature of NZ aid, but it places on record the intention  of the NZ Government to continue its assistance.

Sixty years later, on this day, Prime Minister of Samoa Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa is hosting NZ Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and a delegation of more than 30, at the same venue of the signing.