In his weekly Letter to the Editor, former Prime Minister of Samoa and leader of the Opposition calls for New Zealand to uphold the court decision by the Privy Council that ruled all Samoans born between 1924 and 1948 were British subjects and that in 1949 they and their descendants had become New Zealand citizens.
The NZ government did not accept this decision and rushed through an act granting New Zealand citizenship only to Samoans who were living in New Zealand on 14 September 1982 or subsequently obtained permanent residence.
The issue remains a concern for Samoans living in New Zealand. In March 2003, a petition with 90,000 signatures calling for the law’s repeal was presented to Parliament. Outside, about 2000 Samoans protested with speeches, dancing and singing.
In 2022 Samoan community leaders in New Zealand supported Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono’s private member’s bill he had hoped would remove the Citizenship [Western Samoa] Act 1982.