Former PM criticises the New Zealand Government

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Former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi has accused New Zealand of drawing more attention to “geopolitical issues to satisfy its ego for cheap popularity”. 

In an open letter, the suspended Lepa MP said commended New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s visit to commemorate 60 years of the Friendship Treaty between Samoa and New Zealand but says “this event provides an opportunity for the leaders of both Countries to read the treaty and understand its significance.

“Prime Minister Adern acknowledged in her address at Vailima that it is the only Treaty ever signed by New Zealand.

“It signifies the special relationship that must be honoured by deeds and not by just mere words.” 

The suspended Lepa MP said as New Zealand is drawn more towards geopolitical issues to satisfy its ego for cheap popularity. 

“Alongside the sudden rush by other powers to set up embassies in the Pacific Islands after years of neglect and empty promises, there is a real concern that Samoa is being hoodwinked by the Labour Government leadership via the goodwill shown in mere patting one another on the shoulder amidst Kiwi wine and singing Me He Manu Rere.” 

The leader of the Opposition said Scholarships to New Zealand have been slashed. 

“The 1,100 annual quota conditions of migrating to New Zealand established by protocol and signed by the HRPP Government in 1982 have been constantly breached, the visitor’s visas for urgent family visits are required now to apply online, although well over 95% of our village people are unable to use these modern communication systems.

“The list goes on.” He pointed out a press release in New Zealand following the visitor’s return to Aotearoa disclosed that the Kiwi Government has agreed to fund a flea market in Savalalo, Apia that was burnt in a fire incident.

“The truth is, the market was already rebuilt immediately after the fire. A big building for a food court was completed with portable tents put up for other products sale. “When the New Zealand Government offered to fund the flea market on the same site several years ago, we requested to put it up on a 10-acre reclaimed land nearby instead.

The old site is ideal for another multistorey building for both public and business office spaces. “Our economy is rapidly growing since we graduated into a middle-income country.

“And with many vehicles imported annually since we switched to driving on the left side of the road in 2009, road congestion has worsened and this is an added factor in the relocation counter-proposal.

It is not too late to reconsider the earlier proposal.” 

He concluded that relations between Samoa and New Zealand as friends should be two-way traffic as envisaged in the 60-year-old Treaty between Samoa and New Zealand.