Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region), Carmel Sepuloni, will depart for Apia today to represent New Zealand at Samoa’s 61st Anniversary of Independence commemorations.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to share in this significant occasion, alongside other invited Pacific leaders, and congratulates Samoa on the milestone of 61 years of independence,” Ms Sepuloni said.
“We share a longstanding and deep relationship with Samoa, not only as aiga and whānau of the Pacific region, but as two countries woven together by the Treaty of Friendship, signed sixty-one years ago.
“Samoa became the first Pacific nation to achieve independence, and as a daughter of Samoa, the significance of this milestone is certainly not lost on me.
“Our strong people to people links, long standing cultural ties, and common regional interests, such as combating climate change and ensuring a safe and vibrant Pacific region, are but only a few important examples of areas of cooperation between New Zealand and Samoa.”
The Minister said her visit is an opportunity to strengthen and reaffirm New Zealand’s close ties with Samoa, building on former Prime Minister Ardern’s visit in 2022 and, most recently, Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s visit last month.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is in and of the Pacific. Our two countries share many common interests, and proudly work together on regional issues and challenges. Between our two countries, we also enjoy and appreciate the contributions that are made across the social, economic, political and sporting spheres, which are reflected in our close links with Samoa.”
“We’re firm in our shared commitment to supporting Pacific solutions to the challenges facing the region, including the impacts of climate change and continued economic resilience. Alongside this commitment, I look forward to reaffirming the importance Aotearoa New Zealand places on our relationship with Samoa,” Ms Sepuloni said.
While in Samoa, the Deputy Prime Minister will call on Samoa’s Head of State, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is hosting the celebrations. She will also meet with Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and members of her Cabinet.