Audience with their Majesties Kiingi Tuheita & Makau Airiki

13th June 2022
His Majesty Kiingi Tuheitia (left) and Samoa High Commissioner & Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan.
On Friday 10th June, the Samoa High Commissioner & Dean of the Diplomatic Corps (H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan) and his Spouse Joyce Wetzell-Scanlan were honoured to be received by their Majesties Kiingi Tuheitia and Makau Ariki at the Turangawaewae House in Ngaruawahia, Hamilton. Leasi and Joyce paid a Courtesy Call on their Majesties to say farewell, as their term as Samoa’s High Commissioner to New Zealand comes to an end. In attendance at this informal meeting were the Kiingitanga Chief of Staff (Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds), William Schaffhausen (a son of Samoa) and Rayray Jones (Protocal Officer). The informal discussions covered a wide range of topics including historical relations between the Maori and Samoan peoples, Climate Change, RSE program, possible visit to Samoa by their Majesties, Colonisation and the Mau & Kiingitanga Movements. The High Commissioner thanked their Majesties for the honour to meet with them and (again) for kindly hosting the first ever Amo Ake Banquet for the Diplomatic Corps in November 2020 and for the separate meeting held between their Majesties and the Heads of Mission from the Pacific the following day. This memorable Banquet and the Special Welcome to Turangawaewae Marae is one of the highlights for many Members of the Diplomatic Corps during their time in New Zealand. At the conclusion of their discussions, Kiingi Tuheitia presented the High Commissioner with a beautiful set of books on the Kiingitanga while the High Commissioner presented a Samoan Tanoa to His Majesty.

Following the Audience with their Majesties, their Excellencies Leasi and Joyce then joined the many members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to NZ (and based in Wellington, Canberra & Singapore) who were visiting Tauranga and the Hamilton Regions on a Study Tour organised by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. In his role as Dean, His Excellency Leasi spoke on behalf of the Diplomatic Corps at the Reception hosted by the Mayor of Hamilton (Her Worship Ms Paula Southgate) and in response to the address by the Minister of Pacific Peoples & Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Hon Aupito William Sio).