Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Samoa High Commission Chancery Project

14th July 2020
Left-Right: Mr. Grant Taylor, Wilson Construction; His Excellency Leasi Papali'i Scanlan, High Commissioner of Samoa; and Mr. Guy Cleverly, CCM Architect
On Monday 13 July, 2020 the Samoa High Commissioner (HE Leasi Papali’i Scanlan) together with Mr Guy Cleverly (CCM Architects) and Mr Grant Taylor (Wilson Construction) broke the ground to mark the commencement of the construction of the new Samoa High Commission Chancery in Wellington.

This followed approval by Cabinet, at its Meeting on 16 June 2020, of the Samoa Government Tenders Board’s recommendation to award the construction contract to Wilson Construction Ltd, a Wellington based company with several years of experience in the construction of residential, industrial and commercial buildings.

The new Chancery consists of three levels of office space plus an underground car park. Construction is expected to take up to twenty months. In the meantime, the High Commission is operating from its temporary office in the two-storey apartment building built by the Samoa Government for its diplomatic staff in 2015. This temporary office is located just behind the current Chancery Site on 5 Clermont Terrace.

High Commissioner Leasi Papali’i Scanlan commented that “this Project has taken some time to design and develop especially given its location and the need to secure several consents and approvals, not only from the Wellington City Council but also from the neighbours.” The previous Chancery was over 80 years old. And, following several earthquakes in the Wellington region in recent years, a number of cracks had appeared on the old building’s structure and was therefore considered a safety risk.

The High Commissioner expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for their support and approval for the Project to go ahead despite the many challenges. Likewise, His Excellency extended appreciation and thanks to the Board and Management of the Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS) for the funding which has made the Project possible.

Furthermore, His Excellency noted that the Samoa Government regards the construction of the new SHC Chancery in Wellington as an important symbol of the warm and close relationship between Samoa and New Zealand and also demonstrates the commitment that Samoa has to this Samoa- New Zealand partnership for many years to come.

The High Commissioner acknowledged the hard work and support of the Consultants and Project Management Teams both in New Zealand and Samoa then delivered a short prayer to bless all those who will be working on the construction of this new Milestone for Samoa in New Zealand. The Building Site had been blessed by Father Vilo Hansell in December last year.