60th Independence Day Reception Hosted by the Samoa High Commission in Wellington

7th June 2022
Samoa High Commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps (HE Leasi Papali'i T Scanlan) delivering his address during the 60th Independence Day Reception.

Photo Credit: Iupeli Mah Yuen
On Wednesday 1st June, the Samoa High Commission hosted a Reception to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Samoa’s Independence at the Pipitea Marae and Function Centre. This Special Event was attended by former Governors General, former Prime Minister (Sir Bill and Lady Mary English), former Deputy Prime Minister (Hon Winston Peters), Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Speaker & Members of the New Zealand Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, City Mayors, the Business and Samoan Community. The programme started with the Procession of the flags of Samoa and New Zealand, followed by the singing of both countries’ National Anthems. The Master of Ceremony, Afioga Va’afusuaga Masunu Tuisila, welcomed the guests before inviting Rev. Anitele’a Su’a for the opening prayer. The MC introduced the Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan, to deliver his address in which he conveyed his utmost appreciation to all guests for attending the iconic event to mark 60 years of Samoa’s independence since 1962 as well as 60 years since the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Samoa and New Zealand. The High Commissioner referred to the close and special relations Samoa share with New Zealand with influences in sports, culture, arts, and politics. He also thanked the New Zealand Government, current and former, for emergency and development assistance for Samoa over the decades. The Chief of Protocol of the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mr. Rod Harris) delivered a statement on behalf of New Zealand government followed by short remarks by the Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni. The Minister of Pacific People, Hon. Aupito Wiliam Sio, also conveyed a video message addressing the Samoan Community and he also took the opportunity to thank the Samoa High Commissioner for his hard work and dedicated service on behalf of the Samoan Government, including towards the Samoan Communities in Wellington and throughout New Zealand. Afioga Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban and Tala Cleverley then cut the Cake to commemorate the 60 years of Samoa’s independence followed by entertainment by the Tautua Cultural Dance group. The Taualuga Siva was performed by the Taupou, daughter of the High Commissioner (Tehani-Kalei Amasunu Scanlan). The evening ended with singing of the Samoan hymn- Lota Nu’u. This is His Excellency, H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan and spouse Joyce Scanlan last Independence Reception in his capacity as High Commissioner as his term will finish end of June.