New Zealand and Samoa still best of friends 60 years on

By Stefan Dimitrof

The New Zealand government, along with representatives from all political parties, have been visiting Samoa, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 'treaty of friendship' between the two countries.

This was Jacinda Arden’s third visit to Samoa as prime minister. Members of the political delegation arrived on Monday and became the first international visitors to Samoa since it reopened its borders.

Ardern told that Samoan Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa was the daughter of the prime minister who signed the treaty of friendship 60 years ago “as a very meaningful opportunity and milestone”.

Ardern said the reason that New Zealand and Samoa were so close was that New Zealand was “very present before their move to independence".

“The third most spoken language in New Zealand is Samoan, we have a large Samoan population here, with  considerable connections between our two nations, and there are opportunities available to ensure that we both benefit.”

“How can we continue to support labour mobility in our region; we already have cultural exchanges and academic exchanges. How can we make sure that the relationship is good for Samoa and good for New Zealand.”