Samoa celebrates 53 years of Independence

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Western Samoa became independent of New Zealand on 1 January 1962, but the small island nation marks its Independence Day on June 1, an occasion the Samoan community in New Zealand gather to celebrate.

Samoa was the first Polynesian nation to be recognised as a sovereign nation in the 20th century.  In July 1997, the constitution was amended to change the country's name to Samoa.

One in three Samoans reside in Manukau and they have joined other communities throughout Aotearoa to celebrate and commemorate the 53rd anniversary of their home country's independence.