Samoa tournament for minnows a first step towards landing big fish of India, China

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has announced a World Nines tournament to be held next October in the capital, Apia, backed by Chinese money and played in a Beijing-funded stadium.

A Chinese team will compete in the three-day event, as well as an Indian team, two nations with little background in rugby union and none in league. Teams at the World Nines will play for the Confederation Cup, and it has been sanctioned by International Rugby League. It is open to both men's and women's teams.

Samoa police prepare to evict families at Sogi

The Police Commissioner Fuiavaili'ili Egon Keil has cautioned against violence in the process.

"Our plea to the families in this area is to keep the peace and let the police do their job," he said.

Last week a member of one of the families involved told the Samoa Observer newspaper that she would not vacate the land.

"They can dig a mass grave and bury us in it, or kill us," said Aiga Tokuma.

"Only then they [the Government] can occupy this land; but we will not go down without a fight," she said.

Walter wins Samoa’s first gold medal

The achievement is an addition to her medal record after winning silver alongside her father, Muaausa Joseph Walter at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu back in 2017.

Samoa has also won bronze medal in the women’s category of the Va’a competition.

The team came in third to gold medalists Tahiti and silver medalists Papua New Guinea.


De Vos wins Tahiti’s first gold medal

The 23 year old claimed six gold medals at Port Moresby 2015, however he was the silver medallist at the Games in the open water swimming. De Vos has managed to upgrade to gold here.

New Caledonia's Hugo Savignac and Benoît Rivière the silver and bronze respectively.


Pacific Games torch relay arrives in Apia

Torch Relay Coordinator, Tafaese Spencer Tautu from the Ministry of Education Sports (MESC), believes there is great significance in the torch as Samoa prepares to host the Games.

“There is power in the torch that can mend bridges and bring different villages to ignite under the slogan of the Games and that is ‘one in spirit,’ he said. “I never imagined this would be the response of the people. This is the first time the Head of State has received the torch baton twice, first at his home at Falelatai and, again, yesterday at his residence in Vailele.”

Urban Village Tattoo Studio thrives on promoting Samoan culture

Urban Village Tattoo Studio owner, Michael Hickey says they are proud of the work they have done over the years.

“It’s been about 15 years now and it all started with a friend who was deported back from America. He is a tattoo artist and I was doing CDs and operating a coffee shop at that time. Back than he was looking for job. And I felt sorry for him and I had space in the shop and we started a tattoo studio and we started here. That’s how it started. It got so busy that we started dropping off the café and focusing more on the tattoos,” Hickey said.

Samoa ready to host Pacific Games declares PGC President Lakhan after venue visit

Lakhan led a deputation to the Samoan capital of Apia to check the venues ahead of the 2019 edition of the Games.

Alongside PGC chief executive Andrew Minogue, they visited every competition venue and examined facilities at the Athletes' Village at Faleula Methodist Compound.

Samoa is due to host the Games from July 7 to 20 and Lakhan says he is satisfied the event is ready to go ahead.

He said: “I wish to personally thank the Prime Minister, the Minister for Sport and all Samoans for getting behind the hosting of the 2019 Pacific Games. 

Apia city clean-ups planned before Games

Marine litter is a global issue that negatively impacts the environment, people and coastal economies around the world.

In Samoa it is estimated that in 2017 around 9,000 tons of plastic is generated each year. This equates to roughly 3.5 large garbage truck-loads of plastics collected every day. If not managed correctly it could end up in the oceans.  

Samoa Airways Apia-Sydney flight diverted to Canberra

The airline said the unforeseen diversion took place while customers with confirmed bookings on the return flight (OL856) from Sydney to Apia were being processed through check-in and departure formalities.

Whilst flight OL855 was eventually able to operate from Canberra to Sydney Saturday night, it did so after 11:00pm local time meaning that the Sydney Airport curfew would be a factor.

Air New Zealand flights to Samoa affected because of runway lights

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman confirmed flight NZ992 from Auckland to Apia on Friday afternoon was cancelled, and as a consequence return flight NZ997 from Apia to Auckland was also cancelled.

New Zealand Herald reports the spokeswoman did not have more details on what the issue with the runway lights was and no one could be contacted at Faleolo International Airport.

She also did not know how many Air New Zealand passengers have been affected, but the A320 that usually flies the route has 168 economy seats, according to Air New Zealand's website.