New Zealand

Samoa AG tenders shock resignation

The Samoa Observer reported that Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff's sudden resignation was confirmed by the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi on Thursday afternoon.

Lemalu tendered his resignation at a meeting with the Prime Minister earlier in the day which reportedly came as a shock to many.

Commenting on the resignation Tuilaepa said there were opportunities in New Zealand for Lemalu to advance his knowledge as a lawyer.

Lemalu has been the country's attorney-general for the last four years with his first three year term having just been extended last year.

Surfing legend Kelly Slater to compete in NZ

Slater, 47, holds the record for being both the youngest and oldest World Championin the men's ranks.

He won his first world title in 1992 at the age of 20 and his last was in 2011.

The Piha Pro will be the first time Slater has competed in New Zealand since 1993.

The Piha Pro is one stop on the newly-announced WSL Challenger Series which will see more than 100 surfers chasing qualifying for the elite Championship Tour in 2021.

10 people accused over importing over a tonne of drugs into New Zealand

Up to five million dollars' worth of drugs was seized in a major operation targeting the importation of methamphetamine and other drugs into New Zealand.

A New Zealand man has allegedly been operating overseas since 2016, sending drugs to associates back here via multiple countries and using a variety of ways to conceal the drugs.

He was arrested at the border in Italy on February 2.

Police have also arrested six of his alleged associates living in New Zealand after search warrants were carried out throughout the wider Auckland region last week.

Samoan nationals promised work but used as slaves High Court told

The woman, who was a 15-year-old at the time of the alleged offending in 1994-95, is one of several complainants who will give evidence at the trial of the first person to face both human trafficking and slavery charges in New Zealand.

Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, denies 24 charges relating to 13 people he brought over from Samoa between 1994 and 2017 to carry out horticulture work in Hawke's Bay.

Slavery and human trafficking trial involving Samoan national begins today

Samoan national Joseph Matamata, 65, also known as Viliamu Samu, is facing a total of 24 charges in relation to bringing 13 people from Samoa to New Zealand for horticultural work across Hawke's Bay.

Matamata, who has New Zealand residency and lives in Hastings, was arrested in December 2018 after a two-year investigation by Police and Immigration New Zealand.

He was originally facing 18 charges involving 10 people, but further charges were laid in August last year.

Samoa's govt issues warning to departing seasonal workers

The Samoa Observer reports the workers were also warned against the dangers of social media during a pre-departure meeting.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour's assistant chief executive, Lemalu Nele Leilua, told the workers the government would not hesitate to bring them back home if they misbehaved.

Most of the workers are heading to apple orchards for the harvest and are away for up to seven months.

The workers were also urged to start savings accounts for their return home.


Wuhan coronavirus: 30 Pacific evacuees quarantined in NZ

They are among 193 evacuees who arrived in Auckland from the Chinese city at the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, on Wednesday night.

The Pacific evacuees include 17 from Papua New Guinea, five Samoans, four Tongans, two Fijians, one from Kiribati and one from Federated States of Micronesia.

The group is expected to be held in isolation at Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland, for two weeks.

Otago University Professor Michael Baker said they would be contained and monitored and did not pose any threat to their home communities.

New Zealand to help Pacific neighbours evacuate

New Zealand imposed a two-week travel ban on arrivals from and through China on Monday and also warns its citizens to leave China fast.

Australia, the United States and seven other countries including Fiji, Russia, Japan and Indonesia, have also imposed entry restrictions on people from China, in an effort to limit contagion of the coronavirus from its source in Wuhan.

New Zealand's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said preparations for the evacuation were well under way.

New Zealand pass through pool play unbeaten

For the Black Ferns, victory represented success at the first official world-series event form women in New Zealand.

They secured their semi-final spot with a 38-21 win over Fiji in their final pool game on Sunday morning, with Stacey Fluhler scoring a try hat-trick and Michaela Blyde a double.

Late in their semi, they trailled France, and needed tries from Fluhler and Kelly Brazier, both converted, to emerge 19-7 winners. 

New Zealand 'has responsibility to protect Pacific from coronavirus'

The death toll from the coronavirus sweeping through China has increased to 17 to six and more than 500 people are confirmed to have the illness, which began in Wuhan.

Health authorities say the current risk to New Zealand is low.

But Otago University's Michael Baker says the virus has already spread to several other countries, and monitoring and preparation has to be stepped up. 

He says the recent spread of the measles to the Pacific highlights the obligation New Zealand has to the region.