Samoa government

Samoan govt's concern over lack of audits on diplomatic missions

The Samoa Observer reports Cabinet approved this after a request from the Audit Office, amid concerns of a four-year period since the accounts of Samoa's diplomatic missions were last audited.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for the Audit Office, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio, said he couldn't understand why it took so long for the missions to be audited when it should be done annually.

But he said missions' finances have not been totally neglected as they are monitored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Samoan govt dispenses funds to district councils

Samoa's Minister of Social Development Leota Lamositele said the funds will be used by district councils to finance local projects and staff income.

Lamositele said the size of funding to each district is determined by financial estimations provided by local councils.

Former Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, has criticised the funding scheme, accusing the Government of not having a framework in place to audit the funds.


Samoan govt hopes to have national carrier fully operational again

Samoa media reports the move to get Samoa Airways back flying internationally was revealed by Minister for Public Enterprises, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo, in announcing the final payment of $US1.6 million to sever a Boeing 737-800 lease agreement with an overseas company totalling $US4.6 million.

Samoa Airways no longer operates long-haul flights to Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland - traditionally its primary sources of passengers and freight.

Ex-PM says Samoa being 'hoodwinked' by NZ government

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently visited Samoa as part of the country's 60th anniversary celebrations.

During the trip Ardern announced that New Zealand would provide $15 million to support Samoa with its climate change priorities, and a further $12 million to rebuild Apia's Savalalo Market, which was destroyed by a fire in 2016.

Samoa govt appeal after police sergeant discharged without conviction in manslaughter case

Samoa Observer reported police sergeant Khamtahn Stanley and Ulugia Lomalasi Laufili pleaded guilty to a charge of causing injury to a 20-year-old male of Vaiusu who died days later.

In the Supreme Court on Thursday, private prosecutor Leinafo Taimalelagi-Strickland appealed the court's discretion to discharge the defendants without conviction.

She told the court, presided over by Justice Lesatele Rapi Va'ai, of the gravity of the offence and the advanced aggravating factors.

Samoan govt information channel turned off

The platform was built by private company Samoa Digital Company and broadcasters pay to use it at a cost of $US8,000 a month for commercial stations and almost $US6,500 for non-commercial community broadcasters.

Samoa Observer reports that an agreement between the previous administration and the Samoa Digital Company allowed the government channel on the platform free of charge.

Aust looking to make immigration from the Pacific easier

Australian Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong revealed the proposed plan during discussions with Samoa's Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa while in Samoa this week.

Wong said one of the issues confronting Pacific islanders keen on working in Australia is the challenge of moving with their families.

She told a joint press conference the Pacific Labour Scheme visa is a longer one compared to the 8-9 months visa issued for the seasonal workers programme.

Funding boost for victims of domestic violence in Samoa

The Chair of the group Georgina Lui said the grant was a strong recognition of the work the NGO does to eliminate violence among Samoan families.

In the past, SVSG received funding from other organisations but Lui said that with the grant given directly from the government, they can do much more.

"Fortunately for us, it's a broad spectrum grant," she said.

Samoa govt upset at allegations its seasonal workers in Australia mistreated

This follows media reports in Australia that some Pacific Islander workers feel like they are being "treated like slaves" as fruit pickers in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme.

In an interview with Radio Polynesia the Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo expressed disappointment after reading the news articles from Australia.

To date there are close to 2,000 Samoans in New Zealand and Australia under the seasonal worker schemes.

Samoa allowing limited international flights from today

This will include a flight deferred from 22 January due to a nationwide lockdown after multiple positive Covid-19 cases arrived on an earlier flight.

The first flight arrives today and is described as a "cargo only" from New Zealand.

The deferred flight, which will operate 12 February, is also from New Zealand and will carry "cargo and passengers both ways".

Cabinet also approved an Air New Zealand charter flight 16 February which is described as an "outbound RSE charter" to uplift seasonal workers only and is not permitted to carry inbound passengers.