NEWSROOM: 05 March - 11 March 2006

  Samoa Democratic United Party (SDUP) Deputy Leader, Asiata Saleimoa Vaai, denies any power struggle within the party when questioned during SDUP media conference.
Sogi, Samoa
(Photo: Lagi Keresoma - 11 March 2006)

SDUP Deputy Leader denies power struggle within party
11 March 2006 - Source:

Samoa Democratic United Party (SDUP) Deputy Leader, Asiata Saleimoa Vaai, denied any power struggle within the party when questioned during SDUP media conference yesterday.

Proof of the party’s stability is based on the publics respond via continuing polling’s conducted by several medium outlets, according to Asiata. He also referred to the overwhelming respond by overseas Samoans in support of SDUP’s fundraising in Australia and New Zealand.

SDUP recently suspended one of their longest serving employee over differences with several candidates. was told by several SDUP supporters, the party is “in a mess and they are doing their best to hold it together for the upcoming election.” Sources also said friction between members and employees have reached a point where it is difficult to trust each other any more.

Samoa Party to turn Lotto Samoa to National Lotto
11 March 2006 - Source:

Samoa Party announced that if they win the upcoming election, they will change the Lotto Samoa operated by the Keil family to a National Lotto.

According to party leader, Suá Rimoni Ah Chong, the country as a whole should benefit from the millions made every week though the lotto. If the lotto is under the Government, people will benefit. Su’a said the Government made a blunder when they decided to hand over lotto Samoa to the private sector. Samoa Party said that these monies could have helped developed the country but not just one family.

The issue of turning Lotto Samoa into a National Lotto was first raised by the Samoa Progressive Party in their first press conference last month. Toalepaialii Toesulusulu Siuvea, leader of the party said then, that for the government to run the lotto, the people will all benefit from it.

Central to people’s interest is the alleged 90% which goes to the Keil family who operates the lotto, and the 10%, no one knows where it goes. sources said, the government is also getting a commission from the lotto gains.

Samoa Party and Samoa Progressive Party said that they will ensure the retuning of Lotto Samoa under the Governments operation, so “the country as a whole will benefit from it.” SDUP also supports the move.

But according to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to avoid losses the Government allowed the family to run it. Lotto Samoa is not a money making business, hence the reasons for letting it go in the first place.

  Michelle McDonald of the Vailima Breweries with Samoa Boxing team for the Commonwealth Games in Australia showing their team uniform sponsored by Vailima Breweries.
 Vaitele, Samoa
(Photo: Lagi Keresoma - 10 March 2006)

Vailima Breweries donate uniform for Samoa Boxing team
10 March 2006 - Source:

Vailima Breweries Marketing Manager Michelle McDonald presented the Samoa Boxing Association with their sponsored uniform for the Commonwealth Games this month in Australia.

Samoa Boxing Association coach Lupematasila Nanai told, they approached Vailima Breweries for assistance for the team uniform and are very greatful for the Vailima sponsorship.

The team is made up of six boxers including Oceania gold medalist Sada Wulf and two officials. The uniforms with the name Vailima will also help promote the local drink overseas.

Boxing is a medal winner for Samoa in most tournaments, and according to Lupematasila, the team is ready to do battle.

World Telecommunication Development Conference 07-15 March 2006
10 March 2006 - Source: Media Release - Press Secretariat

Cabinet has approved of Samoa's participation in the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) that is taking place in Doha, Qatar, from the 07-15th March 2006.

The International Telecommunication Union initiated Conference for this year is focusing on two objectives: to implement an action plan aimed at narrowing the digital divide between the developed and developing countries, urban and rural areas, and younger and older generations; and, to provide a framework for the examination of issues, plans and programmes relating to
telecommunication development and to establish priorities for the work of the Telecommunication Development Bureau.

Senior Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) Officer, Gisa Fuatai Purcell is representing Samoa at this Conference.

  Joyce Yu, head of the UNDP office in Samoa, being honoured by the Inailau a Tina Organisation pictured with 12 women candidates confirmed to run for Parliament in the upcoming election.
 Apia, Samoa
(Photo: Lagi Keresoma - 09 March 2006)

Female candidates honoured on International Women’s Day
09 March 2006 - Source:

Samoa’s general election is just around the corner with 16 women candidates confirmed to contest for Parliament seats. Of the 16 candidates, 12 participated yesterday in the celebration of the International Women’s Day at the National University of Samoa.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is, “Women and Decision Making: Challenges and Changes”. Women in Samoa are encouraged and given high regard in their decision-making efforts, which benefit the local community. The Government sees the role of Samoan women as a very crucial one, hence the approval of yesterday’s celebration which was organized by the Inailau a Tamaitai Organisation.

Yesterday’s program at NUS included a multi-media presentation utilizing television, radio and media outlets. During a Special Networking Program, candidates were invited to speak briefly on their reasons for running for Parliament, as well as sharing by representatives of the private and public sector, and the invited public.

The first lady of Samoa politic was Leafina Satia from the constituency of Faásaleleaga # 3, serving as a Member of Parliament from 1964 to 1967 with more women following Leafina’s lead.

A total of 29 women have run for Parliament since its inception. Only 13 made it to Parliament with Fiame Naomi Mataafa, daughter of the first Prime Minister Mataafa Faumuina Puela Mulinuu, becoming the first and only woman to hold a Ministerial post.

* Women candidates from 1962 -2005:
Leafina Satia, Taulapapa Faimaala, Iiga Suafole, Seupule Feenui, Laulu Fetauimalemau Mataafa, Tuala Tiresa Malietoa, Annandale Sina Hope Nelson, Aiono Fanaafi, Moore Frances Isabella, Moore Georgina Cecilia, Matatumua Maimoaga, Tagaloa Kunimeri, Taito Sieni, Tuilaepa Niusila, Tavui Lene, Maiava Visekota Peteru, Tofaeono Anufesaina, Vaasilifiti Moelagi Jackson, Fepuleai Naifona, Faáloto Topo, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Safuneituuga PaagaNeri, Tuato Tufuga, Sua Sulia, Fagafagamanualii Theresa McCarthy, Tapusalaia Faátonu Faletoese, Unasa Ese Sio Vaai, Elaine Meleane Silva.

* Those who became Members of Parliament:
Leafina Satia, Leaupepe Taulapapa Faimaala, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Aiono Fanaafi, Fagafagamanualií McCarthy, Safuneituuga Paaga Neri, Tuala Tiresa Malietoa, Laulu Fetauimalemau, Maiava Visekota Peteru, Annandale Sina Nelson.

* Current Members of Parliament:
Fiame Naomi Mataafa (Minister), Safuneituuga Paaga Neri, Fagafagamanualií Theresa McCarthy.

* 2006 women candidates:
Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Safuneituuga Neri, Fagafagamanualií McCarthy, Polataivao Ila Matagi, Manu Taialofa Tuitofa Naseri, Mamea Minnie, Maiava Visekota, Gatoloai Ama Gidlow, Fesolai Logo, Elaine Silva, Laulu Ianeta, Tuala Tiresa Malietoa, Tapunai Iiga, Fuimaono Teí, Seve Ruta.

National University of Samoa Vice-Chancellor Appointment
09 March 2006 - Source: Media Release – Government Press Secretariat

Cabinet has approved the appointment of Magele Mauiliu Magele to the position of Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa.

Four applications were received for this position when advertised. A Sub-Committee of the National University of Samoa Interim Council held interviews with all four applicants, and from these applicants, Magele Mauiliu Magele was selected and approved by the NUS Interim Council.

Magele Mauiliu Magele, a matai hailing from Iva and Sapapalii will hold the position of Vice Chancellor for three years.

  Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi with Australia High Commissioner to Samoa, Australia Navigational Unit representatives, Hon. Ulu Vaomalo Ulu Kini and Samoa Police Commissioner.
 Apia, Samoa
(Photo: Telecom Samoa Cellular - 08 March 2006)

Official opening of the Nafanua wharf at Matautu-tai
08 March 2006 - Source:

The specially constructed wharf at Mutate-tai for the Police patrol boat Nafanua, has been officially handed over by representatives of the Australian Navigational Unit to the Samoa Government.

The wharf which cost more than $30,000 was funded by the Australian Government under their Aus-Aid program.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in his address highlighted the importance of having a dock for the Nafanua, which in the past had to dock outside of the main wharf to allow other boats to utilize the wharf.

Nafanua have recently returned from Australia after undergoing repairs and a new facelift.

Minister of Police, Prison and Fire Brigade, Hon. Ulu Vaomalo Ulu Kini cut the ribbon to officiate the opening.

Samoa Copra Association to set up coconut mill at Salelologa
08 March 2006 - Source:

Plans are in the pipeline for the construction of a coconut mill at Salelologa by the Samoa Copra Association (SCA).

SCA Secretary Tuialamu told, they are not interested in the Copra Oil Production factory at Vaitele, but would rather set up their own mill. SCA is backed by the New Zealand based Oil Seed Ltd, who prefers to work with the local farmers.

Oil Seed Ltd representative in Samoa, Jim Dunlop, said that David Wong of Elan Trading Company currently operating the Vaitele mill approached Oil Seed three times. Oil Seed however, would only work with the coconut planters and producers. was told by SCA, that the mill at Vaitele is not operating at the moment and is a sign of "bad judgment on the part of the Prime Minister who chose his wife's family to run the mill."

In early 1970's since the establishment of the Vaitele mill, the "facility has been plagued by underutilization."

According to information collected and compiled by the Crops Division and Policy, Planning & Communication Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, the "Government owned mill was progressively driven further into debt (around $17 million)" which prompted the Government to "strike a deal in the 1990's with one of the main buyers, Oil Seeds Ltd New Zealand."

Oil Seed Ltd assumed management control of the mill "under the subsidiary Samoa company, Samoa Coconut Oil Production with the aim to trade out of debt." The report also stated that although the mill was improving rapidly, the Government however decided to tender the management of the mill in 2000. The tender became a hot issue locally with the Samoa Copra Association crying "unfair" after Elan Trading Ltd from Australia won the tender.

Central to SCA accusations was Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni. Tuilamu said that after the tender, they approached the Government to help guarantee a loan that the Association was trying to get from one of the local banks. He said, "Our efforts to run the Vaitele mill was unsuccessful, so tried setting up their own, again the Government turned us down."

It is also mentioned in the report that since COPS took control of the mill, "it is hardly opened because most growers are refusing to supply copra to the mill."

  Telecom Samoa Cellular announce the introduction of GSM network to Samoa providing mobile cover to 95% of the population, which will also allow 'roaming' when traveling overseas.
 Apia, Samoa
(Photo: Telecom Samoa Cellular - 07 March 2006)

Telecom Samoa announced $15 million GSM investment network
07 March 2006 - Source: Media Release - Telecom Samoa Cellular

PChairman of the Telecom Samoa Board, Mr Anthony Briscoe stated, "With 26,000 customers we want to provide them with the technology to service their communications needs. In a recent survey commissioned by the company; the people of Samoa have voiced what those needs are. The GSM network will best address our customers' needs."

Sala Epa Tuioti representing the Samoan government on the Board said, "It has been my role to maximize the benefits of this partnership for the people of Samoa. The GSM network being built will allow people in the rural areas to have the same service that is available to people in urban Apia. We are very happy with this development and that Telecom Samoa is able to make this
huge investment to provide for our people's communications requirements. It shows that the company's commitment is for the long-term."

Announced also by Telecom Samoa is the appointment of Ericsson as the company to build the GSM network. Having two of the world's telecommunications heavyweights involved means the people of Samoa will be getting the best network and professional people to develop their mobile
network for the long-haul.

The GSM network will provide many benefits, but most important is the increase in coverage. "GSM will allow Telecom Samoa to cover 95% of Samoa's populated areas", says Mr Anthony Briscoe. "For the other 5%, we are investigating solutions. We will also install generators on our cell sites so that during events like cyclones, our network will still be able to help our customers 'Keep in Touch' with the necessary utilities and families."

Mr David Borrill, Managing Director added, "This technology also allows 'roaming'. This means our Samoan people will be able to use their mobile phones in Europe, Britain, Australia or Fiji or wherever the technology is available and vice versa.

Telecom Samoa's GSM network is expected to be operational by July 2006. By September 2006, functionalities of the network will be enabled at full capacity. Some of these include: internet and email access; downloadable ring tones and screensavers, video clips, pxt, push to talk, WAP services like weather updates, rugby scores, news headlines, etc.

Solia Papu Vaai survived an assassination attempt
07 March 2006 - Source:

Former Minister of Agriculture, Solia Papu Vaai is in a stable condition at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital, after an attempt on his life while attending a family meeting at Falealupo last Saturday.

According to reports from Falealupo, one of the villages in his old constituent, Papu was shot from the back at a distance with possibly a 12 gauge shot gun which left ballets on the back of his head, neck and back.

Papu is currently competing as an independent candidate from the district of Vaisigano # 1 under the title Vaai, the seat that was once held by his father the late Prime Minister Vaai Kolone. His brother Asiata Saleimoa Vaai is deputy leader of the Samoa Democratic United Party.

The incident is said to be politically related, with police continuing their investigation into the matter.

  Western Union Samoa management, Fonoti Pio Molioo and Anarosa Molioo with the award they received in Thailand; offering money transfers and foreign exchange services.
 Apia, Samoa
(Photo: Mina/Jana - 06 March 2006)

Western Union Samoa receives award in Thailand
06 March 2006 - Source:

Pacific Holdings Limited (PHL) who has held the Western Union Money Transfer agency in Samoa for some ten (10) years is celebrating its recent success at Thailand, having won an award in recognition for "Achievement in Highest Increase in Activation Rate."

Western Union Samoa offers money transfers and foreign exchange services from three separate offices in Samoa, two in Upolu and one at Salelologa, as well as two at Faleolo international airport. According to PHL management, Fonoti Pio Molioo and Anarosa Molioo, Western Union Samoa is planning to establish new agents in Fagamalo, Aleipata and the new Market at Fugalei.

On Friday last week, Western Union Samoa announced the winners of its DREAM WISH PROMOTION 2 draw.
* 1st Prize - Return Ticket to New Zealand: Lesa Seiuli (Vaitele-uta)
* 2nd prize - Return Ticket to American Samoa: Tuliv Filo (Faleasiu)
* 3rd Prize - Weekend at Aggies Mulifanua: Ioana Toialo (Fualuga / Lotopa)
* 4th Prize - Family Dinner of Four Kitano Tusitala Fiafia Night: Lolouta Toialo (Vaiala)
* 5th Prize - $200 Cash Prize: Niutolo Fa'amausili (Malie), Sanita Faagai Tolovaa (Alafua), Feasili Tupua (Alafua), Taiala Fuiono (Lotopa), Taefa Aitaoto (Toamua), Sera Nasori (Alafua Campus)

PHL thanked the partners and customers for their support as well as the media for doing their part in marketing and promoting their services.

  Ministry of Police, Prison and Fire Brigade Minister, Hon. Ulu Vaomalo Ulu Kini making a final inspection of the force, after Parliament was dispersed early last week.
 Apia, Samoa
(Photo: Lagi Keresoma - 05 March 2006)

Ministry of Police, Prison and Fire Brigade honours Ulu
05 March 2006 - Source:

The Ministry of Police, Prison and Fire Brigade honoured their Minister, Hon. Ulu Vaomalo Ulu Kini with a final inspection of the force, after Parliament was dispersed early this week.

The gesture by the Ministry was in appreciation and to thank their Minister, who had stood by them during all the "ups and downs" hurled at the Ministry in the past years.

Ulu took on the portfolio as Minister for the Ministry after the reshuffle three years ago. Prior to his latter post, Ulu was the Minister for Sports and Culture when he entered Parliament in 2001.

Police Commissioner Papalii Lorenese Neru, on behalf of the Ministry thanked the Minister for his endurance in the past events, especially with the criticism the Ministry has received regarding the drug bust and firearm raid.


Back to Top               News & Info               Newsroom Archive