NEWSROOM: 12 August - 18 August 2007

  Quests Speakers; Doctor Erika Puni & Pastor Neone Okesene. Prime Minister
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi with Pastor Sioeli Puni and Pastor
Uili Solofa; Kosena Church members Pua Puni and Tiana Uili.

Apia, Samoa (Photos:


Samoan Seventh-Day Adventist Minister Meet
18 August 2007 - Source:

Samoan Seventh-day Adventist Ministers from all over the world recently had their Conference in the Samoa, Tokelau & American Samoa Mission at Lalovaea.

According to Doctor Erica Puni, the purposes of this conference are:

1. To provide a ministerial forum for Samoan SDA ministers to discuss and address ministry/church issues that are of common interest to Samoan congregations, both in Samoa and abroad (Australia, New Zealand, and the USA).

2. To create opportunity for the exchange of ministry ideas and resources for the benefit of Samoan ministers and Samoan congregations everywhere.

3. To explore possibilities of partnership between the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Samoa and Samoan Seventh-day Adventist congregations overseas, in areas of church development and leadership.

4. To facilitate the process of networking among Samoan Seventh-day Adventist ministers globally.

5. To make time for Christian fellowship, Bible study and prayer in the context of Christian ministry.

The Samoan Prime Minister officially opened the Conference Monday afternoon (13th August) at Lalovaea.

Overseas delegates of interest for comments or interview purposes are:

• Pastor Uili Solofa (President Samoas and Tokelau Mission) and Pastor Paulo Pelenato (General Secretary Samoa and Tokelau Mission).

• Pastor Laurie Evans (South Pacific Division President).

• Pastor Lawrence Tanabose (Trans Pacific Union Mission).

• Pastor Neone Okesene (General Secretary Papua New Guinea Union Mission).

• Pastor Edward Tupai (President North New Zealand Conference).

Doctor Erika Puni (General Conference Stewardship Director).

  Samoan Cultural experience at the Event Polynesia Village, Hotel Kitano
Samoa, Apia.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Salamina Faaifo)


Event Polynesia Village promotes Samoan cultural experience
17 August 2007 - Source:

The Event Polynesia Village opens on Monday 20th August and will open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until Friday 7th September. The Event Polynesia Village is a hospitality event hosted by Event Polynesia to complement Samoa’s preparations as host of the 13th South Pacific Games.

The Village is built in the Hotel Kitano Samoa gardens and will provide the ultimate in Samoan cultural experiences including a glimpse of the ‘ava’ ceremony plus cultural demonstrations and Samoan ‘umu’ preparations. Samoa’s premiere cultural dance group Island Fire will be the feature performers at the village, with local string bands complimenting the entertainment side of things.

According to Managing Director of Event Polynesia, Mr. Teleiai Su’atapuloloo Edwin Puni, “The idea of the Event Polynesia Village is to promote Samoa trade and tourism to the 23 South Pacific countries participating in the Games and the thousands of visitors that will be attending.”

“We are also delighted to announce Corona as the major sponsor of the Event Polynesia Village and hence also the opportunity to launch Corona Beer, not only in Samoa, but also throughout the region.”

“As a Samoan registered multimedia and event company, Event Polynesia is committed to showcase Samoan hospitality and display our Samoan culture to welcome and host our friends visiting us during the South Pacific Games 2007,” said Mr. Puni.

Demonstrations include ‘mailo’ food plate weaving, ‘miki’ preparation and coconut tree climbing. The Event Polynesia Village will also have displays of Samoan canoe and handicraft carving, tapa and elei making, and fine mat weaving. There will also be finished products of Samoan handicrafts and Samoan elei and t-shirts available for sale. The Samoan handicraft and weaving display is organised by Women in Business and the t-shirts and elei are provided by Mannyswear of Samoa.

Event Partners that are working together with Event Polynesia to host the Event Polynesia Village spectacle include the Samoa Tourism Authority, who have given their blessing for the event, SamoaTel providing broadband and Internet, Datec providing the PCs for the Internet, Ah Liki Wholesale providing some of the food, Apia Bottling providing party ice, juice and cocktail products and Lewis Installation who are providing the big screen television to watch the games on site. Media partners providing coverage and promotion of the event are Samoa Observer, Samoa Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Polynesia.

Teleiai Su’atapuloloo added that it was very important that we provide a Samoan Village setting for tourists to have a first hand experience, and especially to witness our Samoan culture on display and how we host our guests.

  Toomata Apia Fiso, Auseugaefa Vaasatia Poloma, Mataio Rabura; Directors of
Immigation from across the Pacific meet in Aggie Grey's Conference Room.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Salamina Faaifo)


Directors of Immigration from across the Pacific meet in Samoa
16 August 2007 - Source: Immigration New Zealand Press Release

Directors of Immigration from 18 countries and territories from across the Pacific will be attending the eleventh Pacific Immigration Directors' Conference (PIDC), in Apia, Samoa from 15 to 17 August.

The Conference will explore the theme Working together to strengthen regional security and prosperity through managed international people movements.

"The Conference provides a unique opportunity for the most senior immigration officials in the region to come together and discuss issues of mutual concern", said Mr. Api Fiso, Chair of the PIDC and Border Security Group Manager for Immigration New Zealand.

Issues relating to effective border management and security will be prominent on the agenda. Among other items, Immigration Directors will discuss legislative provisions, people smuggling, human trafficking, immigration identity fraud, and the movement and management of third country nationals.

"With ever increasing numbers of people travelling internationally within the region, immigration agencies face ongoing challenges. The PIDC takes a collective, pragmatic approach to these challenges, seeking small incremental steps to improve border management across the region", Mr. Fiso said.

The PIDC is part of the regional effort to realise the objectives of the Pacific Plan and the Millennium Development Goals. The PIDC works collaboratively with regional law enforcement agencies as well as other regional and global organisations on migration matters. Accordingly, relevant regional and international observer organisations have been invited to attend the Conference.

  Laulii Primary School Building; JICA Resident Representative Mr. Yoshifusa
Shikama, Japan’s Ambassador H.E. Mr. Takahashi Toshihi, Minister of Works Hon. Tuisugaletaua Sofara & Minister of Education Hon. Toomata Alapati; JICA
Office in Apia.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: JICA/


Japanese government rebuilds Laulii Primary School
15 August 2007 - Source: JICA Press Release

The Government of Japan today officially handed over a new school building built with the grant of AUD$118,347 (approx. 253,000 Tala), made available under the Grassroots Human Security Grant Aid for the “Project for Reconstruction of Laulii Primary School”.

This Project was proposed by the Laulii Primary School Committee in 2005. The Project consisted of construction of a new school building, including new six classrooms, a water tank with a 5,000 gallon capacity to ensure a consistent supply of water to the school, plus a lavatory block for use by the students.

The Government of Samoa has been undertaking to strengthen the education sector through improving school facilities and equipment, and to help enhance the quality of life of its society in line with the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) 2005–2007. The completion of this Project will be one of the prominent achievements towards the goal of the SDS, the “Quality of Life for ALL”

The Government of Japan extends its best wishes to the Laulii Primary School and wishes to continue to support Samoa promoting its goal of the SDS. “I believe that education is essential for the development of a nation by turning the potential of its people into reality, and that these children who learn in this Laulii Primary School will play a key role in the economic and social development of Samoa in the future.”, Ambassador Takahashi said at the ceremony today.

Ambassador Takahashi is expected to present his credentials to the new Head of State, His Highness Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi tomorrow. Ambassador Takahashi concluded his address by calling for further development towards strengthening the bilateral relationship between Samoa and Japan.

  Pastor Faafetai, Pati, John, Willen, Patricia Dainik & Leti Fouina; newly ordained pastor Lauano and wife; third year students from Vanuatu with families.
Apia, Samoa (Photos: Jana Siaosi)


The Rhema School of Ministry's Graduation
14 August 2007 - Source:

The Rhema School of Ministry in Samoa had their graduation on Saturday 11th August 2007 at the Tooa Salamasina Hall in Sogi. Reverend John Alailima introduced the ceremony and the official welcoming has carried-out by Taylor Mariner, one of the third year Graduates.

Reverend Guy Duininck, who is both founder and vice president of the Rhema School of Ministry, gave the keynote address for the graduates.

There were nine students who graduated with a Third Year Ministerial Diploma, fourteen graduates from the second year and twenty-two graduates from the first year.

Rhema Bible Training Centre is an inter-denominational, ministry training centre designed to train men and women who feel a call to serve God. The standard for each student is excellence in the spirit.

  Hyundai Tucson and Getz available at DAT Car Rentals, Demetrius Taofiga and wife Alesi Taofiga at DAT Car Rentals Office.
Apia, Samoa (Photos: Jana Siaosi)


Business of the Week: DAT Car Rentals
13 August 2007 - Source:

DAT Car Rentals is wholly Samoan owned and operated. DAT Car Rentals take pride in contributing to their local economy and serving their local and overseas customers with excellent service and a fleet of new, clean and safe vehicles. DAT Car Rentals welcome you to visit them at their office and meet their friendly staff and the founders in person!

The Owner of DAT Car Rentals Demetrius Taofiga, agrees to rent to the Customer the vehicle described below, subject to all of the conditions and provisions contained herein, in consideration whereof, Customer acknowledges and agrees:

That the vehicle is the property of the Owner and is in good mechanical and physical condition unless specified otherwise herein. The Customer will return the vehicle, together will all tyres, tools accessories, and equipment in the same condition as received, ordinary wear and tear excepted, to the Owner's terminal or as otherwise specified, on the date specified, or sooner, if demanded by owner.

That the Customer will pay the Owner or demand all charges for: (a) time; (b) mileage as determined by a reading of the odometer installed in the vehicle; (c) collision damage waiver; (d) state taxes; (e) all applicable fines and court costs for parking, traffic or other legal violations assessed against the vehicle. Customer or Owner including towing and storage charges resulting from these violations; (f) Owner's costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred in collecting amounts of any nature due from Customer hereunder; (g) Owner's costs to repair collision or upset damages to the vehicle, including loss of use to be charges at the rate of ST$35 per day during the period that the vehicle is being repaired, provided, however, if the vehicle (I) is operated in accordance with all the terms hereof including the obligations specified in 2(c) above, Customer's liability for such damage will not exceed ST$2,000.00 or 2 is operated in accordance with all the terms hereof, including the obligations specified in paragraph 2 (c). Customer's liability for such damage will be waived if Customer has purchased in advance the collision damage waiver as evidence by his initials in the space provided.

That the Customer acknowledges that he is solely liable for any and all personal injuries including death and property damage, arising out of, or by reason of the use of the vehicle; that the Owner has provided bodily injury liability, and property damage liability in such limits or amounts not less than that required under Samoa Law.

That the customer proceeds at own risk and expense on all private and unpaved roads.

That Insurance Excess on windscreen is ST$350.00.

That the Customer is to come up with: (1) Police Report (2) Copy of Driver’s License (3) Insurance Excess Bond of ST4, 000.00 and (4) Fill in Insurance Claim form, if any accident occurs.

That the Customer is to repair their own flat tyres unless broken/damaged then gets to pay for tyre costs.

That all rental agreements are subject to audit and adjustment if necessary.

All online reservations are subject to a deposit as set forth in course of online reservation.
Any deposit collected for the purpose of holding a vehicle will be used towards the final bill upon successful rental. Any deposit collected for the purpose of holding a vehicle will be refunded upon cancellation of reservation provided you contact us within 48 hours of scheduled rental with a cancellation notice. In case of cancellation within 48 hours of scheduled rental no refund will be provided unless the cancellation is due to circumstances beyond your control such as cancelled or delayed flights etc. in which case we require notification and evidence within this period of time.

  Linda Vagana playing netball in NZ; Girls of the Samoa Netball Team; Coaches of the Samoa Netball Team.
Apia, Samoa (Photos: Linda Vagana/


Person of the Week: Linda Vagana
12 August 2007 - Source:

Linda Vagana knows what it's like to live with public expectations, and she lives with more of them than most. Not only is she a popular and high profile member of the national netball team the Silver Ferns, she is also a minister's daughter.

Linda was 18 when her father, Reverend Uiva Vagana of North Shore Pacific Island Church in Auckland, graduated from Knox and entered the ministry.

"All of a sudden there were these leadership qualities you had to adopt. You found yourself, not by choice, in all sorts of clubs related to the church. If it wasn't youth group, you were in bible study, or the choir. It got to the level where we were expected to attend every single thing that was happening."

Her growing success in netball brought its own pressures. Linda, who turns 31 this year, has been with the Ferns squad since 1992 (her test debut was at the beginning of 1993).

"You have your church expectations of being a minister's daughter and all the obligations you take along with it. Then with the Silver Ferns, there are expectations as well. A lot of our games are played on Sunday at that level and it got really hard that I wasn't attending church; particularly because I was the minister's daughter and not attending on Sundays."

But, she says, her close-knit Samoan family has always been incredibly supportive.

"It was a testing time and it was one of the many trials that I went through but the weekends aren't the only time that you spend with God, it's through the week as well. Whatever attitude you have on a Sunday should be the same every other day; that was probably one of the best things Dad ever shared with me and I've just taken that through everything that I do."

The fact Linda is somewhat of a role model in the community is something she tries to use to positively influence the kids in the youth programmes she's voluntarily involved with.

"I'm basically helping out and letting them know that I'm just like them, and they too can do well in anything they have a desire for. It may not be in sport, but they can also be successful in whatever field they choose."

Six years ago, she started an organisation called North Shore Pasifika Youth, running holiday youth programmes. But the growing mountain of paperwork and regulations now attached to such an enterprise has forced her to cut it back this year and simply focus on a weekly Friday night meeting using the church group as a base.

On top of her ongoing church and netball commitments (she has made herself available for selection for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, in July), Linda works as a marketing co-ordinator for the AUT Faculty of Arts and is finishing-off a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences, which she's been studying for part-time over the past three years.

"If I had time I probably would have finished it by now," she comments wryly.


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