Prime-minister of Samoa Tuilaepa_Sailele_Malielegaoi

Media Q&A with the Prime Minister and the Savali Newspaper on Bani etc.
A one-on-one with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, 24 April 2015

Savali:
What do you think of the Long Boat Flag Raising Race at American Samoa recently and the chances of our own fautasi against theirs in future races?

PM:
Most of the American Samoa fautasi are built to high tech specifications for speed, whilst our own fautasi reflect traditional designs for joy riding and fun races only once every year at Flag Raising – the highlight of these Festivities.  Therefore for any of our fautasi to beat those high tech speed aces, requires pure guts, muscles and exceptional energy and drive from the rowers.  And the Don Bosco rowers had all of these qualities.  The Report from Pago Pago of the recent event seemed to suggest that Don Bosco could have snatched First prize if the race had run the full distance of 5 miles.

Savali:
In your recent interview with the media you said that discussions last week with Bumble Bee in Pago Pago were quite positive.  How realistic are their proposals to set up a loin operation in Apia considering that we have the smallest fishing zone?

PM:
Bumble Bee Representatives were quite serious.  Their main focus is albacore – which commands a premium price in the market.  And Apia is strategically located in the centre and within close proximity to the fishing zones of many neighbouring islands.  Thus the fact that Samoa has the smallest fishing zone, and albacore is a highly migratory fish species, is a real blessing in disguise.

Savali:
On the preparations for the impending All Blacks/Manu Samoa match in Apia, what is the latest on the construction works at Apia Park?  Are they on schedule?

PM:
My latest field visit last week of the Test Facilities and the discussions I had with the contractors and the Ambassador of China at the site and also what we ourselves witnessed, gave us full confidence that the construction works will be completed well before match day.

Savali:
What about the preparations for the Commonwealth Youth Games to be held here in September this year?

PM:
No problem – All preparations are on schedule.

Savali:
And lastly, Prime Minister Bainimarama seemed very angry with you Tuilaepa.  What have you done?

PM:
Yes I noted that. (chuckled) I was complimenting Bani for being a great former March Commander and the guy snapped, barked, meowed and mooed.  He seemed to have no sense of humour.  Perhaps this was the doing of his wag-tail!!

Savali:
And what if Fiji stays out of the Forum on their own decision?

PM:
The Forum will continue to function from strength to strength.  If Bainimarama is serious with his plan not to come in he must formally inform the President of the Forum, of his Government’s intention, through the Secretary General of the Forum and the leaders must then decide at the forthcoming meeting in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to move the Forum Secretariat out of Fiji – that is the issue the Leaders must address at its next Forum Meeting in PNG.

 

-End of Interview-

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