11 August 2016
NZ Minister of Civil Defence visits Samoa
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi attended a function to welcome New Zealand’s Minister for Civil Defence, Youth and ACC, held last night at the New Zealand High Commission residence at Vailima.
Hon Nikki Kaye was in Samoa to affirm the strong ties between New Zealand and Samoa around disaster management and spoke highly of Samoa’s efforts at disaster risk management, economic recovery and the families and victims of Samoa’s natural disasters. She also announced a $750,000 package as part of broader assistance from New Zealand to further strengthen Samoa’s Disaster Risk Management programme.
“The relationship between New Zealand and Samoa is incredibly strong. Strong not because politicians have stood where I stand but because of the people.
“Relationships run deep and I want to acknowledge the involvement and connections of everyone in Samoa with New Zealand.”
Kaye, the MP for Auckland Central, went on to say that she believed it was an exciting time for Samoa, with several big projects looming.
“I believe the Prime Minister and government is on the cusp of something quite incredible – the 2.6% growth, to have projects like the Tui Samoa Cable, the solar energy projects – it’s an incredibly exciting time. I can feel it with all the people I have met and the conversations I have had with the disaster risk management teams,” she said.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa extended his gratitude to the government of New Zealand for their continued assistance with development projects currently underway and planned for the future.
“The Minister has had discussions with us in relation to disaster risk management, which was fruitful not only for me but for our officials and Ministers she has spoken to.
“One of the most important priority areas is with our early warning systems so we are able to warn our people of an impending disaster, storm, cyclone and other disasters.
“Through the Minister, I conveyed my own gratitude to the government of New Zealand. They are one of our friends who are always by our side immediately after a disaster. One of the first to help us.”
The Hon Minister was in Samoa for a two-day visit, where she visited Lalomanu and met with families who were affected by the 2009 tsunami; hosted a Youth Round Table for emerging leaders; and also attended the opening of the Secondary School Champ of Champs Athletics meet at Apia Park.
The package will cover ongoing work such as:
- improving early warning systems
- providing additional training and equipment for Samoa’s emergency operations centre
- helping to develop community response and local evacuation plans
- supporting Samoa’s national preparedness exercises
- developing educational materials for schools and pre-schools.
Minister Kaye also handed over documents for the New Zealand Building Code Standards to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure – to assist the Ministry with the current project to rewrite Samoa’s Building Code. The documents were handed over to Associate Minister of Works, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli.