Prime Minister Bill English will visit Samoa this week for the country’s 55th Independence Day celebrations. 

“The visit will be an opportunity to reaffirm the special relationship that exists between our countries and will include a celebration of 55 years of our Treaty of Friendship,” Mr English says.

“I am looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Tuilaepa and discussing a wide range of political and economic issues including the Pacific Islands Forum, which Samoa will host in September. Samoa is an important bilateral partner for New Zealand and we greatly value its leadership in the region.”

The Prime Minister will also visit projects supported with New Zealand development assistance and will meet with key representatives from Samoa’s government, private, NGO and community sectors.  He will then join Prime Minister Tuilaepa at the Blues vs Reds Super Rugby match, the first Super Rugby game to be played in Samoa.

Mr English departs for Samoa on May 31 and returns on June 3.

Note for editors: The Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa was signed on 1 August 1962, seven months after Samoa gained full independence. Samoa is the only nation with which New Zealand enjoys a Treaty of Friendship. The treaty contains seven articles that emphasise the closeness of the relationship and recognise “friendship, confidence, and a mutual endeavour to obtain for their peoples fuller opportunities for social progress”.

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