Samoans visiting New Zealand treated like second class citizens?

samoans visiting

“Can you be the Prime Minister who would be bold enough to change your immigration laws so that Samoans can enter your country freely without requiring visas, which cost money most of our poor people don’t have?”

This was the question Mata’afa Keni Lesa put to the New Zealand prime minister in his opinion piece published in the Samoa Observer after her recent visit to Samoa.

“We cannot keep referring to a special relationship founded upon the Treaty of Friendship and then continue to treat our Samoans like second-class citizens by subjecting them to the vigorous and expensive process of having to obtain a visa simply to fly across for the weekend,” he said.

This issue was raised in what was an otherwise very positive coverage of Ardern’s visit.

“The truth is quite simple. The Samoan Government doesn’t need to look far to find a role model.” Lesa said.

“If Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his administration need some inspiration, they only have to look to New Zealand.”

In a related matter, the issue Recognised Seasonal Workers (RSW) was raised by Tuilaepa during talks with Ardern and her deputy Winston Peters.

He said the Samoan workers under New Zealand’s RSW scheme are trustworthy, skilful and are meeting the expectations of their employers.

Samoa called for the RSE workers to be eligible for the immigration quota because they already have established employment, which is one of the key requirements for applicants to meet.

New Zealand has an annual quota for 1,100 Samoans to immigrate to this country but it is frequently unfilled.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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