Samoa
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New Zealand & Samoa Judiciary hold Inaugural Dialogue

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 27 MARCH 2023: Members of the New Zealand and Samoa Judiciary will be sharing in their inaugural dialogue in Apia this week on issues pertaining to their duties at judges of the Court.

Leading the New Zealand delegation is Member of Parliament, Aupito William Su’a and Chief District Court Judge Heemi Taunaumu.

The Minister for Justice & Courts Administration, Matamua Vasati Pulufana hosted the visiting delegation and members of the Samoan judiciary in a welcome dinner last night.

The Minister pointed out the importance of such high level meetings especially the time it is taking place as Samoa had recently come through a period of political and social instability arising from the April 2021 general elections.

“Samoa and its democracy was saved by the application of the rule of law by the country’s independent and exceptionally talented Judiciary. With God’s grace, peace prevails,” said Matamua.

She said the events of the recent past underlies the fact that freedom and peace are often taken for granted.

“That peace and freedom is founded upon the concepts of democracy, justice, rule of law and rights we included in our constitution upon independence in 1962.”

She reminded of Martin Luther King’s words that “True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.”

“The judiciary is the foundation stone for democratic freedoms and rights to be protected, strengthened and honoured,” she said.

judiciary group
judiciary group

Members of the New Zealand & Samoa Judiciary at a welcoming event at the Taumeasina Resort last night.

Aupito reiterated the Minister’s words on the importance of such a meeting where some of the issues such as the adoption of the Samoan traditional apology – Ifoga as a mitigating factor in court decisions in both jurisdictions.

The Alii ma Faipule of Vaimoso village will perform the Ifoga for the Judiciary on Wednesday morning.

MJCA Chief Executive Officer, Papalii John Taimalelagi said the Ifoga is a mitigating factor in a Judge’s decision in Samoa and the New Zealand Judges wanted to see how the Ifoga is done hence the demonstration.

Part of the program includes a visit to selected historical sites including the mass graveyard at Vaimoso of those who perished in the 1918 influenza.

His Honour Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese said both Samoa and New Zealand Judiciary will benefit from the meeting.

He also welcomed home Samoan Judges now serving in New Zealand such as Ida Malosi and Judge Mike Mika who is a former Samoan rugby player.

The delegation will be officially welcomed in an Ava ceremony this morning.

New Zealand Delegation

  • Judge Jacquelyn Moran- Principal Family Court Judge
  • Judge Ida Malosi – Principal Youth Court Judge

  • Judge Mike Mika – District Court Judge

  • Judge Lope Ginnen – District Court Judge

  • Judge Robyn Von Kesienberg – District Court Judge

The Judges are accompanied by their spouses and staff of the New Zealand Ministry of Justice.