Samoan News, Tala Samoa
Samoa PM announces All Blacks date
New Zealand are set to play an historic Test against Samoa in Apia next year, according to the Samoan prime minister, but the All Blacks have yet to publicly confirm the news.
Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, said that he had received a confirmation letter from New Zealand Rugby and the fixture would go ahead on July 8, just days after the scheduled Super Rugby final.
The New Zealand Herald reported earlier this month that Samoa would host the All Blacks in a Test for the first time in 2015, as part of both teams' Rugby World Cup preparations. The newspaper reported that the respective unions had reached an agreement to stage the match in late July after the Super Rugby season, which next year will run through June due to the absence of European visiting tours in a World Cup season.
New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said later in a statement that he "would very much like to take a match to Samoa" but the union had only "completed positive initial talks about the prospect of an All Blacks-Samoa Test with sponsors and the International Rugby Board, who had committed early support".
"Once we have worked these through, we would then be in a position to talk to Samoa Rugby," he said. "It's fair to say that a 2015 Test is a possibility. However, until we've worked through those important aspects, we're not in a position to confirm anything."
Tew and New Zealand Rugby have not responded to Tuilaepa's announcement of the July 8 fixture.
The teams have played each other in five Tests - all in New Zealand - but have not met since 2008. New Zealand Rugby has come under increasing pressure to play fixtures in the Pacific islands to support their neighbouring unions and to pay homage to the heritage of many All Black players.
The All Blacks are yet to play in Samoa, Fiji or Tonga, but they played Japan in Tokyo en route to Europe last year and New Zealand Rugby recently announced a Test against the United States in Chicago this year - a match that the Samoa Observer described as a "shameful Samoa snub".
Tew said in March "the reality for us is … we have to do what's best for New Zealand rugby, and playing an All Blacks Test match in the islands just doesn't suit our program". But the union has come under pressure for its stance since it revealed that it had made a $NZ850,000 (£430,000) profit from the one-off Test against Japan in front of 27,000 spectators in Tokyo last year.
US Rugby is reported to have paid New Zealand Rugby $US1 million (£580,000) to cover their costs with regards to the coming Chicago Test, for which more than 40,000 tickets are already thought to have been sold. By comparison, the Apia Park ground that would host the All Blacks in Samoa has a capacity of just 15,500
The All Blacks have played only 14 Tests against their Pacific neighbours - none before the 1987 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, and none after the 2011 tournament - and the announcement of the Chicago Test against the United States re-ignited the issue on the public agenda in New Zealand.
Popular television host John Campbell began a campaign to pressure New Zealand Rugby to send the All Blacks to Apia, and he presented his current affairs show Campbell Live live from North Harbour Stadium ahead of the Blues v Sharks Super Rugby match to start a petition for the All Blacks to play in Samoa. The #ABsToSamoa hashtag subsequently gained popular support on Twitter.
Samoan cabinet minister Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau composes a song to counter climate change
There's been a positive reaction in Samoa to the theme song for the United Nations Small Island Developing States (SIDS) summit that's been written by a prominent cabinet minister.
AUDIO: Samoan cabinet minister Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau talks about the inspiration behind his song to counter climate change (ABC News)
The Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, wrote the words for 'There Is Hope' and his wife Salâ Seutatia Aveau composed the music.
Local radio and televisions stations are playing it regularly and people are buying the CD.
"It's going well but it's now government property," the Honorable Tuisugaletaua told Pacific Beat.
Samoa's capital Apia will host 3,000 delegates from 197 countries as well as non-government organisations, the private sector, inter-government organizations, academic institutions and the media.
The conference starts in late August and will involve all sectors of Samoan society in hosting the historic event.
It will focus the world's attention on a group of countries which remain a special case for sustainable development due to their unique and particular vulnerabilities.
The conference's target is to advance the sustainable development of small island developing states.
The theme song calls for Small Island Developing States to work together for the future of their children and communities.
It touches on partnership and sustainable development which is the underlying theme for the conference.
"I was thinking basically about the small island nations as the core and then of course all the other bigger and stronger nations are coming together," the Honorable Tuisugaletaua said.
So it's an opportunity to raise hope that there is still a bright light there for improvement in the lives of people
Cabinet minister and composer Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau
"So it's an opportunity to raise hope that, after all this, there is still a bright light there for improvement in the lives of people especially those without strong economies.
"Because of the continuing threat of the changing pattern of the weather and the climate change, our small islands are basically threatened every day.
Some people are actually very desperate to do whatever they can to protect themselves.
"I thought giving some sort of positiveness to those who are working towards that, we offer them hope, that there is hope.
"Especially when they come together, they can all talk and discuss things and hopefully there will be some help from others to help out with their situations."
The Honorable Tuisugaletaua and his wife have composed many songs together and recorded albums in Samoan but this is the first English language song they've collaborated on.
"We will continue to write music and compose music on the side - it's fun, it's a hobby for us," he said.
And could this be a change of direction when his ministerial career comes to an end?
"It's a very very good option. It's a lucrative area but at the moment, I'm focussing on the political side of things and I'm enjoying it as well," he said.
American Samoa leader sees threat in Samoa fish deal
The American Samoa governor says the recent deal between an American fisheries company and Samoa is threatening the financial viability of the territory's two canneries.
Bumble Bee and the Samoa government have signed a memoraundum of understanding that paves the way for the US cannery to set up a loining plant at Matautu wharf.
Governor Lolo says as a result of the MOU, the competitive advantage of American Samoa's StarKist and Tri Marine canneries will be compromised, because Bumble Bee will be free to offer wages below the US federal minimum.
He says Bumble Bee will also be exempt from the rules that other federal regulatory agencies impose the territory's two operators.
Shanghai Co. to build new Faleolo airport
By Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga
Government on Wednesday signed a design-and-build agreement with the Shanghai Construction Company from China to build the new Faleolo Airport project.
Inked-in by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and company president….., the project will include a two-storey terminal building as well as upgrading the runway.
“We are negotiating with Shanghai Construction to start construction of the airport project, once they have completed the second phase of the National Hospital at Motootu’a,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference.
“The proposal will see a brand new two storey terminal building.
“There will be aero-bridges for departing and arriving passengers linked directly to the terminal.
“The runway will also be upgraded to cater for bigger planes and busier traffic.
“The tentative cost of the project is in the neighborhood of $40 million tala which will be funded by the Government of China.”
The Prime Minister said the airport development is part of government’s broad vision “to transform Samoa into the next air and port hub of the Pacific Islands region.”
“We have given the Chinese Government our three main priority projects for funding.
“They are the Airport facelift, the planned Vaiusu harbour and the 15-storey government complex in downtown Apia.
“The new wharf at Vaiusu complements our investment in the Pacific Forum Line-Neptune merger.
“With 15 Pacific islands covered by the merger, Apia will be the main shipping links to New Zealand, Australia, Asia and even to North and South America.
“Government is also pursuing agreements with a number of international airlines for more flights and bigger aircrafts to fly to Faleolo.
“The target is to increase tourist numbers as well as increase air trade.”
If all goes well, the Prime Minister is optimistic that the three project should be well underway by the end of this Parliamentary term in early 2016.
Man charged with raping students in Samoa found in Seattle
SEATTLE -- A 37-year-old man charged with raping four disabled students at a school in Samoa was found in the Seattle area and deported Tuesday, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
According to ICE, Vaiaoga Leatuvao came to the United States on a six-month visitor's visa in September 2012.
In July 2013, the Samoan government charged Leatuvao with raping four female students at a Samoan school for disabled children where he was working as a teacher.
Leatuvao, who was still in Seattle on the now-expired visa, was arrested last August for immigration violations, according to ICE. He was finally deported Tuesday from Sea-Tac Airport, arriving in Samoa on Thursday.
Samoa to change method of appointing head of state
Samoa's government has proposed a constitutional amendment to change the way the head of state is appointed.
The change would give the party in government the sole power to nominate the head of state.
Currently, any two MPs can nominate a candidate for the post of O le Ao o le Malo, or ceremonial president.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele says the amendment will bring Somoa's system into line with democracies like Australia and New Zealand.
"We are no different now from what takes place in New Zealand or Australia where the government in power recommends the Governor-General," he told Pacific Beat.
Mr Sa'ilele says the existing provision for selecting a head of state is an outdated relic and needs to be modernised to meet Samoa's current political landscape.
"When the government was set up following independence, we did not have any party politics at the time, no parties, and therefore the election of the head of state was simply like choosing a president of a rugby team or a cricket team, somebody recommends and another would second the motion and then for the whole ATM to vote on it," he said.
"That existing provision, which was alright in the early years of our parliament ... could result in up to 49 nominations, which would be quite untidy."
He has dismissed the opposition's claims that he will set himself up to become head of state when he tires of being prime minister.
"The reference to the other intention that I wanted to be head of state is a reflection of ignorance of the function of prime minister," he said.
"In democracies like Australia and New Zealand, the governor-general is only a figurehead.
"There is no challenge and to become a prime minister is of greater significance than a governor-general.
"For a person to be prime minister and to aspire for another post is indeed ridiculous and it reflects the complete misunderstanding of the function and the challenges facing a prime minister."
First Samoa's meeting between the two countries wraps up with land lease signings
By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu
APIA, Samoa — The two Samoas have agreed to two new leases for a land swap yesterday where Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi and Samoa’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Faamoetauloa Dr Falae Tumaali’i signed off on the leases at the Ninth Inter Samoa Talks Summit which are being hosted by Samoa.
The one-day meeting was held at the Tui Atuta Tupua Tamasese Efi (TATTE) building in Sogi, in the heart of Samoa.
As per usual, the media has only been allowed for the opening statements and then discussions are held behind closed doors, however yesterday, Samoa Government Media was the only media allowed during the meeting and Samoa’s other media members were not happy with what they termed as unfair treatment by the Samoa Government.
There are two leases, which are between the American Samoa Government and the Samoa Government and vice versa. Samoa News understands that the leases are equal—an acre for an acre.
American Samoa’s land is located in Vailima in Upolu, while the land for Samoa is supposedly located in Petesa, Tutuila, where the Goodwill store had been located.
The leases between the two Samoas are for 9 years, 11 months and 29 days. Samoa News notes that any land lease for ASG property is subject to Fono approval if it is for ten years or more.
Immigration fees were among the issues discussed, where American Samoa proposed to waive the $10 fee for 14 day entry permits for citizens of Samoa if the Samoa government will agree to waive the US$10 entry permit for US Nationals and the WST$50 transit fee. Samoa News understands that these were among the many issues discussed during the closed-door meeting.
A copy of the agreement between the two Samoas has been put together as Samoa News is writing this article and will be signed during a dinner in the evening between Tuilaepa and Lt Governor Lemanu and will be distributed to the media at a later date.
TUILAEPA’S OPENING STATEMENT
During the opening of the two Samoas Summit, Tuilaepa thanked the Lolo and Lemanu Administration for the commitment of the American Samoa government to the purpose and objective of the two Samoa talks.
He said, as originally intended for the Two Samoas Summit “and holds still true till today the periodic talks with the leadership provide a summary snap shot of the many different elements that make up the arrangements between American Samoa and Samoa.”
“While our political jurisdictions are separate, we are one people with strong family ties and constant contact over family events and occasions and therefore, the institution of the Samoa Talks is therefore a very natural progression of our family ties— and it would have been strange indeed if, for some reason, it had not been conceived and established.”
“Quite clearly there are ongoing contacts of cooperation between government agencies and between the private sector,” said Tuilaepa.
He said these inter-Samoa talks update the leadership and the wide spectrum of the officials for the respective agencies of both countries. “Most importantly it is the opportunity for the talks to make decisions, and where required to address difficult and sensitive issues in a systematic way to avoid misunderstanding and to reach mutually acceptable and beneficial solutions for the developments that are taking place.”
He said the cooperative arrangements between the agencies of both governments work together to improve the livelihood of the people of two Samoas.
Tuilaepa pointed out that very clearly the small size of the islands and populations there are distinct benefits to be achieved, in pulling the resources of Samoa and American Samoa to respond to the needs of the people and economy.
He concluded with the importance of transportation for both Samoas. “… I consider that an airstrip in Leone with a matching one in Aleipata for short flights between Tutuila and Upolu could benefit both countries, as well as providing critical rapid responses in case of emergencies.”
- See more at: http://www.samoanews.com/content/en/samoas-meeting-wraps-land-lease-signings#sthash.Bfpe14lV.dpuf
American Samoa warn against Bumble Bee
American Samoa's governor has warned that a deal between the Samoan government and a United States company to set up a fish loin plant in Apia will cast economic uncertainty over the territory.
Lolo Matalasi Moliga says while there are bright hopes for the territory's economy with the tuna industry and fisheries doing well, the MOU signed between Bumble Bee and the Samoan Government is a threat.
He also says bold investments in fisheries development by China and European countries threaten the competitive advantage of American Samoa's canneries and place them on an unstable footing.
He says mandatory minimum wage hikes that apply to American Samoa need to be halted as a safeguard to the viability of the fisheries in the territory.
Starkist Samoa expects to resume operations this week
Dongwon Industries-owned Starkist Samoa has been approved by the the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) to resume production, however, the canner has not resumed operations yet.
Starkist Samoa received a nullification notice on July 8 from the AS-EPA to cancel a stop order notice for harbor pollution.
The stop order, issued on July 3, asked to immediately cease and desist from operating the Starkist cannery due to a broken wastewater pipe that caused an underwater discharge into Pago Harbor in American Samoa.
Starkist stopped production when the stop order was issued and, since then, operations have not been resumed.
A Starkist Samoa spokesperson said the company expects to be back in production this week.
In the meantime, Starkist Samoa is working to prevent recurrence.
“We are taking advantage of this downtime to put long-term improvements to our waste-handling system in place to prevent recurrence, as well as complete a number of plant maintenance items to improve our production processes,” a spokesperson told Undercurrent News.
The nullification notice was issued after the body verified and confirmed that the ruptured pipe had been repaired.
“[Starkist management] was very responsive as soon as they were alerted of the discharge in the Pago harbor,” AS-EPA director Ameko Pato told Samoa News.
Samoan students given shot at NASA backed robot building contest
Hiring freeze for American Samoa Power Authority
The American Samoa Power Authority is putting a freeze on all hiring for the rest of the year.
The Authority says the move is in response to governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga's call on the board to decrease personnel costs and reduce the cost of electricity by five percent by the end of the year.
Samoa News reports the Power Authority's executive director, Utu Abe Malae, as saying the board has taken up the governor's challenge.
He says except for hard to fill positions such as engineers and technicians, no staff will be hired for the rest of the year, and incentives will be offered for early retirement of eligible employees.
The company has also tightened disciplinary actions to include dismissal for employees who are guilty of stealing water or power from the government, or testing positive for illicit drugs.
Embattled Samoa prison head resigns
The head of Samoa's Tafaigata prison, Assistant police commissioner, Sala Seaga Uili Lafaele, has resigned as a commission of inquiry resumes.
The inquiry had been investigating allegations of misuse of power and corruption involving the suspended police commissioner, Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo, and Sala.
Both men were yesterday given options to resign or to proceed with an extension of the inquiry.
Lilomaiava has elected to continue but Sala told the inquiry that he had resigned.
Japan donates 20 buses for Samoa SIDS conference
Japan has followed China in assisting Samoa by donating 20 buses for next month's United Nations Small Islands Developing States conference.
Japan has followed China in assisting Samoa by donating 20 buses for next month's United Nations Small Islands Developing States conference.
The buses, worth about 900,000 US dollars, were given by Japan's Ambassador to Samoa, Kazumata Shibuta.
They will be used to transport VIPs and delegates of the SIDS conference.
Last week, trained bus drivers were put behind the wheels in a pre-conference exercise.
Two months ago, China's Ambassador handed over 15 buses to Samoa's prime minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.
Samoa minister denies charges of Theft & Fraud
Samoa's Associate Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, has denied four charges including theft, fraud, and falsifying accounts.
Some 30 thousand US dollars is alleged to have been involved, with the complainant the Grand Oceania Company which is involved in business dealings with the minister.
The warrant of arrest issued against Muagututagata last Monday has been withdrawn and he is on bail, with the trial to go ahead from the 10th of November.
The latest charges follow the minister's appearace in court on traffic offences earlier this year - on that occasion he was discharged without conviction.
Samoa hoping to move off money laundering list
The Samoa government says it will ask to be removed from a list of countries known for money laundering and weak anti-terror laws.
The Asia Pacific Group will meet in China next week and will discuss a recent report suggesting Samoa's status be changed from the "enhanced follow up" category to the "regular follow up" category.
The group says Samoa has made positive progress in strengthening its security measures and the recent passing of the Counter Terrorism Act 2014.
Samoa's delegation to the meeting will be led by the Central Bank Governor, Maiava Aterina.
Samoa-US fish company M.O.U. delayed
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Samoa government and the United States based seafood company Bumble Bee has been postponed.
The US company is looking to establish a fish loin plant at Matautu wharf in Apia.
Our correspondent says media were told on Friday that the MOU needed to be polished and tidied up before it could be signed.
Samoa's prime minister, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, has said the fish loin processing plant will create one thousand jobs and be a boost for the local economy.
He also added that Bumble Bee had brought forward their plans to proceed with the construction of its company sometime this year and not next year.
Administration aligns with chiefs on fishing waters issue
Chiefs ask for delay until public weighs in on proposed options
By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu
Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, who is also acting governor, is supporting the move by the Council Of Treaty Chiefs of Tutuila, Aunu’u, and Manu’a and the Council of District Governors of American Samoa, in their opposition to the three proposed options being considered by the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council (WPRFMC) on the present 50-mile large vessel closure area (LVCA) around the fishing waters of American Samoa.
The present 50-mile LVCA area regulation restricts vessels that are more than fifty feet long from harvesting catch within fifty miles of the islands. Lemanu’s support was announced during a gathering held at the Fale Samoa in Utulei, yesterday morning, which opened with a traditional ava ceremony.
As reported last week, attorney for the two councils, Marie A. Alailima, said the position taken by her clients is to keep the fifty-mile closure area in place, adding that the other two options were to reduce the LVCA and give the large vessels a greater area to harvest their fish — or remove the restriction entirely. She said the “joint statement provides three grounds for objection to all options except the option that keeps the status quo until a permanent political relationship and status with the U.S. is established that provides clarification of the marine boundary areas and marine resources that were ceded in trust for the beneficiaries of the treaties.”
During the meeting, Senator Galea’i Tu’ufuli stated that they should not rush into this matter — rather the public should be given a chance to voice their concerns and give advise. Galea’i asked for Lemanu to request that the WPRFMC delay the proposed options on the present 50-mile large vessel closure area (LVCA) around the fishing waters of the territory, until the public is given a chance to comment on this rather important subject.
Senator Soliai T. Fuimaono, said the deed of cession signed by our ancestors was to protect our lands and sea. He pointed out that there should be research conducted on the deed pertaining specifically to this issue — the agreement between the United States of America, Tutuila, Aunu’u and Manu’a.
Senator Mauga Tasi Asuega noted the issue is rather a difficult one and will bring up many other issues for Tutuila and Manu’a, but he did not elaborate on issues to which he was referring.
Original Samoan version of this story is in today’s Le Lali.
Governor Lolo M. Moliga last week wrote in a letter to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s executive director, Kitty M. Simonds covering two issues of federal expansions into American Samoa’s territorial waters, which he says are basically following the current federal trends of making decisions “without local acquiesce”. He noted that while appreciative of all efforts of the Council to promote fishery development in American Samoa, the “issue of expanding federal control over our territorial assets is rather disconcerting.”
For details of the governor’s letter, read story below.
Opposition in American Samoa to push to reduce fishing off limits
Traditional leaders in American Samoa are opposing a proposal to allow longliners to fish in territorial waters that are now off limits to them.
The Council of Treaty Chiefs of Tutuila, Aunuu and Manu'a and the Council of District Governors this week signed a petition addressed to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, opposing its plans.
The LVPA, or large vessel prohibited area, is closed to all pelagic fishing vessels longer than 15 metres.
It encompasses about a quarter of the American Samoa exclusive economic zone.
The proposal from the Management Council would shrink the northern boundary around Tutuila, Manu'a and Rose Atoll to 25 nautical miles and the LVPA around Swains to 12 nautical miles.
The petition says such a move would be in bad faith, opportunistic, and blatantly contrary to the Treaty of Cessions of Manu'a and Treaty of Tutuila and Aunu'u.
The traditional leaders say opening closed waters to allow non-beneficiary owned longliners to fish closer to the islands would undermine the interests of the beneficiaries of the Treaties.
Obama's Pacific no-fish zone questioned by U.S. fishery scientist
Radio New Zealand
A United States fishery scientist says the US President's vow to dramatically increase a no-fishing zone in the Pacific is nothing more than a gesture.
Barak Obama has declared war on illegal fishing, signalling he will use executive powers to bypass Congress to increase the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument over seven times to more than a million square kilometres.
Enoka Island, chosen for the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' retreat..
But a senior scientist with the Western and Central Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council, Paul Dalzell, says the move will hurt US fisheries more than the distant water nations that have been blamed for depleting stocks.
"It will have no conservation benefit on tunas and other highly migratory species. They move about so if they're not subject to fishing mortality in one area, they may be in another. And we just don't see this as anything more than really sort of being a gesture more than anything else."
Paul Dalzell says some areas around US territories have greatly benefited US fleets, which will be threatened by the huge expansion of the closure areas.
Samoa's farmers in the dark over new market opening
The Samoa Farmers Association says farmers are still in the dark about when the new Fugalei market building will be open for business.
The Fugalei market was demolished in 2012, with vendors in the meantime moving to privately run or make-shift markets.
The chairman of the Farmer's Association, Afamasaga Toleafoa, says it's still unclear when Fugalei will reopen, or if it will be in time for the Small Islands Developing States conference in September.
"There's absoloutely no word on that one. The farmers don't really know. I see March was mentioned, well March has come and gone, it's still a long way from being finished. It will be good for the town, for the image, it will be good for Samoa to have that ready when the SIDS meeting is here."
The chairman of the Farmer's Association in Samoa, Afamasaga Toleafoa.
Inter-Samoa flights could get bigger plane
Polynesian Airlines says it hopes to lease an aircraft while its twin otter plane is grounded for maintenance.
The plane will be out of commission for a month from this Wednesday during one of the busiest travel seasons on the inter-Samoa route.
The airline's new General Manager Seiuli Tuala Alvin says they hope to secure a replacement aircraft, and he is thinking long-term about a bigger plane to service the increasingly popular route.
"We need to start to expand a little bit in terms of getting a larger aircraft that can service this market. This market is our core market and we need to look after it, so we probably will be working closely with our people here and with our board and minister. "
The new General Manager of Polynesian Airlines, Seiuli Tuala Alvin.
Mixed reception for Bumble Bee Samoa Fish Cleaning plant
Plans are afoot to create more than 1,000 jobs by cleaning fish loins in a processing plant to be established at the Apia Wharf. The finished product would be exported to the American Samoan canneries, reports Samoa Observer.
It is expected that if this project goes ahead as planned, more jobs in the fishing industry are possible, prime minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was quoted as saying by the Samoa News.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Samoa Ports Authority (S.P.A.) general manager Tufuga Fagaloa Tufuga said there is strong interest from US-based tuna giant Bumble Bee Foods to have its base at Apia Port for its loin and fishery operation.
A loin processing plant is where fish are cleaned and prepared for eventual canning.
However, Tufuga said any talks about a cannery in Samoa would be something for the American-based company to consider.
“There are various stages or phases for such an investment, and Bumble Bee is in a better position to respond whether or not a cannery will be situated in Apia,” said Tufuga.
In an interview earlier this year with the Samoa News, Tuilaepa revealed that the canneries would remain in American Samoa.
He said that the establishment of a fish processing plant rather than a cannery is the more logical choice for Samoa because of the stringent federal policies and criteria regarding imports.
“So after the fish is processed here in Samoa, it will be taken to American Samoa, which does not have to comply with all the red tape for the canning process and exported to markets in the mainland,” he said.
“This will be a win-win situation for us because not only will there be jobs for our people, but also, our local fishing boats will have another market for their catches.”
He also revealed that the proposed fish processing plant will be established at Matautu-tai, near the wharf.
He said that the a Bumble Bee delegation had already visited the site, and they have informed him that it is the ideal site for their proposed plant.
Tuilaepa said that fishing boats will then dump their catches at the Mataututai plant for processing.
The plan is not so popular with others.
The location of the proposed plant will destroy the Apia township, said Tautua party leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II, reports the Samoa Observer.
Palusalue said while he is in favor of the proposed plant due to the work it could generate for the Samoan people, it should be set up somewhere far from the Apia township.
“I think that it is a stupid idea of having this a fish loin factory here in town,” he said.
“The prime minister has said that he wants to beautify the coast line, but now he is turning around and wants this factory here.
“As we all know in Pago Pago, it smells and destroys the environment,” he said. “It will destroy everything in terms of the environment and the smell of it, it is not good.”
He said the Prime Minister should look at other parts of Upolu or Savai’i for a site on which to build the proposed plant, “far away from the township…Aleipata Wharf perhaps or some other part of the country but not in town.”