List of Samoans

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Entertainers and musicians[edit]

  • Willie Miller portrait 1952
    Willie Miller portrait c.1952
    Willie Miller(7 Jan 1929 – 27 Sep 2011) was a prominent Samoan musician and a pioneer of jazz in Samoa. With limited formal education Willie was a self-taught musician who fashioned a ukulele from a tin can and strands of horse tail at age thirteen. While the guitar was his main instrument Willie also taught himself to play the piano, saxophone, and the trumpet. He taught the guitar to three of his sons Harry Miller, Latu Miller, and Maua Miller and as The Miller Band he and his sons entertained in Apia, Samoa throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.
  • The Tuli Brothers was Samoan jazz duo Willie Miller and Henry Hunkin, perhaps most notable for the first ever recording of the Samoan standard Tautalatala. In 1954 The Tuli Brothers was sponsored a year’s tour of Australia, where they adopted stage names Atele and Latu, for Henry and Willie respectively. The headline in an Australian newspaper, issue 13 August 1954, read “Samoans make it a musical holiday” with tag line “Two Samoan singers Atele and Latu are spending their holidays entertaining in Australia”. It went on to say “In Samoa, Atele is a government clerk; Latu is a grocer in a big firm. A Sydney business man arranged for their visit. He recorded some of their songs while holidaying in Samoa. In NSW the boys made broadcasts from the ABC and commercial stations, appeared with variety shows, and recorded 12 numbers with the Australian Record Company. So far four songs have been released. In Melbourne Atele and Latu have done radio work and are now appearing in their sixth week of vaudeville revue at the Plaza. In Samoa each has his own seven-piece band.”
  • "The Tuli Brothers" in Australia 1954
    Maua Miller is a Samoan musician, guitarist, pianist, bassist, singer-songwriter, and son of Samoan recording artist and pioneer of jazz in Samoa, the late Willie Miller. Maua composed Le Taeao and recorded it with band The Tusitala Band in the 1980s. Maua Setu Miller was born on 27 July 1958 in Apia, Samoa where he grew up with his brothers Harry Miller and Latu Miller. Maua and wife Josie currently live in Auckland, New Zealand, where he continues to teach music.
  • The Miller Brothers of Samoa are Harry Miller, Latu Miller, and Maua Miller. Being three of Willie Miller's sons, the Miller brothers all grew up together in Apia, Samoa before they left home and formed their own bands.
  • Sielu Avea - Entertainer, Comedian and Actor. He is the star of a short film called CHIEF One of the 10 must-see shorts of Sundance at the Sandance Film Festival 2008, WINNER: Best Dramatic Film at LA SHORTS FEST, WINNER: Audience Award, Best Narrative Short at the MAUI SHORTS FEST, Certificate of Excellence at the British Academy of Film & Television Artists/LA at CINEQUEST 2008, Best Narrative Short: Honorable Mention at NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL and Best Short Film: Finalist at NASHLAND INDEPENDENT SHORT FILM FESTIVAL.
  • Matt Catingub, Jazz pianist, saxophonist and band leader. Son of Mavis Rivers
  • Crichton, Beulah Lene Milo, Marie Lene Milo, Atalina Ainuu, Malota Eteuati, Tagata Tagata
  • Ekiumene Group - Aliimalemanu Sofara Aveau, Seutatia M.P. Solomona, Sharon Siula
  • Tulele Faletolu- Singer, Worship Leader for Hillsong Church
  • Fatu, a Samoan Elvis Presley soundalike who toured American Samoa and New Zealand in the 1980s. His band was called Fatu and Fabulous Polynesian Group.
  • Johnny Angel, Samoan Elvis tribute artist
  • Terry Fidow aka Terry Dean, 1960s singer and leader of Terry Dean and the Nitebeats as well as brief member of Freddie Keil and the Kavaliers
  • The Five Stars
  • The Golden Ali'is Group
  • Nephi Hannemann - Singer, actor and brother of politician Mufi Hannemann
  • Kienan Kakuta - Matua Singer, Played in the famous band Fishslap, that once toured America three times in one rainy season.
  • The Keil Isles, New Zealand based rock & roll group of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Alphonso Keil, Elvis impersonator, guitarist and drummer. Former member of New Zealand 1960s Rock & Roll groups, The Kavaliers, The Keil Isles and The Zodiacs etc. Younger brother of Freddie Keil and cousin of Olaf, Herma, Eliza, Rudolf, Helga and Klaus Keil.
  • Eliza Keil, solo artist, former member of The Keil Isles, sister of Herma Keil and cousin of Freddie Keil
  • Freddie Keil, solo artist, former member of The Keil Isles and cousin of Herma Keil
  • Herma Keil aka Herman Keil, former member of The Keil Isles and cousin of Freddie Keil
  • Pat Mamaia Iconic Popular Radio Sports Announcer and Anti Smoking Camipagner (died of Lung Cancer)
  • Nafa (Gafataitua Fa'alogo) Musician, Founding member of the American Rockabilly band Midnight Bowlers League, Twisty Chris and the Puddin' Packs, and franchise guitarist for Green Jellÿ
  • Dave Parker Singer
  • Penina O Tiafau Group
  • Polymite Express Group
  • Punialavaa Group
  • Mavis Rivers, Jazz singer and mother of Matt Catingub
  • Samoa Fiafia Trio Group early 1970s
  • Demetrius Savelio Rapper, more commonly known as Savage
  • Levi Sesega - Samoan born heavy metal guitarist.
  • Siaki Comedian, Entertainer, Performer of traditional Samoan comedy: Faleaitu
  • Hugo Spemann aka Hugo Speman, Member of The Samoan Surf Riders and Hugo Speman and the Ensigns
  • Rudy Spemann aka Rudy Speman, member of The Samoan Surfriders and Rudy and the Crystals.
  • Sumeo Comedian, Entertainer, Performer of traditional Samoan comedy: Faleaitu
  • Sale Tuilaepa - Member and co-founder of the reagge group, Condition 4, who toured throughout the Micronesian islands and released their first sold out album, Reagge music by Storm.
  • The Yandall Sisters Group
  • J Boog Musician, Entertainer, Singer.
  • Iakopo Reggae Musician, Singer
  • Ponti Jessop pka: Swampkat Music Producer, Musician, Singer
  • Petelo Comedian, Entertainer, Performer of traditional Samoan comedy: Faleaitu


This list of composers -fatupese Samoa- of authentic / traditional Samoan songs - pese - would be good to build here. Here are some that are acknowledged for their wonderful pese Samoa of yesteryears:

Cabinet ministers 2001-2006[edit]

  • Palusalue Faapo Minister of Communication & Information Technology: Samoa Broadcasting Corporation, Ministry of Works, Transport & Infrastructure (Transport Division), Port Authority, Samoa Shipping Corporation, Samoa Shipping Services Limited, Transport Control Board, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Public Service Commission, Samoa Broadcasting Corporation, SamoaTel, Savali & Public Relations, Associate Minister for Civil Aviation
  • Gaina Tino Minister of Justice and Courts Administration: Ministry of Justice & Courts Administration, Ministry of Justice & Courts Administration (Lands and Titles Court), Public Trust Office, Film Censorship, Law Reform Commission, Electoral Commission, Public Trust Office
  • Mulitalo Siafausa Vui Minister of Health: Ministry of Health, Oceania University of Medicine, District Hospitals and Health Centre, Women Health Committee, Associate Minister for Accident Compensation Board
  • Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Meteorology: Agriculture Store Corporation, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Samoa Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Meteorology Division, Meteorology, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Tuala Ainiu Iusitino Minister of Women, Community & Social Development: Ministry for Internal Affairs and Rural Development, Ministry for Women, Community and Social Development, Samoa Broadcasting Corporation, Internal Affairs Division, Village Mayors (Pulenu'u), Special Committee on Traditional Salutation and Legends
  • Ulu Vaomalo Kini Minister of Police: Robert Louis Stevenson Foundation, Office of the Attorney General, Juvenile Rehabilitation, Ombudsman Office, Associate Minister for Culture and Sports
  • Hans Joachim Keil Minister of Commerce, Industry & Labour: Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour (Labour Division), Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour (Commerce & Industry Division), Samoa Tourism Authority, Accident Compensation Board, Samoa Tourism Authority, Trade Negotiations - WTO, ACP/EU, PACER, PICTA, Small Business Enterprises Centre, Consumer Protection

Cabinet ministers 2011[edit]

Government departments and ministries[edit]

Politics, culture, history[edit]

  • Ao o Atua, Tui Atua Faanofonofo, Fuataga Kasimani (Matua o Aiga) - Current title holder of the paramount royal title of the Atua district.
  • Aiono Nonumalo Sofara Former Member of Parliament (HRPP & SNDP) and Speaker of the Legislature (HRPP).
  • Aiono Fanaafi Le Tagaloa Former Member of Parliament (SNDP), Former Director of Education. Professor of Samoan Language and Culture. Wife of Le Tagaloa Pita.
  • Asiata Dr. Saleimoa Vaai Lawyer and Member of Parliament.
  • Barry L. Sooalo, Esq. Attorney At Law, Law Offices of Barry Sooalo ; Author: Financing a college education; Commentator; Writer; former candidate for State Representative District 45, Hawaii State House of Representatives.
  • Taulealeausumai Dr. Eti Enosa Former Director General of Health.
  • Tuala Falani Chan Tung Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. Formerly the Secretary for Trade, Commerce and Industry.
  • Falema‘i Lesa A Samoan in New Zealand who appealed her overstayer conviction all the way to the Privy Council (the highest court in the Commonwealth) in Britain and won. Her case established a legal precedent that established that many 'overstayers' were actually New Zealand citizens. It caused the then New Zealand government to change immigration laws for Samoans.
  • Fe'esago Fepulea'i Administrator and Diplomat, Current Chair of the Public Service Commission, Former High Commissioner in Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II, first Prime Minister of Samoa, C.B.E. b. 1928 d.1975, bestowed with Mata'afa title 1948.
  • Aggie Grey, famous Samoan hotelier
  • Fiame Naomi Mata'afa Tama Aiga, Parliamentarian, current Samoan Minister of Women's Affairs, Former Minister of Education, bestowed with Fiame title 1975
  • Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa Samoan Orator Chief, Educator, Politician, Diplomat.
  • Le Mamea Matatumua Ata O.B.E. One of the Framers of the Constitution of Samoa (A.S.M. Lefaga – Faleaseela)
  • Le Mamea Ropati Former Minister of Education Under Tofilau Eti. Joined Coalition and lost his position as leader of the opposition in September 2006.
  • Le Tagaloa Pita Former Member of Parliament and Minister of Works (Tupuola Efi government) Former Member of Parliament(SNDP). Deputy president of the Samoa Party. Married to Aiono Fanaafi Le Tagaloa.
  • Leiataua Kilifoti Eteuati Samoan High Commissioner to Australia
  • Luagalau Levaula Kamu, LLB University of Auckland, New Zealand. Former Minister of Justice and later appointed Works for HRPP Government during 1996 - 2001 term. Assassinated on July 16, 1999 during a function to celebrate the anniversary of the HRPP. Survived by his wife Maiava S.A.V. Peteru and four children.
  • Maiava Sooalo Aiolupotea Visekota Peteru LLM (Hons) Former Member of Parliament (HRPP) for the constituency of Aana No; 1. She holds the chiefly title Maiava from Faleasiu the title of Sooalo from Lefagaoalii, Safune and Aiolupotea from Falelima, Samoa. The wife of former Minister of Public Works Luagalau Levaula Kamu assassinated on July 16, 1999. Mother of four children, lawyer in private practice and Human Rights Activist.
  • Malietoa Laupepa Tama Aiga
  • Malietoa Moli Tama Aiga
  • Malietoa Talavou Tama Aiga
  • Malietoa Tanumafili I Tama Aiga Son of Malietoa Laupepa
  • Malietoa Tanumafili II C.B.E. Tama Aiga. Current Head of State. Was joint Head of State until death of Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole. One of the Framers of the Constitution of Samoa
  • Malietoa Tonumaipe'a Tama Aiga
  • Malietoa Vainu'upo, also known as Malietoa Vainu'upo Tavita, Tama Aiga
  • Mata'afa, Tama Aiga, paramount matai title
  • Mata'afa Faumuina Fiame Mulinu'u I d. 27 March 1948, bestowed with Mata'afa title 1936 following death of Ma'afa Salanoa. Tama Aiga. Married to a daughter of Malietoa Laupepa.
  • Mata'afa Salanoa d.1936 Bestowed with Mata'afa title 1912 following death of Mata'afa Iosefo. Tama Aiga.
  • Mata'afa Tupuola Va'ailua Tama Aiga
  • Mata'afa Iosefo b. 1832 d. 1912 also referred to as Tupua Malietoa To'oa Mata'afa Iosefo. Tama Aiga. Alii Sili. Tui Atua. One of the Kings of Samoa prior to the annexation and division of Samoa by Germany and the United States. European interference in the political activity produced three rival candidates for the Kingship from three of the Tama Aiga titles (Mata'afa, Malietoa and Tamasese)
  • Matatumua Maimoana Samoan Orator Chief, Stateswoman, Nurse and Environmentalist
  • Olaf Frederick Nelson A successful planter, businessman and statesman.
  • Patu Afaese Hunter Former Member of Parliament and Minister of Education (HRPP). Brother-in-Law of Tuala Tiresa Malietoa.
  • Polataivao Fosi Schmidt Former Member of Parliament and former Minister of Lands and environment and former Minister of Health (HRPP). He was a successful Heavyweight boxer overseas before starting a large network of trading stations around Samoa in the early 1960s. He owned the Apollo 11 night club at Saleufi. He entered politics in 1964 and remained involved in politics for at least 40 years. He was a founding member of the HRPP political party with Vaai and Tofilau in the late 1970s.
  • Cardinal Pio Taofinuu Samoan Roman Catholic Cardinal.
  • Sua Rimoni Ah Chong Former Controller and Chief Auditor who tabled an extremely damaging report to parliament in the 1990s which revealed wide scale corruption in the Tofilau Eti Alesana government. In January 2006 he formed a new political party, the Samoa Party of which he is the president. The deputy president is Le Tagaloa Pita.
  • Tauili'ili Uili Meredith Educator, Administrator and Diplomat.
  • Tofilau Eti Alesana Longest reigning Prime Minister of Samoa 1982-1985, 1988-1998. He demonstrated strong political and cultural stewardship during his time, commanding respect and opposition at the same time. He knew how to treat people with true Samoan respect.
  • Tuala Falenaoti Tiresa Malietoa Member of Parliament (SNDP). Former wife of Malietoa Tanumafili II. She is the sister-in-Law of Patu Afaese Hunter.
  • Tuiloma Neroni Slade Born 1941. Lawyer, diplomat and Judge. Judge on the International Criminal Court, The Hague (2003–present). Samoan Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador/Permanent Representative to United Nations and Ambassador to Canada (1993–2003). Assistant director, Legal Division, Commonwealth secretariate London (1983–1993) Attorney General of Samoa (1976–1982). Parliamentary Counsel (1973–1975).
  • Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III d. 29 December 1929 Tama Aiga. One of the leaders of the Mau Movement. Tupua Tamasese III was shot by New Zealand Police while leading a protest which had turned violent, ending with the deaths of 11 Samoans and one police officer. His final words "My blood has been spilt for Samoa. I am proud to give it. Do not dream of avenging it, as it was spilt in peace. If I die, peace must be maintained at any price."[1]
  • Tupua Tamasese Lealofi-O-A'ana VI b. 8 May 1922 - d.1 July 1983. Bestowed with Tui Atua title in 1965, Prime Minister 1970-1973 and 1975–1976
  • Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole C.B.E. b. 3 June 1905- d.29 December 1929 Bestowed with Tui Atua Title 1929, Joint Head of State 1962/1963. One of the Framers of the Constitution of Samoa
  • Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi A Member of the Samoan Council of Deputies, a former Prime Minister (1976–1982) and Deputy Prime Minister (1985–1988) of Samoa. Appointed Head of State of Samoa replacing the late Maliettoa Tanumafili II, in June 2007.
  • Toi Aukuso Former Minister of Posts and Telecommunication convicted for involvement in assassination of Luagalau Levaula Kamu.
  • Tu'u'u Ieti Taulealo A Civil Engineer and CEO of the Samoan Ministry of Environment, former President of the Samoan Public Services Association.
  • Tuiloma Pule Lameko Accountant and Politician
  • Vaasiliifiti Moelagi Jackson Owner of Safua Hotel, Co-Founder of Samoa Umbrella for Non Government Organizations, Samoa Hotel Association and Women in Business now known as WIBDI
  • Tuimaleali’Ifano S.II One of the Framers of the Constitution of Samoa
  • Vaai Kolone Prime Minister 1982, 1985–1988
  • Dr. Walter Vermeulen Director General of Health (1990–1994). Won a landmark case Vermeulen v A-G & Others for wrongful dismissal and against the Government and Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Efi. The case has important bearing on Administrative Law and Constitutional Law especially in Commonwealth countries. Married to Matatumua Maimoana. Currently Executive Director of METI (Matuaileo'o Environmental Trust Inc.).
  • Luafatasaga Kalapu d. 6 June 1961. The first speaker of Parliament in Samoa appointed by the New Zealand government before Samoa became independent in 1962. Government of Samoa has recognised his service to the people of Samoa and so have named one of the state owned buildings in Mulinu'u "Maota o Luafatasaga Kalapu" in his honour.

Eugene F. Paul, first Leader of Government Business (1958)


  • Afemata Tunumafono Apelu Aiavao A renowned Samoan writer whose love of short stories is compiled in his first published book "Loimata o Apaula", with other works that followed like "Never to the Sina again, E vae tuli pou o le falesamoa". Once known for his popular Samoan short stories programme called "O le Palolo mua", on national radio 2AP, before becoming Editor of the Samoan government owned newspaper "Savali" for many years. He is currently the Editor of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) monthly bulletin "O le Sulu Samoa".
  • Bob Ainuu Afamasaga Author (Inventor and Scientist). Bob has authored numerous books from the "Ultimate Success Secret Exposed" to "Understanding Your DNA and MIND" to name a few. Bob said that he is thankful for all these "gifts" given to him; invented a tool and technology called "24 DNA-2 Blood Types Kit" that test for a person's 2 Blood Types, Rh Factors, Secretors:Non-Secretors status, genetic gender and master DNA sequence; reinvented Physics "Standard Model Of Elementary Particles" to "Super Standard Model Of 40 Elementary Particles and Cosmology" and Chemistry's Periodic Table to 2 new Periodic Tables with 16 Periods, 5 Blocks, 50 Groups and 518 (520) Elements; first to identify that the double helix structure of the DNA is due to its gender properties where the 3' Prime Strand is maternal and 5' Prime Strand is paternal. These are just a few of the many "gifts" Bob had received.
  • Fay Alailima Author
  • Ulafala Aiavao Author and vocal critic of the church in Samoa.
  • Sia Figiel Novelist and poet
  • Faumuina Lance Polu Author and Poet.
  • Sapa'u Ruperake Petaia Born on April 11, 1951. Poet, Former Director of Posts and Telecommunications, now a Minister of Religion.
  • Savea Sano Malifa Newspaper Editor and Publisher, Writer. A vocal critic of the HRPP government especially under Tofilau Eti Alesana
  • Albert Wendt Celebrated Samoan author of such works as Sons for the Return Home. He is currently a professor at Auckland University.


  • Lemi Ponifasio One of the world's leading choreographers and theatre artists.
  • Fatu Feu'u One of New Zealand's most well known artists and founder of the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, Fatu Feu'u has established a reputation as the elder statesman of Pacific art in New Zealand.
  • Nicole Enos A contemporary artist residing on Oahu, Hawaii. President of the Moshpits For Mokes Foundation. Leeward Community College graduate. She continued her graduate studies at Haubush University, majoring in poverty destitution. She also instructs hula classes and other forms of dance, which include, but are not limited to, Indian folk and ballet. Nicole's expertise has always been rooted in the infamous Haka. She has performed countless times at the esteemed James Campbell High School. Long live Nicole Enos and her love for Mrs. Karen Chun!!
  • Shigeyuki Kihara A contemporary artist and the first New Zealander to hold a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Johnny Penisula MNZM A contemporary Samoan stone sculptor and painter living in New Zealand.
  • Michel Tuffery Michael "Michel" Cliff Tuffery MNZM A New Zealand artist of Samoan, Tahitian and Cook Island descent. He lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand. Renowned as a printmaker, painter and sculptor, Tuffery has gained national and international recognition, and has made a major contribution to the New Zealand art scene.
  • Penehuro Papalii A Samoa-based artist and the founder/director and studio artist, 1997 of the BEN Academy.
  • Dan Taulapapa McMullin Painter and poet. Solo exhibitions at DeYoung Museum and Gorman Museum. Widely published, several literary and film prizes.

Film and television[edit]

  • Nephi Hannemann — singer and actor and brother of politician Mufi Hannemann
  • Tuiletufuga Papali'i E. Hunkin — civil servant; orator for Head of State; Registrar of Land and Titles Courts; Judge in Land and Titles Court; played role of Judge in Alebert Wendt's (film version) of Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree
  • Peseta Sinave Isara — former scholarship student to NZ; school inspector; played role of father of Pepe in Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree
  • Leota Uelese Petaia — actor and civil servant; played various in various television productions, including the role of Sione in Albert Wendt's Sons for the Return Home (1979), role of Tararo in the Australian television series Coral Island and a role in the German mini series Flucht ins Paradies (1995). Holds the Chiefly title of Leota. Was director of Televise Samoa (The Samoan National Television Station). He is the younger brother of Sapa'u Ruperake Petaia.
  • Aloema Seumanufagai — played the role of Mother of Pepesa in the film "Flying Fox in the Freedom Tree" Former Principal of Palauli High School and Wife of the late Chief Seumanufagai Tupea of Vaitoomuli Palauli
  • Moira Walker — actress in the film "Return to Paradise" starring Gary Cooper; also starred as a teacher in Albert Wendt's film version of "Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree" - 1989. Also known for her work in the Samoan community in New Zealand.
  • Afatia Aloese — played the role of Pepe's wife - Suzanna in the 1989 motion picture "Flying Fox in the Freedom Tree".
  • Pelenato Ioane Liufau — multimedia artist; teacher and principal of Lelumoega Fou School of Fine Arts in Malua, Apia, Samoa 1998-2005. Graduated with BVA from Auckland University and Post graduate Diploma Auckland university of technology. Represented Samoa in Taitung, Taiwan Art festival 2010. Exhibited in Devonport, St Paul, Fresh Art gallery. "O matua o faiaoga Muamua"


Samoans in fiction[edit]

  • 300 lb Samoan attorney in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Dr. Gonzo/Oscar Zeta Acosta)
  • Gay, half black, half Samoan gangster/rapper/bodyguard in the book Be Cool by Elmore Leonard. The character was then altered for the motion picture Be Cool from gangster/rapper to singer/bodyguard "Elliot Wilheim" played by Dwayne Johnson.
  • Antwan "Tony Rocky Horror" Rockamora, mentioned (but not seen) in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, was said to be half African American and half Samoan.
  • Pilsbury, a soldier in George A. Romero's "Land of the Dead" is a Samoan, he is played by Pedro Miguel Arce.
  • Red Dog, an ex pro football player in GI Joe the movie, part of the Renegades subteam.

Order of Tiafau[edit]

The Order of Tiafau is the highest award the Samoan Government gives to individuals for outstanding service.

  • Dr Colin Aikman Distinguished New Zealand international jurist and diplomat. He was awarded the Order of Tiafau in June 2002 during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of independence celebrations. This was in recognition of his role as constitutional adviser to the Samoan Government in drafting the Samoan Constitution.
  • Sir Guy Richardson Powles New Zealand Lawyer, soldier, diplomat, ombudsman, race relations conciliator. Received the Order of Tiafau in June 1993 during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of independence celebrations in recognition of his work in overseeing the series of constitutional changes that culminated in the establishment of the independent state of Western Samoa on 1 January 1962.
  • Reverend Leuatea Iusitini Siō Much revered Samoan faifeau, educator and community leader in New Zealand. Patron of various Samoan and Pacific island community, sporting, and university associations - most notably the Patron of the Samoan Sports Association. He was the foremost community leader in New Zealand Pacific island immigrant communities from the 1950s until his death in 2005. He is famous for standing on the Auckland wharves and at the early whangarei aerodrome waiting for Samoan and Pacific island immigrants and then taking them into his home until they could settle into their new country. He was also awarded the QSO (Queen's Service Order); CNZM (Companion of the NZ Order of Merit); the Maori and South Pacific Arts Council Matua Award; Samoan Sports Association's Millennium Award and the inaugural Living Legend Award from the City of Auckland.
  • Ernesto Cotter Italian Artist / Educator. Arrived in Samoa with his wife Maria Cotter in 1970 and became the primary force behind the development of Samoan artists through his teaching art in various institutions primarily at Lulumoega College (high school). His wife taught art in the Samoa Teachers Training College and then the National University of Samoa. He was awarded the Order of Tiafau for his nurturing and development of local Samoa artistic talents. Among his former students are Tikeri Uili.

Samoans in New Zealand[edit]

The Samoan community in New Zealand is one of the largest communities of Samoans outside of Samoa. It is made up mainly of Samoan migrants from Samoa (originally Western Samoa). There are not many in this community from American Samoa, who migrate mainly to the United States of America. The New Zealand Samoan community is a dynamic, well organised community in that it has only been in New Zealand for about 5 to 6 decades but it has done well for itself. It has continued to thrive though it faces many challenges and problems like all other migrant groups. Many arrived in the 1940s, 1950s but the largest migration came in the 1970s, where the majority worked in factories. A generation or two later, their children began the upward mobility journey which was not easy but nevertheless resulted in the emergence of a New Zealand born young who strived to do their best. Many of these are now married with children who have continued the 'journey' and the hopes of their migrant parents and grandparents. The community has also worked hard to try to keep its language (Samoan) alive by establishing churches and preschools as well as getting it into the New Zealand school curriculum. The Samoan language is now a degree programme at one university (Victoria University, Wellington) and is part of other degree programmes at another university (Auckland University). It is also the third most spoken language in New Zealand after English and Maori.


External links[edit]