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People of Satapuala village in New Zealand have every right to feel aggrieved and to be supportive of their families back home, the Green Party said today.
"For Tuilaepa to order the armed squad of the Samoan police force to "do what they need to do" when dealing with Satapuala land protestors is a concerning development. This is heavy handed treatment by Tuilaepa's government," said Green Party spokesperson for Pacific Island affairs Jan Logie.
Under clause 14 of Samoa's Constitution, no property shall be taken compulsorily and the people of Satapuala are protesting because they believe land was taken from them illegally, before New Zealand took over the administration of Samoa in 1914.
Jan Logie said events in Samoa are relevant in New Zealand, whether they are community developments, independence celebrations, the Teuila festival, a natural disaster, or rugby. The link between Samoans in New Zealand and Samoa is inextricably close.
"Pacific Island peoples in New Zealand are exceptionally active in supporting their loved ones back home through remittances they send home and through their cultural and family links, so whatever is happening to their families in the Pacific will impact on the wellbeing of our Pacific Islanders in New Zealand.
"New Zealand must show an interest in these events because of its history with Samoa; New Zealand's ongoing legal aid programme with Samoa; and the impact of the Satapuala issue on the economic and wellbeing of local Satapuala communities in New Zealand, said Ms Logie