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Defamation action possible against Samoa PM

Photo of Samoa Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi
compiled by Samoa News staff

Apia, SAMOA — A Samoan lawyer in the US denies being one of the writers of the controversial blog, O le Palemia, or OLP.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi's naming of two alleged writers was publicized briefly by Talamua Online, which later retracted the story.

Namulau'ulu Albert Ainu'u says he was surprised at the allegations and is now considering legal action.

He is adamant that he is not one of the OLP writers.

But Namulau'ulu says it is an attempt by Tuilaepa to undermine the credibility of a group he belongs to called Samoa Solidarity International, which opposes government land law changes

(Source: RNZI)


A new study has found stark inequalities in breast cancer survival rates in New Zealand, with Pasifika women twice as likely to die from it than Pakeha women.

More than 600 New Zealanders die from breast cancer every year, and thousands more are diagnosed with it.

The University of Waikato study found that Pasifika women diagnosed with breast cancer are almost twice as likely to die from the disease, after five years, compared to Pakeha.

Lead investigator Professor Ross Lawrenson said Pasifika women were more likely to have an aggressive type of cancer, and get it diagnosed too late.

He said the outcomes for Maori women were not much better, and Maori women were also less likely to undertake chemotherapy.

Professor Lawrenson said it needed to be easier and cheaper to see a doctor and get a diagnosis and breast screening should be more accessible.

(Source: RNZ)


Samoa is ready to host next year’s Pacific Games. 

Pacific Games Council President, Vidhya Lakhan made this statement saying there is no secret behind Samoa hosting the Games because the venue and accommodation for all athletes have been finalized.  

With Samoa’s experience in hosting the 2007 South Pacific Games and the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2015, he is adamant Samoa will pull through. 

“Well the major ingredient is the accommodation for the athletes and the venue, apparently Samoa has them both,” he said. “It is innovative, and I know that this is the first game where athletes would be staying in hotels, so it is a plus for the athletes and also for the organizing committee. 

“There is no need to convert schools into dormitories and buy all the bags and the beddings. So, you have the two major ingredients in place,” he added. “People are excited, and Samoa will be an excellent host and the participants cannot wait to get here. The logo is excellent, and it is a true reflection of what the Games is all about.” 

Lakhan also highlighted some of the other changes, which were the outcome of their general assembly meeting over the weekend. 

“…Our plan is to make the Pacific Games, the Games of the Oceania region,” he said. “So, what we want is for example if a Samoan wins a Gold medal in boxing, he should automatically qualify for the Olympic Games. The boxer should not have to go to Asia or Africa to qualify for the Olympic Games. So that is what we want, now to do that everyone within the Oceania Region has to take part. 

“And for a very long time, Australia and New Zealand were kept out of the Pacific Games, so we are trying to bring them in. Slowly you will see New Zealand and Australia take part in some of the Games in 2019.”

(Source: Samoa Observer)


Schools are now looking overseas in search for woodwork and metalwork teachers as they struggle to fill vacancies with locally trained candidates.

Principals say paying more for foreigners to teach the country's children is a stopgap measure at best and the government needs to stump up with more cash to make teaching an attractive career for local tradespeople.

Last year RNZ reported that there were just eight trainees at teaching courses who were able to teach woodwork, metalwork or electronics.

In order to fill the yawning gap, recruitment agents were being used to find teachers overseas who were willing to travel to the other side of the world to take up jobs New Zealanders did not want.

After searching for eight months for a replacement technology teacher, North Canterbury's Rangiora High had finally managed to line up one willing to relocate from the UK.

Principal Karen Stewart did not want to say how much more hiring someone from overseas had cost the school, compared to sourcing somebody locally, but said the difference was significant.

"You know it's something that needs to be addressed in terms of how do we get people trained and in to schools. And that's a nationwide issue to be looked at."

Ms Stewart, who was yet to meet her new teacher face to face, acknowledged there was an element of risk to hiring somebody from overseas.

"The induction they will get when they come to Rangiora High School will need to be quite comprehensive because they are coming in to a different education system, including a very different assessment system."

As the principal of Auckland's Pakuranga College, Mike Williams had recently found himself in the position of having to replace one of his retiring technology teachers.

He said New Zealand trainees were thin on the ground because the money they could make as tradespeople was so much more, meaning he too would have to look overseas.

"We need to be training New Zealanders into teaching New Zealand schools. We need to be finding better pathways to bring [across] people from the workforce who would like to move across into teaching. So we need to find attractive viable pathways for them to change careers. But unfortunately those things aren't happening."

The Ministry of Education is now working with two recruitment agencies to provide subsidized help for schools struggling to hire technology teachers. In the past six months they had sourced 15 teachers from offshore.

(Source: RNZI)


Tropical cyclones are crawling across the planet at a slower pace than they did decades ago, dragging out and amplifying their devastation. 

New research published in the journal Nature studied the translation speed of cyclones around the world over the past 68 years.

Translation speed is how quickly a storm moves over an area from point A to point B.

The lead researcher, Dr. James Kossin, from the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, found that cyclones have slowed by 10 percent worldwide and as much as 19 percent in this region. 

Dr. Kossin told Jamie Tahana that means they're sticking around for longer. 



A linguist from the University of Hawaii at Manoa says scientists have a lot to learn from Pacific languages.

Peter Shuelke is in Solomon Islands this month as part of an ongoing study of Roviana, a language from the Western Province.

Mr. Shuelke says Roviana contains a cluster of unique features that defies established linguistic theory.

He says there is a need to document and preserve languages across the Pacific.

Shuelke spoke with our reporter Koroi Hawkins, a native Roviana speaker, who began by asking him how he learned about the language.