5 Jun 2002

New Zealand prime minister to lay wreath in Samoa

11:12 am on 5 June 2002

The New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, today lays a wreath at the graveside of the Samoan nationalist leader, killed by armed New Zealand police during a peaceful demonstration in 1929.

It follows a formal apology by the Prime Minister in Apia yesterday for what she described as the inept and incompetent early administration of Samoa by New Zealand.

A newphew of the Mau leader, and former prime minister, Tupua Tamasese Efi, says Miss Clark's formal apology was a first.

"No New Zealand government had admitted this wrong before. No New Zealand government has said look, this is wrong, I'm sorry. That is what is significant."

and a former health minister, Sauava Mili II, says New Zealand has also done much good

All our people should appreciate it, not only appreciate but hopefully they will also remember and the same token we should also look back to see what the New Zealand government has done for us, our scholarships, our students, our academics, our trade we should at the whole thing that way.

Sauava Mili II