9 Jun 2004

American Samoan candidate for seat in US House of Representatives launches election campaign

10:40 am on 9 June 2004

The American Samoan congressional candidate, Aumua Amata Coleman, says she was inspired by a New Zealand movie, to stand for change in the territory.

Ms Coleman, who has now begun her campaign, says she is the only woman to take a stand, for what has been primarily a male role.

She likens herself to Paikea, who was the main character in the movie, Whale Rider.

"When I saw that movie I was tremendously moved by it because I was Paikea. That is the system that I grew up in, here in the islands. And its the story of the girl who had all the makings of a chief, but because she was a girl, it took some time for her grandfather, who was the head chief and the rest of the villagers to understand what they were looking for was right in front of them."

Aumua Amata Coleman says she believes she has the skills, background and support to be able to unseat incumbent, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

Ms Coleman says health and education are the main priorities for the territory.

The general election for American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives will take place on November the 2nd.