2 Jun 2011

Vigorous opposition to Samoa dateline bill

7:44 am on 2 June 2011

The legislation that would move Samoa west of the dateline is now with the bills committee.

The bill was tabled by Deputy Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo and vigorously opposed by Tautua Party leader Palusalue Faalepo II and MP Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi.

The bills committee is expected to call for public submissions before reporting the bill to Parliament.

According to the bill, Samoa will skip December 30th and go straight to December 31, when the change takes place midnight December 29.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielagaoi announced the shift earlier this month saying it will align Samoa with major trading partners such as New Zealand and Australia as well as the growing Asian markets.

Talamua online says the move has been widely supported by the local businesses and individuals who travel to New Zealand to visit families.

Samoa used to be east of the Dateline but was shifted west to cater for US business interests in the late 1800s.