7 Apr 2009

Samoan community discusses donations

9:15 pm on 7 April 2009

The Samoan community is beginning a debate on Tuesday on the practice of fa'lavelave, or cultural giving.

A delegation of 30 matai, or chiefs, from Samoa is taking part in the discussion in South Auckland on the custom of sending money back to Samoa, a practice that is putting strain on New Zealand-based families.

The deputy chief executive of Samoa's Ministry of Women and Community Development, Maulolo Tavita, says his government is concerned about the pressure on people to support family in the islands.

He says cultural giving is out of control and people must focus on managing their money rather than impressing people with large donations they cannot afford.

Tagaloatele Tofa Fialauia Toailoa-Amituanai, one of the highest ranked female matai in Auckland, says women often bear the brunt of excessive giving.