7 May 2011

Samoa to change time zones

6:43 am on 7 May 2011

The government of Samoa has announced the country is switching time zones.

Samoa sits to the east of the international dateline and is 11 hours behind GMT and one day behind New Zealand and Australia.

The new time zone would put the country on the same day as New Zealand and Australia.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the change was being made because Samoa has increasing commercial and economic dealings with New Zealand, Australia and several Asian countries.

A report tabled in cabinet reveals Samoa had, in the past, the same date as that of New Zealand, but it was changed due to a request by some American businessmen in 1892.

The Prime Minister said it is more appropriate for his country to go back to the original time zone not only to improve trade but because many Samoans now reside in New Zealand and Australia.

The cabinet has agreed to draft legislation for the new time zone which will be trialled in December and being officially in January 2012