The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says the success of his Human Rights Protection Party in righting the country's economy was a key reason he has been awarded an honorary doctorate of laws.
Victoria University of Wellington conferred the degree yesterday, saying Tuilaepa's contribution to Samoa has been immense.
But the prime minister says the emergence of Samoa's first political party 30 years ago was pivotal in turning around the country's then bankrupt economy.
He says as a party, the HRPP found it easier to get through reforms than previous governments made up of independent MPs.
"And this was the manifestation of the great value of having a political system, party system in government. It helps bind the members together to achieve common goals. Previous to that it was all personality."