15 Oct 2012

New Zealand gifts Samoa half-century of law reports

6:42 am on 15 October 2012

New Zealand has gifted Samoa 63 years of law reports, which Samoa's chief justice, Patu Falefatu Maka Sapolu, says are essential tools of trade for judges and lawyers in any common law jurisdiction.

Patu says New Zealand legal judgements have had a profound and enduring influence in the development and shaping of modern Samoan law.

The New Zealand High Commissioner in Apia, Nick Hurley, handed over the reports, for the years from 1949 to 2011, in a ceremony last week.

He says they had become surplus to requirements at New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"And we asked the Government of Samoa if they would be interested and they were very much interested in them. They use these reports as a strong basis for their own judgements. That's because the legal system here, although it's different from New Zealand is drawn very much on the New Zealand experience."