1 Jun 2016

Samoa celebrates 54 years of independence

12:42 pm on 1 June 2016
Samoa celebrates 54 years of independence

Samoa celebrates 54 years of independence Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Samoa is today celebrating 54 years of independence from New Zealand, which ruled for 50 years.

After six decades of colonial administration first by Germany and then New Zealand, Samoa became independent in 1962.

The President of French Polynesia, the Governor of American Samoa, and the Ulu o Tokelau are some of the overseas dignitaries invited to attend with members of the diplomatic corps.

This year's independence celebration is being held at the hockey field at the Faleata Sports complex and not the traditional Tiafau malae at Mulinuu because of construction works for the new Parliament house.

A group of entertainers from Leone village in American Samoa is among those performing traditional dance and songs in today's event.

Another group of entertainers are prisoners currently serving sentence.

The independence celebration is for one day to be followed by a public holiday tomorrow and a commissioned holiday for public servants on Friday.