Ateroa New Zealand’s warm and enduring relationship with Samoa was welcomed on Thursday, with the Honorable Fiamē Naomi Mataafa, Prime Minister of Samoa at the Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Center, Hastings Heretaunga.
Among other things, he was welcomed by Nagati Khungunu Chairman Biden Barber, Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazleharst, Hastings Council member Peleti Oli and former Ngati Kahungunu Chairperson Nagahiwi Tomoana. The event also includes a meeting and recognition of local Pacific health officials and regional staff.
It included a traditional Ava ceremony to receive the prime minister following a meeting between Pourire’s prime minister, Matafafa, and his staff at Havlock North the night before.
During Thursday’s event, Mayor Hazleharst’s Hastings community has a strong connection to the large Samoan community here, one that respects each other’s values and culture.
“We are proud of our relationship with the Samoan community, both residents and seasonal workers. The contribution of our Samoan family to Hastings is loved and appreciated. The warmth and kindness of our Pacific people enriches our community.
She acknowledged the challenges faced by teams working seasonally over the past two years during the Covide-19 epidemic. Some will not be able to go home in the fall, and others will not be able to enter New Zealand when they arrive regularly.
“We are truly grateful to our Samoan RSE staff who have been away from their families for months, and to those who work tirelessly to harvest our crops and support our horticultural industry. They are vital to the economic and social well-being of our region and contribute greatly to the success of our region.
Johnny Applesed, General Manager of Fruit and Vegetables, Toosavili Lane Thompson was one of the many producers who attended the event with the Prime Minister on Thursday afternoon. Current employees are the basis for supporting the growth of the industry.
“We carry perishable produce and as Hawk Bay’s world’s best apple grower we have to get that fruit out of the trees at the right time – RSE staff are crucial to that.
“At the same time, these hardworking workers are sending money to the islands to support the fast and extended wines in their village.
Prime Minister Matafa thanked the Hastings community for their support to the current staff.
“The cooperation of the local government and the Indigenous Authority is important when our people come here to work. …
She expressed concern that the new Samoan government would change its current program, but said that the need was well understood and that its purpose was to improve the plan and meet the needs of both countries.
ካ Scap Media