19 Feb 2007

Samoa PM dismisses views over traditional acceptance of gifts or "Lafo"

6:18 am on 19 February 2007

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says there is nothing wrong with accepting gifts of money which are traditionally known in his country as "Lafo".

Tuila'epa says gift giving is a universal thing and it is practiced in different ways.

The prime minister's comments to the Samoa Observer Newspaper were in response to the accusations against embattled Labour MP, Taito Phillip Field, of accepting gifts of money from Samoan electors in New Zealand.

The prime minister says the giving of gifts happens in every country of the world and he has a gift of a smooth river stone given to him by a New Zealand pakeha.

Tuila'epasays the pakeha's tradition of inviting people for dinner or giving a rose to a partner is similar to Samoan lafo or Maori custom of koha.