1 Jun 2011

Samoans in NZ mark Independence Day

1:37 pm on 1 June 2011

Samoan Independence Day celebrations are being held in New Zealand today ."

Samoa separated from New Zealand 49 years ago, after having also been under the rule of Britain and Germany.

The co-ordinator of Samoan courses at the University of Auckland, Vavao Fetui, says celebrations here coincide with the start of Samoa Language Week.

Vavao Fetui says he still gets emotional, as he was a college student attending the first celebration held in Apia, back in 1962.

"It was a very special occasion for Samoans, at the time, and that's why, it's so important. Especially for people who are still living, like myself, to be there and celebrate together. It was a really memorable occasion.

Vavao Fetui says it's important to remember this historic occasion for Samoa, with churches and groups nationwide holding their own events to mark the day.