5 Mar 2015

Samoa PM says surveillance 'waste of time'

1:45 pm on 5 March 2015

The Prime Minister of Samoa says he doesn't know why a country would waste its resources intercepting every phone call and email from a small Pacific island.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The investigative journalist Nicky Hager says the New Zealand Government's Communications Security Bureau is collecting every communication it can find from countries such as Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa.

Mr Hager says the GCSB is then sending it to the United States, mostly so New Zealand can stay on side with Washington.

The Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi says it would seem strange to collect information on that scale.

"I do not know what country would waste its resources listening to Tom, Dick, and Harry. It would be far fetched to think that a spy agency in any country would waste their resources doing that kind of thing to Samoa."

Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi says he's not overly concerned about the accusations.

Nations as small as Tuvalu, Nauru and Kiribati have also been implicated.