New Zealand's outgoing High Commissioner to Samoa, David Nicholson, says New Zealand is a more effective donor than other countries like China.
On Tuesday, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for a New Zealand-funded $US4 million event space and boulevard on Apia's waterfront.
Mr Nicholson says New Zealand is a minor infrastructure player in Samoa compared to China because it focuses on promoting tourism.
"But we do have the added advantage that our funding is unencumbered," Mr Nicholson said.
"In other words we do grant funding and we work through Samoan systems to do that. So our investments, we are not only developing infrastructure but we are developing the capability of the Samoan systems."
Mr Nicholson will finish his term on August 6, after announcing his resignation on Wednesday.