New Zealand's Invasion of Samoa in 1914
Germany governed Samoa from the turn of the century until, just a week after the declaration of what became the First World War, Britain asked New Zealand to disable a radio mast in German Samoa. It gladly accepted. This country had been very keen to establish an empire in the Pacific and the acquisition of Samoa was a key part in this.
The New Zealand force of nearly 1400 expected opposition but German Samoa had no soldiers or military hardware and surrender occurred almost immediately, and New Zealand ruled Samoa for the next 48 years.
Hoisting the Union Jack, Courthouse, Apia, Samoa. Photographed on 29 August 1914 by Alfred James Tattersall. Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: PA1-q-107-32-1.
Radio New Zealand International deputy editor Don Wiseman has been digging into this period of our history and found a fascinating era that has not been extensively documented. He speaks to academics and other interested parties about the events, considering New Zealand's imperial ambitions, the impact on the Samoans, the German settlers and tries to discover the long-term legacy of the German colonial period.
Street scene showing New Zealand troops and a Samoan group, photographed by Malcolm Ross during the annexation ceremony in Apia, Western Samoa, 29 August 1914. Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: 1/4-017527-F.
First broadcast in August 2014.