31 May 2017

Palemia celebrates the life of Samoa's long serving leader

2:45 pm on 31 May 2017

Samoa Prime Minister Tu'ilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi is by far the longest serving leader in the Pacific and a book marking his lengthy career is being released today.

Palemia, a memoir of Samoa's Tu'ilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi

Palemia, a memoir of Samoa's Tu'ilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Called 'Palemia' the Samoan word for prime minister, it is a memoir written with development academic Dr Peter Swain.

Dr Swain said part of the reason for Tu'ilaepa's longevity as leader, and his considerable time in parliament before that, is his ability to straddle both the traditional and modern world.

"One of the challenges of governance in Samoa is balancing the traditional polity of village politics with the Western style parliamentary democracy," he said.

"I think those are one of challenges that you see right throughout his career. Certainly Tu'ilaepa had the skills that came out of that Samoa political tradition, and then he has blended those in with his palagi side."