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PM to receive Matai title on Samoa visit

31 May 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

New Zealand's Prime Minister Bill English will be bestowed a Matai title while in Samoa for his first official visit.

The Prime Minister will arrive in Samoa tonight.

He will attend the country's 55th Independence celebration as well as the first Super Rugby match to be held at Apia Park, the Queensland Reds versus the Auckland Blues. 

He will be accompanied by his wife Dr Mary English and father-in-law George Scanlan, who have strong family ties to the village of Faleula. 

Scanlan has lived in New Zealand for the past 60 years, and the Prime Minister says it'll be a special occasion for his family. 

Prime Minister Bill English with this wife, Dr Mary English. Photo/ Twitter- Bill English. 

While he wouldn't give any specifics about his new title, he says he'll rely on the Samoa leaders in the village for guidance.

During his four-day trip, Mr English will visit Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, Poutasi Village and one of the local koko plantations.

He says it's important for New Zealand to reaffirm the special relationship between Samoa and looks forward to celebrating the Treaty of Friendship.

"It'll be a pleasure to be a part of the celebration of 55 years of an independent nation. Samoa is cutting its own path in the Pacific, showing some real leadership in the Pacific." 

Tags: Prime Minister Bill English,