History for the National University

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Prime Minister Ardern receiving the ‘ava from the tautu’ava.

Prime Minister Ardern receiving the ‘ava from the tautu’ava.

History was created at the National University of Samoa on Monday when the University of Samoa had the distinct honor of hosting the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.

While her visit to Le Papaigalagala Campus was a brief one, it was historic for the fact it was the first time a sitting Prime Minister has visited Samoa’s national university.

Ms. Ardern was accompanied by senior members of the New Zealand Parliament including Deputy Prime Minister, Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters.

They were welcomed to the N.U.S. with a traditional ‘ava ceremony, presided over by Prof. Fui Asofou So’o, the N.U.S. Vice Chancellor and President.

N.U.S. taupou Aiga Niualuga preparing the ‘ava to welcome the guests.
N.U.S. taupou Aiga Niualuga preparing the ‘ava to welcome the guests.
Prof. Fui Asofou So’o greeting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and David Nicholson.
Prof. Fui Asofou So’o greeting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and David Nicholson.

The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i also took part during the ava ceremony, captured by a large New Zealand media contigent following P.M. Ardern on her Pacific tour. 

After the ‘ava, Ms. Ardern participated in an open forum discussion with current N.U.S. students before touring a selection of images from the National Library of New Zealand’s Va’aomanu Exhibition, which was gifted to the Centre for Samoan Studies last year. 

The purpose of this state visit is to reaffirm political ties between New Zealand and Samoa, and cement future collaborations, of which N.U.S. certainly hopes to be a part of.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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