The Governor-General of New Zealand, Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, has expressed his deep sadness on the destruction and loss of life caused by Wednesday’s tsunami.
The Governor-General, and Lady Satyanand, who are in Papua New Guinea on a State Visit, have written to the Head of State of Samoa, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi offering his condolences on the loss of life.
“Having visited your beautiful nation many times, including twice as Governor-General, I have found the news of the loss of life deeply distressing,” Sir Anand said in his message to the Head of State.
“In happier times we have often commented publicly on the strong ties between Samoa and New Zealand and the warm and friendly relationship our two countries share.
“The strength of any friendship lies not in the good times, but how we respond in the bad times. I know the Prime Minister, Hon John Key, on behalf of the New Zealand Government, has offered to do all New Zealand can do to assist Samoa and its Pacific neighbours at this time and I reiterate that commitment.”
Sir Anand said while the loss of life and damage will be most keenly felt in Samoa, the grief and heartache will also be deeply felt in New Zealand.
“Many New Zealanders have visited Samoa and have fond memories of island holidays and it is clear that New Zealand lives were lost in the tragedy. Many New Zealanders, myself included, have professional and business connections with people in Samoa and will have lost friends and colleagues.
“The loss in New Zealand will be most keenly felt by the more than 130,000 New Zealanders of Samoan descent. There will be few who will not be personally affected by this tragedy.”
Sir Anand extended his deepest condolences to the Head of State and the people of Samoa on the loss they have suffered.
“I also extend my condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.”
The Governor-General also offered his condolences to the people of American Samoa and Tonga.
For more information: Antony Paltridge, Public Affairs Manager, Government House on 04 382 0827