News 6 Nov 2020
The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) extends its congratulations and well wishes to American Samoa gubernatorial candidates Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga and Talauega Eleasalo Vaalele Ale elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor for American Samoa earlier this week.
PCF Board Chair and Acting CEO Fiso John Fiso said, “While the world waits in suspense for the outcome of the US election, having a definitive outcome for the residents in the United States Territory of American Samoa for their Governor representative, will provide a much needed sense of certainty for its people.
Fiso said, "While American Samoa is a territory of the US, New Zealand shares a special relationship with its people based on historical, economic and cultural ties.
PCF Board Member David Vaeafe who recently spent 10 years in American Samoa as Director of their national tourism office and member of the AS Government, said, “The outcome of the American Samoa elections is significant as the administration and lawmakers can now get on with delivering their work plan during these tough COVID-19 economic times.
Mr Vaeafe said, “Not many people in New Zealand may be aware just how close our ties are with American Samoa. There are two New Zealand companies that have operations based in American Samoa – Fletcher Construction and McConnell Dowell providing valuable infrastructure work. We also have medical patients sent to New Zealand for treatment funded under the US Medicaid Programme, and many businesses in the territory import New Zealand products and goods.
“I think it is really important New Zealand continues to strengthen its relationship with American Samoa and the other US territories of Guam and Northern Marianas in the northern Pacific. The PCF is well positioned to assist in fostering greater partnership and collaborating with individuals and groups across the entire Pacific region, in order to create greater opportunities and promising futures for Pacific people,”Mr Vaeafe said.
Media Contact: Laree Taula 021 992 200
Notes to editor
American Samoa became a US Territory on 17 April 1900 and has elected its own Governor and Lt. Governor since 1977.
Governor-elect Lemanu served as Lt. Governor alongside Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga this past term, while Lt. Governor-elect Talauega was Attorney General in the Lolo administration. Both will be sworn into office in January 2021 for a term of four years.
Image L - R: Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga and Talauega Eleasalo Vaalele Ale