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Will NZ First support a bill that may restore entitlement to NZ citizenship for some Samoans?

Alakihihifo Vailala, Te Rito Cadet

Former National MP Anae Arthur Anae talks about a bill that may restore entitlement to NZ citizenship for some Samoans as the bill approaches its first reading this week

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Will NZ First support a bill that may restore entitlement to NZ citizenship for some Samoans? (

A former National Party MP is hopeful NZ First will be supporting a bill that may restore the entitlement of New Zealand citizenship for a group of Samoans born between 1924 and 1948.

Anae Arthur Anae, a Samoan community leader and former National MP says considering Vaovasamanaia Winston Peter’s high regard within the Pacific community, he’ll understand the bill’s importance.

Speaking on 531pi Pacific Mornings, he says “my inner feeling is I’m pretty sure they [NZ First] will come with us".

His comments follow Shane Jones’ interview on Pacific Mornings in which Jones was unable to confirm the party’s support for the bill until their next caucus meeting.

Green MP Teanau Tuiono’s member's bill is due to have its first reading this Wednesday and it needs 63 or more votes for it to proceed to a select committee.

After being picked out from the Parliament's biscuit tin last August, it aims to restore the entitlement to NZ citizenship for a group of Samoans who had it taken away from them through the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982.

However, Anae says many from the Samoan community have steered away from wanting citizenship and instead are wanting compensation given to those who were affected.

“I know we’ll never get this [bill] through the New Zealand Government as it stands.

Secondly, for our own good in Samoa, we can’t have a mass migration of so many people coming into New Zealand.”

His concerns with mass migration align with the Prime Minister’s stance on the bill who confirmed that the National Party will not be supporting the Bill despite their Pacific Blues group advising them to do so.

Anae says: “I feel sorry for them [Pacific Blues]. They’re there doing the best they can for the National Party, for the Pacific people. But the question is, 'is the National Party going to listen?'”

With no Pacific representation within the caucus, he says “we don’t have a voice in Parliament".

He emphasises the need for the Samoan community to support the bill and its need for it to reach a select committee for the community to put their voice forward.

“I want to see the gallery packed with our people and our senior people, sending a very strong message to the Members of Parliament.

“We are not here for fun. We want you to support this bill to the select committee. That’s our quiet message.”

Hero Image: Deputy Prime Minister and NZ First leader Winston Peters (right) and former National Party MP Anae Arthur Anae Photo/supplied

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