Colin Espiner also writes in yesterday’s blog:
The Government was slow off the mark in sending a minister up to Samoa. While Labour quickly dispatched two MPs, Winnie Laban and Chris Carter, as late as Wednesday McCully was still saying he saw no point in going up there.
It took a couple of gentle digs from Labour about promising to brief the Government to get McCully on a plane this morning.
I’m pleased the Labour MPs got McCully into gear. I also hope he will be positive about the role that NGO’s like Oxfam and the Red Cross will play in the reconstruction.
New Zealand’s relationship with Samoa is very special. New Zealand occupied Samoa in 1914 when it was a German colony, and Samoa was devastated in the 1918 influenza epidemic when it was under New Zealand administration. Samoans are generous in response – they have made Prime Minister John Key a matai during his visit, and that will be a genuine expression of how they feel about the relationship .
Espiner goes on to say:
Now the aid and military machine has swung into gear New Zealand is once again proving its worth to small Pacific countries such as Samoa. It’s times like this I feel good to be a citizen of a first-world nation, albeit a small one, that can provide technical and medical aid that will save lives and help rebuild Samoa.
I absolutely agree. I would only add that our government’s aid must be like our people’s; generous in the extreme. Samoa deserves no less.