Samoan modern history

Image: Samoa - Apia by Jason Argo on Flickr

Samoa gained independence from New Zealand in 1962. We have selected these online resources to support you when you need information relating to the modern history of Samoa. SCIS 1560658

Samoan Language - Wicked

This section of the Wicked site contains information on Samoan language, legends, weaving patterns, life in traditional Samoan society and an interactive voyage in a waka.

Digital New Zealand

This site provides access to thousands of pictures, video, sounds and objects from New Zealand museums, libraries, galleries, archives and private institutions. To discover sets and items use the search term Samoa history.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Helen Clark’s apology to Samoa

NZ Herald provides the full text of the speech made on 3 June 2002 by Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, when she made an apology to Samoa for wrongs committed by New Zealand rulers of Samoa in the past.

Suggested level: secondary

New Zealand in Samoa

New Zealand History Online provides information on New Zealand relations with Samoa from 1914 to independence in 1961. Includes links to other New Zealand websites.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

New Zealand Electronic Text Centre

Numerous electronic resources from various collections about Samoan history and heritage, including pre WW1.

Suggested level: secondary

New Zealand Peoples: Samoans

Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand provides information on Samoan history, with a focus on the experiences of Samoans living in New Zealand.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Samoa: legislation and sublegislation

The University of the South Pacific provides copies of Samoa Legislation and Law Reports: Samoa Constitution 1920; Samoa Act 1921 and Western Samoa Law Reports.

Suggested level: secondary

The Treaty of Friendship between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Western Samoa signed 1 August 1962.

Suggested level: secondary


Have you thought about using books with your class to support your topic? The following are some suggestions for your students (and you!) to read and enjoy.

The Mango’s Kiss, by Albert Went, 2003. (young adult fiction)
Selafina, by Catherine Hannken (and other titles), 2003. (picture book)
Teli’s goggles, by So’oletauaotua Oka Fauolo, 2003. (picture book)


Plebiscite day, Western Samoa (1961) (AAPG W3606/1368), Archives New Zealand. YouTube. 8.51. Historic day when Samoans voted for independence from New Zealand. You can also search for other Samoan history on the Archives New Zealand channel on YouTube.

Special 50th Samoan Independence Celebration Part1. Tagata Pasifika. Youtube. 9:30.