tipline

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Interesting reading and hope OLP will publish his version too. It’s the only way to fairly expose corruption and naughty leaders in offices.

    • I think that OLP has raised awareness and has some good points. If he is located in Samoa he will have problems because they will get to him. The Palemia did me a favour by exporting me as I can now speak freely and frankly outside of his direct sphere of influence. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Dennis,sounds like you don’t like the fa’asamoa way. Samoa has legal system just like any other country in the world. If you are not happy about something affecting you, your family or your property you can always use the legal system in Samoa to win back what you might have lost. Do you understand the Matai system of doing things in Samoa? It has its up and down but in the end it all work out well for the benefit of all Samoans now and forever. Politics and politician is a worldwide annoyance for citizens of countries and nation of the world. It agitates some who seems cannot figure out still that the world is round not flat. Or let me put it this way if you are not use to live in a different environment or climate than you use to for the most part of your life it is very vey hard from your point of view to make a fair judgment against or towards your intended target whether it be a person, an object, a group or a system.

    • Malo lava Kava

      > Dennis,sounds like you don’t like the fa’asamoa way.

      You are wrong. I lived in rural Samoa for seven years and absolutely love Fa’asamoa in its purest form. It is one of the [if not THE] closest cultures to the biblical directions for healthy, godly living. What is wrong and ungodly however is not Fa’asamoa per se, it is the greed and self-interest that drives people within the system.

      > Samoa has legal system just like any other country in the world.

      No, sorry, Kava, you misrepresent reality here by over-simplifying matters. Samoa has THREE legal systems – the Palgi/Westminster-styled legal system of central government upon which independence in 1962 was based; the religious legal system headed by the faifeaus and the Matai legal system which is the traditional form of local government. All three intertwine and make up the fabric of justice in Samoa.

      > If you are not happy about something affecting you, your family or your property you can always use the legal system in Samoa to win back what you might have lost.

      You clearly do not understand reality Kava. First, it is a happy day in any culture if justice & the legal system coincide! Secondly Samoa has different rules for different people. You are clearly not a Palagi so you would find this hard to understand. I have also not shared my circumstances with the world yet, suffice to say that I am very familiar with Samoan legal processes!

      > Do you understand the Matai system of doing things in Samoa?

      Yes

      > It has its up and down but in the end it all work out well for the benefit of all Samoans now and forever.

      I’m not a Samoan

      > Politics and politician is a worldwide annoyance for citizens of countries and nation of the world. It agitates some who seems cannot figure out still that the world is round not flat.

      If this comment is directed at me then you cause offence. I know and understand politics VERY well having closely followed and enjoyed its rough and tumble in both NZ and Samoa for more than four decades. Note that it was a political leader who put Christ to death. Christ though stood his ground and spoke truth to the end, though it cost Him His life. He did it for us. It was also a political leader who broke his own laws and banished me from Samoa. I’m not the Saviour but I too will stand my ground and speak the truth. I do it, like Christ did it, ‘for the little people’. The people who really know me are petrified of what I say and do (if they are crooked), and they love me (if they are straight) because I represent things that they desperately cry out for – like truth, and justice, and hope.

      > Or let me put it this way if you are not use to live in a different environment or climate than you use to for the most part of your life it is very vey hard from your point of view to make a fair judgment against or towards your intended target whether it be a person, an object, a group or a system.

      So, for the record Kava, I sold everything I owed and emmigrated to Samoa and lived off my capital the entire time. I lived there and gave sacrificially for seven years. I married a Samoan with three children, established and continue to run a charitable trust, the SWAP Foundation; I developed and ran the Samoa Village Stay programme for seven years taking hundreds of Palagi guests into the remotest parts of rural Samoa and lived and taught Fa’asamoa on a five acre plantation in Aleisa that I developed from scratch with my bare hands. In many ways I am more Samoan at heart than many Samoans, especially those who have taken on the Palagi ways. Being intelligent and fearless, and having done this Kava, I am particularly experienced, capable, justified and well-resourced to speak of the things I do.

      Thank you for commenting here however it is clear that you have taken a stance that I am a Palagi unjustified in criticising something precious to you. I’ve written this here to inform, not to condemn, in the hope that others who read may realise the reality. I have well over 1 million words of blogging, much to do with the Samoan culture seen from a Christian world-view. Perhaps you should read a little of it?

      You will note that my book reviews here relate to Jesus. the Palemia and the 9-11 events, with another on Media Journalism in NZ. I am an investigative blogger. I have no “intended target” other than to speak the truth as I find it. None of this does not preclude me from speaking ill of your leader a man whom I know and understand VERY, VERY well. My skin colour or country of birth are irrelevant.

      Thank you for understanding.

    • Blah! Blah! Blah! This excuse for corruption in Samoa has gotten very old and lame. Call aduck a duck & please refrain from rolling out our Samoan Culture to sugarcoat sin. Tuilaepa and the likes of him have used, abused & defecated on our sacred SSamoan Cultural Traditions taadvance their personal agendas for over 30 years. Those are the decades of the Samoa, the damaged Samoa, witnessed here.

      • “Sugarcoating sin” I like that!

        I have reservations about viewing the traditional Samoan culture as sacred per se. There are certainly many aspects of Samoan culture that dovetail into the biblical model beautifully, and indeed much of what I have taught over the years is that the Matai and semi-communal living arrangements are indeed godly, but there are huge holes that invite ungodliness – the balance of communal vs personal responsibility for example is totally skewed off Jesus’ teaching and example in Samoan culture. I think you are dead right to talk about Tuila’epa’s agendas and abuses but while I see him as a coward and a crook there are many aspects to his leadership that were and are well-meaning. Understand this . . . he’s a politician isn’t he? He’s an economist isn’t he? He’s a Catholic too? What does that all mean? Integrity? Creativity? Godliness? I doubt it! I think people expect a little too much of their political leaders. Sure they abuse their power but the people gave it to them!

        What is critical in my opinion is that the little people, you, me, do the right thing day by day according to the Lord. If we do THAT then He promises that he’ll do the honourable thing and deal with the sinners who rule us.

        Thank you so much for commenting here Asipau.

      • Dennis looking forward to reading your book as an essential alternative historical record of a nation in crisis.

        • Faafetai Maua. I appreciate your bothering to comment here.

          I will be publishing Corruption in Samoa online, free in May. It will initially run as a series of blog posts and then be available as a downloadable PDF.

          Yes, Samoa is a nation in crisis but it is not only the Palemia who enables that crisis – nor is it just the politicians and civil servants around him who perpetuate the corruption – it is the people too. I know this is hard to hear and offensive to the Samoan pride and sensibilities to say this, but in my seven years living, loving, teaching and giving in Samoa I found only one person that I could truly trust. The bible says that “the people get the leadership they deserve”. The day the people’s abhorrence of the greed, self-interest & corruption that pervades Samoa exceeds their own desire to control others for self, corruption will disappear. One thing you can be certain of is that it won’t be happening on Tuila’epa’s watch. The situation will get worse – much worse before there is any chance that things will improve. I suspect that this will take a generation or maybe even two for the crisis to fully unfold.

          You use the words “alternative historical record”. “Alternative to what?” I ponder. Deception is a tool of evil. Politicians the world over deceive for political purposes. In Tuila’epa’s case his deception over an inappropriate relationship with one of his CEOs is the central matter of my eviction and banning from Samoa. I don’t see myself as presenting an “alternative” for I don’t really listen to his rhetoric. I simply share my experiences, stating the truth as I see it and know it. I also think that most Samoans know in their heart of hearts who he really is. They just join the gravy-train because it’s the easiest thing to do to get ahead in their society.

          • Would you be able to name the only one person you trusted in Samoa?
            He/She is a precious trophy in Samoa.
            One of the things we all learn very quickly in Samoa is to know the difference between “respect” and “trust” I try my best to “respect” and “show respect” to everyone.
            But when it comes to “trust” you have to choose very wisely.
            To respect someone means to admire someone deeply because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements even all their faults and weaknesses.
            To trust someone means to believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of a person and this is very hard to find in Samoa. But there is always hope in Samoa because we all can improve ourselves.

          • Hi Keith

            > Would you be able to name the only one person you trusted in Samoa?

            No, sorry. It is not appropriate. The rest of Samoa will kill them! It is far better for people not to be seen to associate with me.

            > He/She is a precious trophy in Samoa.

            Agreed. Unusual, but even they betrayed me when the pressure came on them at the end. I knew and understand that pressure though so I didn’t take it personally.

            > One of the things we all learn very quickly in Samoa is to know the difference between “respect” and “trust” I try my best to “respect” and “show respect” to everyone. But when it comes to “trust” you have to choose very wisely.

            Yes you are totally correct Keith. All Samoans know this very well too . . . they generally demonstrate grace, honour & respect to all when they are on show, but they trust no-one, at all, in many cases including their own families – and for very good reason too. One of the keys to learning about trust in Samoa is to learn HOW to trust in the Samoan context, not to seek trustworthiness as we know it in the West. More on this next.

            > To respect someone means to admire someone deeply because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements even all their faults and weaknesses.

            Well, yes, this is a PART of it but misses the essence of Samoan respect. In Samoa, respect is an aspect of the culture; it is the ‘done thing’ . . . thus long words of diplomacy and the fudging of the truth so as not to cause offence; the deference to age or title or (as you say here). Rarely does the natural heart-based respect that we know and live with in the Western society over-ride the Samoan cultural influences in Samoa. This is not nit-picking, it is a vital aspect to understanding the cross-cultural challenges – respect is primarily a cultural thing and what you refer to here comes secondary, if at all.

            > To trust someone means to believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of a person and this is very hard to find in Samoa.

            You are again correct Keith in both your definition and your diagnosis of trust in Samoa BUT and again, sorry to be so direct here [but I know you can take it] you don’t understand the cross-cultural differences in regards to trust. Trust in the West means that we speak the truth and can be relied upon to honour our word. Samoans consider trust to be more akin to loyalty, thus they will lie to cover for their family or chief or culture. They MUST obey their superior thus WILL break their word without flinching is they have to. Sure, there is now a grey area with Westernised Samoans increasing but we Palagi can usually always say with absolute accuracy that we cannot trust a Samoan, in Samoa, because from our perspective that’s reality. Likewise a Samoan naturally does not trust a Palagi because they think that they cannot know or understand Fa’asamoa, hence the issues that I encountered across Samoa in the 7 years I was there. What the Palagi needs to do is identify what, how, when and in what circumstances and for what purpose we CAN trust someone in Samoa. THAT then gives us the wisdom to engage cross-culturally and meaningfully at that.

            > But there is always hope in Samoa because we all can improve ourselves.

            No, sorry Keith, you are wrong here and you should know better. Nobody can improve themselves. With increased faith we can CHOOSE to act in obedience to the Master but as individuals we are all corrupted beyond our capacity to redeem. There is NO hope for Samoa until individuals one after the other after the other CHOOSE consciously to speak out and to pay the price for sharing the truth. It takes sacrifice to achieve something meaningful and from what I’ve seen all giving and all sacrifice is culturally based, for show or for self. In this regard, I like what the blogger O Le Palemia (http://www.palemia.com/o-le-palemia/) is doing. Unfortunately he is hiding his identity, most likely because he does not want to pay the price of losing his job or being lynched or cast out of his family/village or even Samoa. I understand this but until people like him actually start paying the price like I did and have, then the corruption will continue to rule. In some ways I regret that the Palemia didn’t have me done away with up there because it would have shown the world what is actually happening up there – my illegal eviction was a cop-out on his part. When they get to O Le Palemia, and they will eventually, watch what happens. Then if it is as bad as many fear, the dam of frustration with corruption in Samoa could burst and become unstoppable. Who knows other than the One who knows the future?

            Thanks for commenting here again. You’ve raised important issues.

    • Faafetai Emma
      Freedom brings responsibility though doesn’t it? Is that not what God gave us at the outset – the freedom to choose? I am noted (by those that matter to me in Samoa) for being willing to pay the price for speaking the truth. My banning is simply one of many things that I can share! This willingness to pay the price is unusual in the Samoan context for all know full well how power works. Those with power use it, this is only natural, but it is when they defend their actions when abused that they err . . . the Palemia is the current case in point. I like the fact that he is publishing his memoirs. I think it is good for him to tell the world what is important to him. I also like the fact that I too can write about and share the parts that will be missing from his book! I think this will balance his puff-piece well. Yes, freedom of speech is a good thing, indeed.

        • I want to say, “A pleasure, Asipau!” unfortunately I can’t. Publishign this book has been a VERY costly exercise for it has cost me everything I own and then some. I have lost seven years hard labour in Samoa, my Samoan wife and three children, and the capacity to come and go from a country and people that I care for. I would have liked to have been able to say goodbye to the many people I came to know and appreciate. I would have liked to look the old Man in the eyes one last time to see him squirm like the coward he is. I wished that I at least had the opportunity to say goodbye to my dogs and eat one of my pigs (yes I know it sounds crazy, but that’s what life is like in Samoa . . . your priorities change). You thank me for doing what I did telling the world the truth about Samoa and I think this is appropriate. I appreciate those thanks, sadly attempting to rebuild my life back in New Zealand with and from nothing. Remember though that there are 180,000 Samoans who have a Coward and a crook as their leader. They too are hurting as it all comes out.

          Thank you for your post.

  3. After staying with Dennis as a backpacker in 2013 with people from all over the world and discussing all things Samoan and also living and experiencing life in Samoa I will be looking forward to this book. Dennis succeeded in bringing people together in a foreign land and giving them meaningful experiences, something few people can and ever will do. All this goodwill that he was creating was ultimately undone by jealous and petty government officials who do not actually care about the people of Samoa. Your story is a story worth telling and a story few people have the authority to tell.

    • Thank you for your comments in support Christopher which are a pleasant surprise for me.
      > After staying with Dennis as a backpacker in 2013 with people from all over the world and discussing all things Samoan and also living and experiencing life in Samoa I will be looking forward to this book.
      Great!

      > Dennis succeeded in bringing people together in a foreign land and giving them meaningful experiences, something few people can and ever will do.
      Bl**dy hard work to be quite frank! Enjoyable in many ways but not easy and having high costs. Not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure!
      While hundreds have experienced the Samoan culture as a result of my labours while I lived in Samoa and many more via this blog it wasn’t so much that I changed the world that I claim credit for [Samoans are extraordinarily resistant to change] it is more that I did what I believed was right at the time. I sold up and went; I spoke, lived and did what I believed the Lord wanted me to do, and have a clean conscience as a result. I would also note that while you enjoyed or appreciated your experiences there, not all guests did. Again, human nature being what it is, reality is not always appreciated. Too many a guest wanted to believe the marketing spin and found the “Paradise bubble” bursting a little painful.

      > All this goodwill that he was creating was ultimately undone by jealous and petty government officials who do not actually care about the people of Samoa.
      Yes true. Your analysis notes self-interest. This is greed manifested and it is ALWAYS the little people who pay the price for the excesses of their leaders. For those of us who value integrity, justice, love and truth, it rips our heart out doesn’t it?

      > Your story is a story worth telling and a story few people have the authority to tell.
      I think so Christopher too. I have to balance the desire for retribution against those who destroyed for personal reasons which I can assure you exists, with the sensitivity and wisdom needed when saying things and sharing things that are likely to embarrass and affect an entire nation and people-group across the planet. The biggie of course is the Palemia’s ‘inappropriate’ relationship with one of his CEO’s. His claim that “Samoa is Founded upon God” and that he is appointed BY God combined with his self-appointed role to lead his people morally makes a mockery of it all. His authority is political and passing in nature. He has bought his authority to speak through political maneuvers. Mine is through doing the hard yards and sacrifice. Your observation is astute. My words, I think, do have an authority simply because I’ve been there and done that! Cheers and thanks for commenting here. Much appreciated.

  4. It sounds like Tui has singlehandedly done a demolition job on our poor people. As I’ve learned much about Tui and his cohorts over the last few years, the missing tsunami funds, SRU fundraising funds, passports to Chinese nationals, I have now come to the conclusion that we, have a VAMPIRE as PM. He is drunk on the blood of the sufferers who, for many, still don’t have running water or electricity. I’m a quietly proud Samoan who is still recovering from shock and shame following his 60 Minutes interview about the rape of an Australian woman holidaying with her husband in Samoa. Unbelievable stupidity of the highest order. Malo lava le loto toa Dennis, e talitonu lava e le fefe le mea moni e tautala. I can only convey my sympathies to the nasty way in which you were ripped apart from your family in Samoa. This also reminded me of some cases of the indentured Chinese labourers who were forcibly removed from Samoa at the expiry of their contracts, even though they had wives and children, back to China under the British rules of the time. Just cruel! Looking forward to your instalments of Corruption in Samoa. Cheers mate!

    • Thank you for responding Gukuoso. The Palemia struggles with some things – he doesn’t understand Western sensitivities and thus brings his Samoan politics, humour and expectations into an interview such as this. I blogged about this at the time (http://www.dennis.co.nz/2016/07/more-tuilaepa-media-gaffs/) and it was embarrassing in the extreme. He should never do international interviews – period. The fact that he banned me is not widely known and the circumstances are not yet known at all except by a few on the inside. When it gets out over the next 13 days as I publish the details, right thinking people across the globe will shudder at the Palemia’s cowardice and downright evil. Make no mistake about this, Tui has broken his own laws and it can be proven that he as Minister did the dirty deed. Expect lies, deception and every trick in the book, but the truth from me, here! Your understanding of how crooked things actually are in Samoan political leadership has clearly grown as you’ve researched and it will do so even more as you read what’s in the book and my direct letters to the Palemia on my dedicated website http://www.palemia.com. Sadly racism, corruption and a leader attempting to cover for his sins when about to be exposed are the reality up there. So, so very embarrassing for the Samoan people, I believe. An utter disgrace!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *