Editor’s Note: Amata released the following statement of support and condolences for New Zealand last Friday.
“The reports from New Zealand are heartbreaking. We are mourning with them today. In American Samoa, we think of the other Pacific islands as neighbors, we come together with them for major sporting events, and many of us have had reason to travel to New Zealand. I’ve met with many of our wonderful community of Samoan friends living there.
“New Zealand is a welcoming and beautiful place, and just days ago, I was speaking with their ambassador to the U.S. about all our countries share. I know that as this sad news reaches everyone in American Samoa that our people will be praying, and we send New Zealand our love.”
(Aumua Amata (R-A. Samoa) is the delegate of American Samoa in the U.S. House of Representatives.)