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Wednesday, September 30

Labour offers condolences to families of victims

Labour leader Phil Goff is offering his condolences to the families of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Samoa today.

“We are deeply concerned by the reports of loss of life and significant damage to some villages. New Zealand has a long and very strong relationship with Samoa and our thoughts are with the families of those impacted by this disaster.

“We will fully support the New Zealand Government in giving whatever assistance might be necessary for Samoa and its people during this time of need.

"I have spoken to the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Misa Telefoni and have offered him our condolences. He has welcomed the visit of Labour parliamentarians," Mr Goff said.

Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Luamanuvao Winnie Laban boarded a plane to Samoa this afternoon, concerned about the wellbeing of her family there and keen to offer what support she could during the aftermath of this distressing event.

She said the New Zealand Pacific community was reeling from the news of the disaster.

“I’m also keen to try and help keep the New Zealand Pacific community in touch with what’s happening there,” Winnie Laban said.

“It’s important to stand by the people and to support them during this time. I hope to be able to report back first-hand to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

Winnie Laban will be supported by Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Chris Carter on her visit to Samoa.