Hundreds of community members gathered on the weekend to celebrate the opening of the new Fale o Samoa in Mangere Town Centre.
The multi-million-dollar complex was designed to reflect a traditional Samoan fale (meeting house). It includes a retail area, office space, and indoor and outdoor meeting areas.
Mayor Len Brown, who spoke at the opening along with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu Iiga, said it was a proud day.
“The whole purpose of this magnificent new state-of-the-art consulate was to move it from its old home in Ponsonby closer to where Samoan people live and you certainly couldn’t get any closer than this – this is the Samoan heart of Auckland.”
Mangere has the biggest Samoan population in New Zealand and Auckland is the Pacific capital of the world.
The celebrations began with a Samoan blessing conducted by a Reverend Minister. After the speeches, a plaque was unveiled by Prime Minister Tuilaepa, and Mangere College pupils sang the Samoan and New Zealand national anthems.
The two countries’ flags were then raised by High Commissioner for Samoa Leasi Papalii Scanlan and MP Su’a William Sio.
The new building, on the corner of Bader Drive and Mascot Avenue, replaces the consulate’s previous home on Karangahape Road.