‘The Mau’ became a revolutionary movement for Samoa’s independence, against New Zealand’s brutal period of colonial administration.
In what is possibly one of the most significant stories of New Zealand’s little-known history in the region, this episode looks at the events that led to the rise of the ‘Mau’ resistance movement and the fatal consequences of New Zealand’s rule in Samoa.
New Zealand’s period of rule in Samoa was marred by bungled administration and fatal decision-making. The death of one fifth of the population via Spanish influenza, and the fatal shooting of unarmed Samoans by NZ police during a peaceful public march are two key events.
This piece sheds light on this period of New Zealand and Samoan history that remains little-examined in Aotearoa. Former Head of State, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese, the nephew of the slain Mau leader, tells of his tumultuous family history under the NZ reign and how it led to Helen Clark’s famous 2002 apology on behalf of the New Zealand Government.