The banishment of Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III

A group of men, including Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III (dressed in white), gathered around the office of the Mau - with the slogan Samoa Mo Samoa over the door, c 1928.

Banishment

The Samoan Offenders Ordinance was used against Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III for one of the more trivial offences committed during George Richardson's administration.

In 1924 Richardson banished Tamasese for an unspecified period of time for failing to remove a hibiscus hedge from land that Tamasese had understood to be his own. When Tamasese left Savai'i, his place of banishment, in an attempt to find out how long his punishment would last, he was sentenced to imprisonment, deprived of the title Tamasese, and banished again after his release from prison.

On 9 May 1929, the New Zealand Samoan Guardian declared that Tamasese's treatment had provided the real impetus for the Mau.

Community contributions

4 comments have been posted about The banishment of Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III

What do you know?

Melvin Leavasa

Posted: 26 Jun 2017

Mau signified our rights to our lands and our superior governance structure that was far beyond the reach of NZ administration intellect. We fought for re-independence not independence because we already were. The western ideologies at the time was a virus and affecting our people with substandard practices they thought was good for our country and appointing racist administrators to drum it into us. How can a foreigner strip a matai title that was bestowed by our Tangaroa to our chosen? That is ethnocentric and racism. Samoan people murdered by NZ through influenza and not through containment on the ship and Mau shootings. Legacies stolen by NZ murderers. An apology is not enough, not by any means. A peaceful march ended in the killing of Civil Rights leader Tupua Tamasese and loyal supporters to the cause of freedom. If I was Tupua I would advise him to speak their language. If they hold guns, we hold guns. If they are peaceful, we are peaceful. Simple and on par.

Chris Wong

Posted: 19 Jun 2017

Tamasese was doing what MLk did 35 yrs later it was the civil rights movement in the islands and these foreign powers took advantage of our limited source of communication and kept exiling our leaders to keep the mass blind

Usovika

Posted: 18 Jun 2017

New Zealand had no right being there. Samoa mo Samoa and the Mau were resistance against racist foreigners who were looking to take advantage of the Samoan people. We Samoans are proud and strong marching against racism and inequality way before the civil rights movement in the U.S., so yea speak the truth don't try and make New Zealand look like the good guys because they weren't. Once the New Zealand navy brought over sick sailors to Samoa instead of taking their disease filled ship to where they came from , no they anchored and came over and infected most of my people which we were not ready for medically. Then saying Sorry decades later . Germans were there before New Zealand but gave it up with no fight. Then when Samoans go to New Zealand which is land belonging to our Mauroi brothers them Europeans thinking they own New Zealand had the nerve to kick us Samoans out with the dawn raids. We will never forget