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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.


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.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PAColl-0691-2
Photographer: Alfred James Tattersall
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image

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The banishment of Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated