Skip to main content

Samoan 'invasion' Great War Story

Video file

The video for this story about the occupation of German Samoa screened on Newshub on 19 April 2018.

On 6 August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of war, Britain asked New Zealand to capture a wireless station in German Samoa. The station, situated in the hills behind Apia, was strategically important because it was capable of sending signals to Berlin and the German fleet in the Pacific.

A small force of local constabulary protected the wireless station. They were no match for the Samoa Expeditionary Force, which achieved its objective without resistance on 29 August 1914.

In this Great War Stories episode on the ‘invasion’ of Samoa, Associate Professor of Pacific Studies Damon Salesa and writer Michael Field talk about New Zealand’s ‘appalling’ record as administrator of the island nation.

The episode ends with Tupe Lualua’s 1918, a choreographed performance of the devastation caused by the influenza epidemic.


Video: Produced and directed by Anna Cottrell, AC Productions for MediaWorks Newshub. Made with the support of NZ On Air. See full video credits here (pdf)

How to cite this page

Samoan 'invasion' Great War Story, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated