Samoa’s multi-million dollar complex takes shape in Auckland

25/05/2015

The future is shining bright for the Samoan community with the rise of a multi-million dollar real estate development in the heart of Mangere in Auckland. <!--more-->Some 130,000 Samoans live in Auckland with another 15,000 scattered throughout New Zealand.

[caption id="attachment_7147" align="alignleft" width="138"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/SamoaCons.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7147" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/SamoaCons.jpg" alt="Artist's impression of the new complex." width="138" height="104" /></a> Artist's impression of the new complex.[/caption]

The development is expected to open in March 2016 with a magnificent state of the art Samoan Fale, three storied office and retail complex, a Malae (open space) and surrounding car parking. It will be a hub for the Samoan community and a welcome Pacific dimension to Auckland’s multi-cultural skyline.

Pacific Periscope spoke with the Samoa Trade Commissioner Fonoti Dr Lafitai Fuatai, who was rightfully proud of the work carried out by the Government of Samoa to secure a site for the new Consulate close to the heart of its community easily accessible from the Auckland CBD, Airports and motorways.

Dr Fuatai said it had taken 4 years to get resource consent and the final obstacle was to create 53 parking spaces required by Auckland Council for the complex.

Discussions to move the Consulate offices from Fale Samoa in Karangahape Road began back in 1990. The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was reported in the Samoa Observer voicing his concerns about the fragmentation of the Samoan community in New Zealand and that there was no meeting place for people to gather.

The Government of Samoa decided on the Mangere site in 2008. With no major objections, resource consent was granted in June 2013 and the Government of Samoa bought the land for $2.4 million. The costs of consultations, resource and building consents totaled about $60,000 with the total project cost estimated to be about $18million.

Funding for the project came through the Samoan National Provident Fund and the Unit Trust of Samoa. He praised the actions of the previous leaders of Samoa for their vision and forward thinking. They were the leaders but they were also men with business acumen, he said.

It was also the government’s responsibility to come up with these structures to serve the people. Furthermore it was also important to recognise the symbolism of the structures for people to be proud to be Samoan. “We want our people to feel good about who they are,” he says. Importantly it was also part of preserving the Samoan heritage for the future. It was not about social affluence but looking after the next generation.

The single site of 5,345 sqm will house the multi-million dollar complex including a 3-storied building for office and retail space on the first and second levels and the Samoa Consulate on the third. The Fale (meeting house) design is based on the traditional Samoan fale and will be available for use to the wider community. The Malae can be used for outdoor marquees, shows and events. On completion the development could provide office space for a range of professional tenancies.