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Independent State of Samoa Australia-Oceania Apia 196,628 inhabitants 2,831 sq km 69.46 inhabitants/sq km tala (SAT) population evolution

Famous people from Samoa

Here is a list of famous people from Samoa. Curious if anybody from Samoa made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

David Tua

Professional Boxer

David Tua is a professional heavyweight boxer, who fights out of South Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. He is a former WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental Heavyweight champion. Tua won the 1988 New Zealand Amateur Heavyweight championship, then in a series of fights became internationally respected for his devastating left hook. He won a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics and later began his professional career. However, after 2003 his career drifted due to promotional disputes. In 2009 he made a comeback, defeating Shane Cameron convincingly with a second round technical knock-out. Tua retired from boxing in March 2012, but subsequently came out of retirement in September 2012.

Manu Tuilagi


Manu Samoa Tuilagi is a Samoan-born English professional rugby union player who currently plays for Aviva Premiership side Leicester Tigers and England. He plays as a centre or on the wing. He is well known for his big hits, sheer force and speed. He was selected to play for the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour to Australia.

Alesana Tuilagi


Alesana "Alex" Tuilagi is a Samoan rugby union footballer. He currently plays for the NTT Shining Arcs in the Japanese club competition, the Top League, and has appeared numerous times for his national team Samoa. He previously played for Parma in Italy and for Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership. As an incredibly strong player, Tuilagi uses his blend of pace and power to good effect, proving a nightmare for many defences.

Jimmy Thunder

Professional Boxer

Jimmy Thunder, is a former Samoan boxer, 2 time Australia Heavyweight Champion as well as former IBO and WBF World Heavyweight Champion.

Jerry Collins


Jerry Collins is a professional New Zealand rugby union footballer. He played for New Zealand, for whom he was capped 48 times, and most recently played for Yamaha Júbilo, in the Top League.

Samula Anoaʻi


Samula Anoa'i is a Samoan American professional wrestler best known as one half of The Headshrinkers/Samoan Swat Team under the name Samu. His father is Afa Anoa'i who trained Samula for his professional wrestling debut.

Mils Muliaina


Junior Malili Muliaina, better known as Mils Muliaina, is a rugby union player, who currently plays for Chiefs. He returned to the Chiefs after a spell in Japan. He formerly played for the Auckland Blues in Super Rugby, and New Zealand at international level. He was born in Salesi, Samoa, then moved with his family to Invercargill, New Zealand, at the age of two. With 33 tries in 100 tests for the All Blacks, Muliaina appears on the list of the highest try scorers in rugby union test history. In the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final match against Argentina, Muliaina became the second All Black to reach 100 caps.

Tufuga Efi


His Highness Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi, also known as Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, and formerly known as Tupuola Efi, is a Samoan political figure who has been Samoa's head of state since 2007. Previously he was Prime Minister of Samoa from 1976 to 1982 and again later in 1982. On 16 June 2007 he was elected as O le Ao o le Malo, Samoa's head of state, for a five-year term. He was sworn in as O le Ao o le Malo at Samoa's Parliament on 20 June 2007. He is a member of one of the paramount Families of State where he holds the Tupua title of the SaTupua 'royal' family. He also holds the Tama-a-Aiga Tamasese title and the title of "Tui Atua". Tupua first entered parliament and became Prime Minister under the title Tupuola.

Francis Meli


2014 Salford Red Devils Francis Meli is a professional rugby league player who currently plays for St. Helens in the Super League competition. Meli has represented both New Zealand and Samoa in internationals. His usual position is on the wing.

Isaia Toeava

Rugby Player

Isaia "Ice" Toeava, is a professional rugby union player from New Zealand.

Chris Masoe


Chris Masoe is a New Zealand rugby union footballer, who currently plays for Toulon in the Top 14.

Malietoa Tanumafili II

Noble person

Malietoa Tanumafili II, GCMG, CBE, also called Susuga, was the Malietoa, the title of one of Samoa's four paramount chiefs, and the head of state, or O le Ao o le Malo, a position that he held for life, of Samoa from 1962 to 2007. He was co-chief of state in 1962 and became the sole head of state on 15 April 1963. At the time of his death, he was the oldest national leader in the world. It is a common mistake that the Malietoa title is a title equivalent to a king-ship. Malietoa is known as the first warrior title, and is respected not as a King but as a Tamaaiga or Ao Mamalu ole Malo.

Pua Magasiva


Pua Magasiva is a Samoan-New Zealand actor, who is perhaps best known for his roles as Shane Clarke, the Red Ranger from Power Rangers: Ninja Storm, and Nurse Vinnie Kruse in New Zealand soap Shortland Street.

Brian Lima


Brian Lima is a former Samoan rugby union footballer who was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011. Originally a wing, Lima moved into centre for Manu Samoa as his pace lessened, but he remained a formidable player throughout his career. He earned the memorable nickname of "The Chiropractor" for his shuddering hits in defence that supposedly rearrange the bones of the victim. He has been described as the best Samoan rugby union player of all time.

Afa Anoaʻi


Arthur "Afa" Anoa'i, Sr. is a Samoan American retired professional wrestler and professional wrestling manager. Since retiring in the 1990s, he has operated the World Xtreme Wrestling promotion and trained wrestlers at the Wild Samoan Training Facility.

Albert Wendt


Albert Wendt ONZ CNZM is a Samoan poet and writer who also lives in New Zealand. Among his works is Leaves of the Banyan Tree.

Aaron Edwards

Australian Rules Footballer

Aaron Edwards is an Australian rules footballer for the Richmond Football Club.

Casey Laulala


Casey Daniel Eti Laulala is a Samoan-born New Zealand rugby union player, currently playing for Irish side Munster in the Pro 12 and Heineken Cup. He attended Woodhouse Grove School in the sixth form on a scholarship.

Tusi Pisi

Rugby Player

Tusi Pisi is a rugby union player who played for North Harbour in the Air New Zealand Cup. His position is fly half, but he has also played at centre and full back. He is the current first choice flyhalf for the Samoa National Rugby Union Team. After playing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby, he moved to Rugby Club Toulonnais in France for 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 seasons. At the end of the 2009 season in France, Pisi joined Suntory Sungoliath Rugby Club in Japan. In 2011, he signed with the Hurricanes for the 2012 season.

Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi


Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi is a Samoan politician who has been Prime Minister of Samoa since 1998.

George Pisi

Rugby Player

George Pisi is a rugby union player for the Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership. Pisi made his provincial debut playing for North Harbour in 2005 alongside his elder brother Tusi Pisi. He made 50 appearances for North Harbour before transferring to Taranaki for the 2010 ITM Cup. He made 18 appearances for the Blues between 2006 and 2010, but didn't record a try and never fully established himself as a starter. He moved to France for the 2010-11 season, and scored 3 tries in just 7 appearances for Clermont Auvergne. For the 2011-12 season, he signed in England with the Northampton Saints. In 2010 Pisi made his international debut for Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup. George Pisi has two brothers, Tusi Pisi and Ken Pisi, who have also played for North Harbour.

Richard Wentworth


Richard Wentworth CBE is a British artist, curator and teacher. He was Professor of Sculpture at The Royal College of Art, London from 2009-11.

Mahonri Schwalger

Rugby Player

Mahonri Schwalger is a professional rugby union footballer who plays for the Chiefs in the Super Rugby competition and for Counties Manukau in the ITM Cup. He is also currently the captain of the Samoan national team.

Oscar Kightley


Oscar Vai To'elau Kightley, MNZM, a Samoan-born actor, television presenter and writer, has been a resident and citizen of New Zealand for most of his life.

Anitelea Tuilagi


Anitelea "Andy" Tuilagi is a Samoan international rugby union player. His position is either wing or outside centre. He has played club rugby for Leicester Tigers, in the Guinness Premiership, and a season loan at Leeds Tykes, now Leeds Carnegie, in National Division One. Tuilagi made his Leicester début at Welford Road against Gloucester as a replacement. Tuilagi is the younger brother of Henry, Freddie and Alex who are also Samoan internationals and all of whom have played for Leicester Tigers. He became the fourth member of the Tuilagi family to play at Leicester since elder brother Freddie Tuilagi made the move from St Helens rugby league club in June 2000. Two younger brothers, Vavae and Manu have also played for the Tigers. He has gained seven caps for Samoa. Following a loan period at Leeds, Tuilagi ended his contract with Leicester Tigers to join Leeds Carnegie full-time. On 19 August 2008 Tuilagi was confirmed as the last signing that would be joining Guinness Premiership side Sale Sharks on a 4-year contract. On 13 June 2011 Sale Sharks announced that Tuilagi had been released from his contract after three years and on 29 November 2011 he joined Newport Gwent Dragons. He made his debut against Glasgow Warriors on 4 December 2011. He was released by Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Jason Suttie


Jason "Psycho" Suttie is a Samoan-born New Zealand former heavyweight kickboxer and 6 time Muay Thai World champion fighting out of Elite Thai Kickboxing Gym in Auckland, New Zealand.

Rudi Wulf

Rugby Player

Rudi Wulf is a rugby union footballer who plays for Toulon in the French Top 14. He joined Toulon on a two-year contract after being left out of the 2010 All Black Tri Nations squad. He previously played for North Harbour in the Air New Zealand Cup and the Auckland-based Blues in the Super 14 competition. He played for Marist in the North Harbour premier competition. On 1 June 2008, Rudi became a New Zealand All Black for the first time. However, playing in France means he will no longer be eligible to play for the All Blacks. Wulf is regarded as a three quarter, in that he can play wing, fullback and outside centre. Wulf's promising career almost ended before it began when, in June 2005, he suffered a serious injury by diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool and fracturing vertebrae in his neck. He has since made a full recovery. He attended high school at Rosmini College. He is related to French rugby league international Vincent Wulf. Wulf will return to Toulon for the 2012/2013 Season on a two year contract.

Ropati Pitoitua

American Football Defensive tackle

Ropati Pitoitua [roe-POT-ti pito-IT-tuah] is an American football defensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He played college football at Washington State. Pitoitua has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Freddie Tuilagi


Fereti Tuilagi is a former Samoan rugby union Rugby player who previously played rugby league for Halifax Blue Sox and St. Helens. He played as a wing or centre and now is currently retired. His first name is often anglicised to Freddie. Tuilagi is the oldest of seven brothers: Henry, Olotuli, Alesana, Anitelea, Vavae and Manu. All but Olotuli have played for Leicester Tigers.. Tuilagi currently coaches children at his own rugby skills course named 'Tuilagi Rugby Skills Courses'.

David Lemi


David Lemi is a professional rugby player who plays on the wing for Worcester Warriors. Weighing in at 75 kg and only 1.75m tall, he is one of the smaller professional rugby players. However, his electric pace and low centre of gravity enabled him to be the 2nd highest Premiership try scorer for the 2005-06 season; and top scorer in the 2006-07 season. His skills and leadership made him one of the best ever 7s players for his country. As well as representing the 7s side, he has played for the senior 15-a-side team, representing his nation at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. He caught Bristol coach Richard Hill's eye in the 2005 Safari Sevens in Kenya and joined Bristol on a one-year deal. During the 2005-6 season, Lemi quickly impressed, scoring 8 tries in 12 appearances, and became a crowd favourite at the Memorial Stadium. He signed a two-year contract extension in spring 2006. Despite Bristol Rugby's relegation at the end of the 2008–9 season, Lemi still managed to win The Sunday Times Try of the Season Award for the try he scored against Bath Rugby in the first game of the season. He was the joint second top try scorer in the 2008-09 Guinness Premiership season.

Taito Phillip Field


Taito Phillip Hans Field is a Samoan New Zealand politician. He was a Member of Parliament for south Auckland electorates from 1993 to 2008. Field was a minister outside Cabinet in a Labour-led government from 2003 to 2005. Following charges of bribery and perverting the course of justice, he was defeated in the New Zealand general election, 2008. He was found guilty on some of the charges in August 2009 and was sentenced to six years jail in October 2009.

George Stowers


George Stowers is a Samoan international rugby union player. He currently plays for the Ospreys in the RaboDirect Pro12. He plays as a Flanker or a No.8.

Sosene Anesi


Sosene Raymond Anesi is a rugby union footballer and he plays fullback and wing.

Seilala Mapusua


Seilala Mapusua is a Samoan rugby player currently playing with the Kubota Spears of the Japanese Top League. Prior to his move to Japan in 2011, he also had long stints with the Highlanders in Super Rugby and London Irish in the Aviva Premiership.

Tuiloma Neroni Slade


Tuiloma Neroni Slade is the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. He was elected to the position for three years on 20 August 2008. Slade was reappointed to a second term by the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum on 8 September 2011.

Tim Lafai

Rugby Player

Tim Lafai is a Samoan rugby league footballer for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs of the National Rugby League. He primarily plays centre and wing.

Motu Tony


Iosefo Motu Tony is a retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. A New Zealand international representative utility back or hooker, he previously played in the National Rugby League for the Auckland and Brisbane clubs before playing in Super League for English clubs Wakefield Trinity, Castleford, Hull and Whitehaven.

Setaimata Sa


Setaimata Sa is a rugby footballer who currently plays for London Irish in the Aviva Premiership.

John Schwalger


John Schwalger is a New Zealand rugby union footballer and plays at prop.

Max Taogaga


Papaliitele Max Amata Taogaga is a retired Samoan professional wrestler, best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation as Siva Afi.

Alapati Leiua

Rugby Player

Alapati Leuia is a rugby union footballer who plays as a centre or wing for Hurricanes in Super Rugby and the Wellington Lions in the ITM Cup.

Emma Hunter


Emma Hunter is a Samoan New Zealander swimmer. Born in Samoa, she now lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu


Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is a Samoan rugby union footballer. He is a centre who can also play at fly half. He currently plays for Coca Cola West Red Sparks in the Japanese Top League. Fuimaono-Sapolu first played club rugby as a junior for Manurewa RFC in South Auckland, New Zealand. His coach Gary Healey commented "Eli didn't need much coaching. He was a naturally gifted player who could read the game. His commitment, discipline and sheer exuberance showed at an early age, and he was clearly destined for higher honours". Fuimaono-Sapolu moved to England in January 2006, signed by Bath Rugby after outstanding performances in the internationals against Scotland and England. He had initially been signed as a temporary replacement to cover for the players playing in the Six Nations Championship, but soon his contract was made permanent. Since arriving at Bath he has won the approval of many fans due to his exciting running and quick hands. More recently he displayed his all round ability in back play at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, in which he represented Samoa playing out of position at fly-half. Although his side lost to England, South Africa and – surprisingly – Tonga while beating only the USA in the pool stages of the tournament, Fuimaono-Sapolu was one of the consistent performers.

Mikaele Pesamino

Rugby Player

Mikaele Pesamino is a rugby union player in the Samoa Sevens team. He is one of the highest point scorers in the 2009–2010 IRB Sevens World Series. Pesamino was born in Vailele on the island of Upolu in Samoa. Pesamino was first discovered for his speed, when he represented Leifiifi College in the annual Champ of Chapms athletic competition. But ever since, he focused on his rugby career and it proved to be a good choice.

Willie Talau


Viliamu Talau is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who plays for English club Salford City Reds of Super League. A Samoa and New Zealand international representative three-quarter back, he has played club football previously in the National Rugby League for the Bulldogs as well as for St Helens.

David Smith


David Smith is a New Zealand rugby union player who plays with Toulon in the French Top 14. He previously played for the Hurricanes, Blues and Western Force in Super Rugby.

John Schuster


Nesetorio Jonny Schuster is a Samoan former international rugby league and rugby union player, a dual-code international.

Sakaria Taulafo


Sakaria Taulafo is a Samoa international rugby union footballer. He is a New Zealand national.

Alama Ieremia


Alama Ieremia is a New Zealand rugby union coach. He is a former Samoan international as well as a former All Black. He was born in Apia, Samoa. He played provincial rugby with Wellington and played in the former Super 12 with the Hurricanes. He played at centre and played professional rugby with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath. Alama Ieremia has the distinction of scoring the first ever try in Super rugby, against the Blues in the inaugural Super 12 match in Palmerston North in 1996.

Fred Ah Kuoi


Fred "Freddie" Ah Kuoi is a former New Zealand rugby league player who represented his country.

Masada Iosefa

Rugby Player

Masada Iosefa is a rugby league player for the Wests Tigers in the National Rugby League. He has previously played for the Penrith Panthers. His primary plays at hooker. He is cousins with Newcastle Knights player, Peter Mata'utia.

Emma Forsayth


Emma Eliza Coe, known also as "Queen Emma of New Guinea", Emma Forsayth, Emma Farrell and Emma Kolbe was a business woman and plantantion owner of mixed American/Samoan descent.

Malietoa Laupepa


Susuga Malietoa Laupepa was the ruler of Samoa in the late 19th century.

Afoa Moega Lutu


Afoafouvale Leulumoegafou Su’esu’e Lutu is an American Samoan politician and lawyer. Lutu has served as the former American Samoan Attorney General. Lutu was defeated in the 2004 gubernatorial election by Togiola Tulafono. He is currently challenging Togiola Tulafono in a rematch in the 2008 American Samoa gubernatorial election, teaming with Velega Savali as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor.

Lolo Lui


Lolo Lui, is a Samoan rugby union player and the current veteran of the Samoa Sevens, champions of the 2009–10 IRB Sevens World Series. Born and raised in Moata'a, the same village as former All Blacks star Michael Jones and many other famous Samoan Rugby players, such as Taufusi Salesa, Lolani Koko, and Alefaio Vaisuai. He first made an appearance in national colours in the National Under 18 World Rugby Championship held in Chile in 1999. He has also represented Manu Samoa at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. A sevens specialist Lui made his name on the sevens circuit and was a surprise selection ahead of Tanner Vili, unfortunately he was not given much chance in the competition as Eliota Fuimaono was preferred out of position at fly half against pool A giants England and South Africa and the reliable presence of Loki Crichton was though to be needed to provide wins against Tonga and the USA. He plays his club rugby for Samoan side Moata'a apart from a 6 month stint with the Leonessa Rugby Club in Italy in 2006.

Sam Lotu-Iiga


Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is the member of the New Zealand Parliament for the Maungakiekie electorate having been elected in the 2008 election. Lotu-Iiga is one of two National Party Pacific Island MPs. Lotu-Iiga holds the Samoan high chiefly title of Peseta.

Semo Sititi


Semo Sititi is a rugby union footballer in Samoa. He was born in Moto'otua.

Olo Brown


Olo Max Brown was born 24 October 1967 in Apia, Samoa. He played 56 tests at prop for the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team from 1992 to 1998, missing only two tests in his career. He suffered neck and back injuries which ended his rugby playing days, and retired to become a lawyer.

Junior Michael

Football player

Junior Michael is a former association footballer from Samoa, who played as a forward during his career. Michael played for 5 clubs as well as the Samoa national football team.

Lia Maivia

Deceased Person

Ofelia "Lia" Maivia, also known as Leah Maivia, was a Samoan veteran wrestling promoter. Maivia was the wife of Samoan professional wrestler Peter Maivia and the grandmother of actor and wrestler, Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock. Dwayne Johnson is the son of Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia's only daughter, Ata Maivia.

Uale Mai


Uale Mai Vala is a rugby union player and plays for the country's national teams, Manu Samoa and Samoa Sevens. He is a former captain of the Samoa Sevens team which represent Samoa internationally in the IRB Sevens World Series. He is Sevens rugby's most capped player and is considered one of the greats in the international sport. In 2010 he has joined the CR El Salvador. Mai was the first Samoan to be awarded the IRB International Sevens Player of the Year which he received for the 2005–06 World Sevens Series. The ceremony took place in Glasgow's historic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Britain on 26 November 2006. He was also awarded Player of the Tournament at the Hong Kong Sevens in 2007. In 2009, Mai took a short break from the Samoa Sevens team but returned in 2010 under new coach Stephen Betham. Mai is from Vailoa village in Palauli district on the island of Savai'i.

Ofisa Treviranus


Ofisa Treviranus is a Samoan rugby union player.

Eroni Clarke


Eroni Clarke was a Samoan-born New Zealand rugby union player who played for Auckland, the Blues, the Highlanders and the All Blacks at international level. Clarke made 154 appearances for Auckland, making him the fifth most capped player in the union's history. He also scored 73 tries for Auckland, the fourth most in the union's history. Clarke also made 48 appearances for the Auckland Blues at Super 12 level and made fourteen total appearances for New Zealand, making his international debut in 1992. Eroni is currently working as a sports presenter for Maori TV

Sima Urale

Film Director

Sima Urale is a New Zealand filmmaker who has won national and international awards. Her films explore social and political issues and have been screened worldwide. She is one of the few Polynesian film directors in the world with more than 15 years in the industry. Her accolades include the Silver Lion for Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival for O Tamaiti.

Fritz Lee

Rugby Player

Fritz Lee is a Samoan rugby union footballer. His regular playing position is eighthman. He plays for the Chiefs in Super Rugby and Counties Manukau Steelers in the ITM Cup.

Aggie Grey

Hotel Manager

Aggie Grey was born in Western Samoa in 1897 and died in 1988. She was a well known hotellier and founder of Aggie Greys hotel and resort in Apia Western Samoa

Joe Onosai


Joe Onosai is a former strongman competitor and American football player. Onosai is a Samoan tribal prince and was drafted by the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. Onosai made it to the finals of the World's Strongest Man contest twice, in 1994 and 1995.

Lemi Ponifasio


Lemi Ponifasio is a Samoan choreographer and the founder and director of MAU, New Zealand's most prolific international contemporary dance and theatre company. His works have been called genius, powerful, frightening, beautiful, inspirational, his critical eye on our times and fearless vision continuing to provoke both attention and controversy. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, MAU performs at major international theatres and festivals such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Theatre de la Ville Paris, the Holland Festival, the Venice Biennale and Vienna Festival. "An ancestral imagined world made of earth and air, fire and water, inhabited by gods and men, underlies the visionary creations of one of the leading New Zealand directors, Lemi Ponifasio, who draws from the native cultures of the Pacific to create, like a shaman, new symbols that also speak of our present. In his shows, ceremonies, performance culture, dance and contemporary theatre blend and demonstrate a strong connotation of civil commitment. Ponifasio’s unique work is hard to define in conformity with the parameters of theatre and dance of the West. Seeing a show by the MAU group means wondering at a crepuscular dimension in which the human being is vulnerable and in which the body becomes a receptacle of spirits, animals, creatures of dust, of a primitive instinctive energy. Ponifasio’s shows have been defined “hypnotic, strongly scenographic, characterised by the strength of the images, with a powerful relationship between darkness, light and movement”. The originality of his language, which refers back to the ancestral value of dance, shunning folklore cliches, fashion and pop culture, ensure he is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists in the genre."

Maselino Masoe

Professional Boxer

Maselino Francis Masoe is a Samoan boxer, who represented his native country at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Samani Pulepule

Deceased Person

Pulepule Samani Pulepule was a Samoan minister since the early 1950s in the Assemblies of God movement. Dr Pulepule was also the Chief Apostle of the Samoan Assemblies of God in New Zealand for over 40 years and was elected as the World Chairman of the Samoan Assemblies of God Worldwide. Pulepule was the senior pastor for the Samoan A/G in Auckland. It is one of the largest Samoan congregations in the world, and through his ministry, Dr Pulepule has planted over 100 churches throughout New Zealand. In 2005 the church group he led went through a phase of division where 50 churches stayed under the Assemblies of God in New Zealand umbrella, and 45 churches left and became an autonomous fellowship under his direction. Since 2005 the church under his direction has grown from 45 to over 90 at this present time, and the church continues to grow and is still known to be the fastest growing Pentecostal movement in New Zealand. On 25 September 2011, Pulepule officially resigned from all his posts of Senior Pastor, General Superintendent and World Chairman in the Samoan Assemblies of God movement. In attendance were the former General Superintendents of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand, Assemblies of God leaders around the world, the Mayor of Auckland, the Auckland City Council and Members of Parliament as well as leaders of all the other Pentecostal denominations who all paid tribute to Pulepule and the First Lady.

Alisi Tupuailei


Alisi Tupuailei is a Samoa-born Japanese professional rugby union player who currently plays for Honda Heat and the Japan national rugby union team.

Nigel Hunt


Nigel Hunt is a New Zealand Rugby union player who most famously played for the New Zealand Sevens team. He achieved a Gold Medal along with his NZ Sevens team mates at the 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne. Hunt was a member of both NZ Sevens squads that won the Sevens World Circuits in 2006 and 2007. He is currently on a one-year contract for 2nd Division French Rugby Union club, Grenoble and plans to return to the Rugby Union 15's game in New Zealand in 2011 though it is unknown whether he will resume playing for his previous National Provincial side, Bay of Plenty.

Tony Tuimavave


Antonio Emil Tuimavave is a former professional rugby league player who is the current head coach of the Ponsonby Ponies. He played mainly at prop or at lock forward. He was nicknamed The Chief because he is a chief back in his native Samoa.

Shaka Sola

Olympic athlete

Shaka Sola is a Samoan shot putter and discus thrower who became a popular if surprising star at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics.

Nepo Laulala

Rugby Player

Nepo Laulala is a New Zealand rugby union footballer who plays as a Prop for Canterbury in the ITM Cup. Born in 1991 in Samoa, Laulala boarded at South Auckland’s Wesley College, and after showing impressive form for their 1st XV was enticed to Christchurch to join the Canterbury Academy. His performances for his province have seen him named in the Crusaders squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Tani Fuga


Tanielu "Tani" Fuga is a Samoan rugby union player. Born in Apia, he was brought up by his grandparents, Iosia and Salavao Fuga and they moved to Auckland in 1986 for him to study. He attended Waitakere College in Auckland and played for the Waitemata club. He played as hooker and, after playing for Samoa in 1999, decided to move to the UK as one of his idols, Keith Wood played there for Harlequins. Tani joined Quins in 2000 and made his debut as a replacement against London Wasps on 9 September that year. He scored his first try for the club in the European Challenge Cup victory over Périgueux at the Twickenham Stoop on 7 October 2000. He retired from playing after a benefit year organised at Harlequins in 2010 and returned to New Zealand. He won nine caps for Samoa and scored a try in his second game against New Zealand back in June 1999. He was a member of the Samoan squad at the 2007 Rugby World Cup finals. Fuga opened a branch of Nando's in Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand on 6 September 2011 in anticipation of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Tusi Tamasese

Film Director

Tusi Tamasese is a Samoan New Zealander film director. He is of high chiefly descent, of the Tupua Tamasese lineage. He came to New Zealand at the age of 18 with the intention to go to university, but, lacking a scholarship, began by working "picking tomatoes". He eventually did study at the New Zealand Film School, at the Victoria University of Wellington and at the University of Waikato; he obtained a bachelor's degree in social sciences, and a Master of Arts degree in creative writing. He now lives in Wellington. He wrote and directed his first short film, Va Tapuia, which was "screened at the 2010 NZ Film Festival and then at festivals around the world". He went on to make Samoa's first ever feature film, The Orator, which was screened in 2011 and submitted to the 84th Academy Awards. It was funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and the Samoan government. He described it as "my image of what I see of growing up in Samoa".

Alfie Vaeluaga


Alfie To'oala Vaeluaga is a professional rugby union player who played for La Rochelle, and Leeds. He was recruited to Bristol the start of the 2006 Aviva Premiership season to bolster the Bristol back row, having played for both Orrell and Plymouth Albion against Bristol when the team was in National Division One. He moved to newly promoted side London Welsh for the 2012/13 season in the Aviva Premiership. After his release, he rejoined Rotherham Titans for the 2013/14 season in the RFU Championship. He has been capped by Samoa, and was called up to the Samoa World Cup 2007 team as a replacement for Filipo Levi who fractured his eye socket in a warm up match against Sale.

Olaf Frederick Nelson


Taisi Olaf Frederick Nelson, also known as Taisi Olaf, was a successful businessman and one of the founding leaders of the Mau movement for Samoan independence from colonial rule. He was born on 24 February 1883 at Safune on the island of Savai'i, Samoa, and died in Apia on 28 February 1944. He was a successful planter, businessman and statesman. He was the son of a Swedish trader August Nilspeter Gustav Nelson and his Samoan wife, Sina Masoe, whose family had links to the Sa Tupua. His name Taisi is a matai chief title from his mother's family. Nelson's early years saw him working in his father's business, and he became a successful merchant in his own right. He expanded his father's copra trading business throughout the islands, and by the time he was thirty five, Nelson was one of the wealthiest members of the Apia community. He was influential in both the Samoan and European communities. Under German rule, when the country was called German Samoa, the colonial administrators treated Nelson as an equal. But after New Zealand seized control in 1914, Nelson was excluded and alienated by the new government. Despite being elected to the Legislative Council in 1924, he could do little as he and the other elected members were constantly overruled by the more numerous government appointees. This treatment turned Nelson into one of the major forces in the Samoan independence movement, known as the Mau.

Terry Fanolua


Terry Fanolua is a Samoan rugby union player. He played as a Centre for Gloucester and Samoa for a number of years. Fanolua played for Gloucester for ten years and became a member of the 100 league games club. A strong and devastating runner, Fanolua was the scourge of many opposition players and in 2006 upon he switched clubs joining French side Brive. He is currently coaching rugby at Hartpury College.

Ele Opeloge


Ele Opeloge is a Samoan weightlifter competing in the women's +75 kg category.

Monty Betham


Monty Betham was a professional boxer who fought boxers such as Tony Mundine, father of Anthony Mundine, Lance Revill, Carlos Marks,Greg McNamara and Semi Bula in a professional career beginning in 1973 up until 1984. He is also the father of former New Zealand Warriors rugby league star Monty Betham.

Laloa Milford


Laloa Milford is a rugby union player who currently plays for the Santa Monica Rugby Club. He is a former rugby league player who represented Samoa.

Ulia Ulia


Ulia Ulia to Ututa'aloga Charlie Ulia of Afega and Senetenari Elizabeth Havilani Lameta-Ulia of Vaimoso and Moataa, is a Samoan rugby union flanker. He is married to Natanya Potoi and has an older brother, Kenneth Brandon and three sisters- Elaine Elena, Desiree Amy and Havilani. He was a member of the Samoa national rugby union team that participated at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Ope Peleseuma

Rugby Player

Ope Peleseuma is a rugby union footballer who plays as a midfielder for Wellington in the ITM Cup. His performances at domestic level were rewarded when he was named in the Hurricanes Wider Training Squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season. Peleseuma represented New Zealand Under 20 in the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa.

Falema‘i Lesa


Falemai Lesa is a Samoan national resident in New Zealand who famously appealed her visa overstay conviction to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, then the highest court of appeal in New Zealand.