Peter Swain

Fono: The Contest for the Governance of Sāmoa

ISBN: 9781776920655
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 232mm x 152mm
Format: Paperback
Publication date: 8 September 2022


Fono: The Contest for the Governance of Sāmoa tells the story of the development of Sāmoa’s unique system of governance, and of those who have fought for power and shaped the development of the Independent State of Sāmoa, from first settlement through German colonisation and New Zealand’s administration, to indigenous governance, including the hard-fought 2021 General Election and its dramatic outcome.

‘This book, based on a wide range of historical sources and original research, provides us with fresh insights into the history of Sāmoa and the struggles our leaders and people went through in their search for the ideal form of governance for Sāmoans to live their own way of life. Fono is essential reading for all Sāmoans, and for all those interested in the good governance of small island states.’ —Tuila‘epa Dr Sa‘ilele Malielegaoi

Fono constitutes a very valuable and critical perspective. Important because of providing a critical record on an important episode in Sāmoan and Pacific History, plus the pivotal role and frontline credential of the writer. The book’s appeal lies in the immediacy of events and the way the electoral processes evolved without external interference and in the increasing role of the diaspora.’ — Dr Atoese Morgan Tuimalealiifano, Associate Professor of History, University of the South Pacific

Dr Peter Swain spent three decades managing development programmes for international organisations in the island nations of the Pacific. His Pālemia: A Memoir, written with Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi of Sāmoa, was published in 2017, and the Sāmoan translation in 2021. He is married to Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington.

Cover: Lauaki Namulau‘ulu Mamoe, Sāmoa, circa 1909 (Thomas Andrew, photographer; Te Papa Tongarewa)