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Samoa Law Reform Commission

Komisi o le Toefuataiga o Tulafono a Samoa



United Nations Law of the Sea Fellowship, NY, 1999

LLM (Distinction) (IMO – International Maritime Law Institute, Malta) 1997

LLB(University of Auckland) 1993

MA(Hons) (History) (University of Auckland) 1989

BA(History) (University of Auckland) 1987


Tufuga is an international maritime lawyer by profession. A graduate from the University of Auckland completing both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees; a Bachelor of Arts in 1987, a Master of Arts with Honors majoring in History in 1989 and follow by a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1993.He was admitted to the Bar both in New Zealand and Samoa in 1994. In 1997 he was awarded a Masters in Laws with Distinction from the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta under a scholarship sponsored by Commonwealth Secretariat in London, UK His dissertation paper on The delimitation of maritime boundaries appertaining to the small island states – Samoan perspective was awarded the prestigious IMO’s Secretary General Prize and was the Valedictorian for the Class of 1997

Tufuga was the first Samoan awarded the United Nation’s Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Law of the Sea Fellowship (1998-1999) for further training on delimitation of maritime boundaries. The fellowship took him to University of Southampton, UK before his attachment at the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations, New York.

As a professional he is confident, honest, loyal, competent, mature, reliable, self-motivated and hardworking person with experiences in managing people to work together to achieve organizational goals and has analytical skills in all aspects of maritime law, maritime transport, logistics, port management. Tufuga had excellent regional exposure in advising and managing human resources especially within maritime legal sector. He exercise sound judgment and adapting quickly to new situations or challenges with composure and calmness. He has ability to use own initiative and work as part of a team. He has proven leadership skills, including managing and motivating others to achieve team objectives. An effective communicator at all levels within a multicultural organization.

Tufuga is an ordained Preacher (Methodist Church in Samoa) and is a matai from the village of Asau and also holds the title of To’oalo from the village of Manase, Savaii. Tufuga is currently the Chairman for the Robert Louis Stevenson School and also the President for Samoa Seafarers and Maritime Association.His cumulative and diverse legal experiences and academic achievements over the last 30 years are important for leading Samoa Law Reform Commission into the future.

(1994-2000)- Office of the Attorney General of SamoaEarly years of his working career as a Samoan public servant Tufuga worked at the Office of the

Attorney General, and was the Acting – Attorney General on several occasions (1999-2000). He has a Diploma in Litigation (1998) and practiced law through various court works at AG’s Office.

2001Legal and Corporate Services ManagerSamoa Ports Authority (SPA)Tufuga was responsible for administering and enforcing legal obligations of the entity under its governing legislation, ensuring compliance with corporate governance principles, and seeing that the international maritime obligations of the port were implemented effectively and efficiently. He represented SPA in court matters such as debt recoveries and injunction matters such as registering a maritime lien on absconding fishing vessels.

August 2004-2011 Regional Maritime Legal AdviserSecretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)Tufuga was responsible amongst other things in ensuring Pacific Island Countries (PICs) maritime legislations were in line with international conventions promulgated by both IMO and ILO. This entails maritime legal assistance in-country, policy advice, seminar, legislative drafting workshops and regularly reviewing generic Pacific Islands Maritime Laws (PIMLaws) as a tool to harmonise maritime law and practices in the region. Upon completion seven years contract with SPC he returned to Samoa and did maritime legal consultancy work for Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI), Samoa Shipping Corporation (SSC) and SPA.

In 2005, he was instrumental in setting up Pacific International Maritime Law Association known as PIMLA. PIMLA’s motto is to drive harmonization of Maritime Law in the region. It is the “think tank” group by the Pacific for the Pacific. SPC was the secretariat for PIMLA since 2005.Overall, Tufuga has great knowledge and experience on international maritime law and law of the sea issues affecting the region especially small island states and has developed professional network mechanisms to enhance capacity building. His skills and abilities in maritime law are easily and equally applicable in other areas of the law such as trade, international finance, human rights, environment and commercial law.

February 2012Manager Legal, Strategic Planning and Corporate ServicesSamoa Ports Authority (SPA)He was instrumental in creating a “drop hands” settlement of an $8mUSD claim by Insurance Company for PFL/SSS against SPA for grounding of MV Forum Samoa II vessel in 2009.

Late October 2012- November 2015:  CEO/General Manager (appointed by Cabinet)Samoa Ports Authority (SPA)Tufuga through his 3 years contracted was successful in the implementation positive changes and introduced new business directions through financial and governance reform measures resulting in SPA being salvaged from brink of insolvency into a thriving and profitable State owned enterprise. He was involved with preparations in successfully hosting Cruise Vessel Pacific Jewel chartered for 9 days during UNSIDS Conference 2014 which resulted in upgrading port facilities. Some of his achievements included facilitating SPA’s international port at Matautu-Tai to be extended and rehabilitated in 2016 under JICA grant to make it safer and secure to facilitate trade. He was instrumental in ensuring the adoption and implementation of new Port Levy / Tariffs that sustained incremental revenues for SPA years to date.

(2016 to date)- Establishment of Tufuga Law Firm & Consultancy; offering range of services from litigation, commercial, land and maritime consultancy.

2017 – Part time lecturer at National University of Samoa on Business Studies

Directorship Role with Government Boards2016 – 2019 – Director for Samoa Land Corporation (SLC)2020 – 2023 – Director for Samoa International Finance Authority (SIFA)

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