Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II

Tupua Tamasese Lealofi IV Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa Tupua Tamasese Meaʻole

Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II

Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II.png
1st Prime Minister of Western Samoa
In office
20 March 1973 – 20 May 1975†
O le Ao O le MaloMalietoa Tanumafili II
Preceded byTupua Tamasese Lealofi IV
Succeeded byTupua Tamasese Lealofi IV
In office
1 October 1959 – 25 February 1970
O le Ao O le MaloMalietoa Tanumafili II
Tupua Tamasese Meaʻole (1962-1963)
Preceded byOffice Reestablished
(Eugene Paul
Leader of Government Business)
Succeeded byTupua Tamasese Lealofi IV
Minister of Agriculture
In office
Preceded byTo'omata Lilomaiava Tua
Succeeded byTualaulelei Mauri
Member of the Legislative Assembly
In office
Succeeded byLaulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa
Personal details
Born5 August 1921
Western Samoa
Died20 May 1975(1975-05-20) (aged 53)
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa
OccupationParamount Chief ‘Tama’aiga’
Residence in Lepea village, home of his matai chief title Faumuina.

Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II CBE (5 August 1921 – 20 May 1975) was a Western Samoan paramount chief and politician. The holder of the Mata'afa title, one of the four main Samoan chieftainships, he became the first Prime Minister of Western Samoa in 1959 (after the reestablishment of the Prime Ministership), serving until 1970. He held the position again from 1973 until his death in 1975.


Mata'afa was born in 1921, the son of Paramount Chief Mata'afa Faumuina Fiame Mulinu'u I. He was educated at the Marist Brothers school in Apia. He married Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa, a teacher educated in New Zealand and who later became Samoa's High Commissioner (1993–1997) to New Zealand.[1] He was bestowed with the Fiame title in 1948,[2] and also became a Faumuina. When his father died in 1948, he acceded to the Mata'afa title He was a senior grade rugby player and President of the Western Samoan Boys' Brigade.[3]

After it was agreed in the 1954 Constitutional Convention that two of the four paramount chiefs, Tupua Tamasese Meaʻole and Malietoa Tanumafili II, should be made joint heads of state for life, he announced that he would withdraw from public life.[4] However, he later backed down and contested the 1957 elections to the Legislative Assembly, winning the Lotofaga seat.

Following the elections, Mata'fa was appointed to the Executive Council as Minister of Agriculture.[5] When formal cabinet government was introduced in 1959, he became the first Prime Minister, defeating Leader of Government Business Eugene Paul and Tualaulelei Mauri in a vote.[3] He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1960 Queen's Birthday Honours.[6]

Mata'afa was re-elected Prime Minister following the 1961 elections, leading the country to independence in 1962. He was re-elected again following elections in 1964 and 1967. However, after the 1970 elections, he was defeated by Tupua Tamasese Lealofi IV by 25 votes to 20 in the third round of voting. It was reported that he would have probably won in the second round (which was tied at 23 votes each) if one of his supporters, To'omata Lilomaiava Tua, had not died the previous week.[7]

Following the 1973 elections, Mata'afa returned as Prime Minister, defeating Lealofi and Tufuga Efi in the first round of voting.[8] He served as Prime Minister until his death in May 1975. His wife Laulu won the subsequent by-election for his Lotofaga seat. His daughter Naomi also later became an MP Deputy Prime Minister.


  1. ^ "Samoa weeps at the death of a great woman chief and leader", Luamanuvao Laban, 23 November 2007
  2. ^ Lauofo Meti (2002) Samoa: The Making of the Constitution, National University of Samoa, p322
  3. ^ a b Mata'afa, friend to all, who led Samoa 'long and loyally' Pacific Islands Monthly, July 1975, p7
  4. ^ W. Samoa Adopts Self-Government Plan for Submission to NZ Pacific Islands Monthly, January 1955, p23
  5. ^ New Assembly Sworn In Pacific Islands Monthly, January 1958, p99
  6. ^ "No. 42053". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 11 June 1960. p. 4016.
  7. ^ (1) It's a vital, young cabinet Pacific Islands Monthly, April 1970, pp50–51
  8. ^ Stomachs, cars and liquor bars loomed large in Samoa election Pacific Islands Monthly, April 1973, p6