Matatumua Maimoana Vermeulen (born 1935 in Samoa) is a Stateswoman, Nurse and Environmentalist of Samoa. Her chief title, Matatumua, is an orator’s title from the village of Faleasiu. She is married to Dr. Walter Vermeulen, who is a Surgeon, Farmer and Environmentalist.
Vermeulen is the daughter of Le Mamea Matatumua Ata; he was one of the framers of the Constitution of Samoa who held senior positions under the New Zealand Trusteeship of Samoa and in the Independent State of Samoa.
Her older sister Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata’afa, who was a chief and a politician herself, was the wife of paramount chief Fiame Mata’afa Faumuina Mulinu’u II, the first Prime Minister of Samoa.
Another sister Eni was also a founding member of HRPP and the wife of politician Aiono Nonumalo Sofara who left HRPP in 1993 and subsequently formed the Samoa Democratic Party.
Vermeulen is a former Superintendent of Nursing who was instrumental in the founding and development of Samoa’s School of Nursing. She was an active member of Samoa’s Public Service Association (PSA) at the time of the 1981 PSA General Strike that brought down the government of Tupuola Efi.
Vermeulen first entered into Parliament as a member of the Aana Alofi Number 1 constituency, comprising of Faleasi’u and Fasito’o villages in Samoa. She went on to become one of the founding members of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), after winning power in the 1982 elections. The HRPP party has since dominated Samoan politics in the last two decades.
She has also been involved in farming projects and environmental issues with her husband Dr. Walter Vermeulen, and is currently a board member of Matuaileo’o Environmental Trust (METI) in Samoa.
Source – Savali News, Wikipedia