APIA - Samoa jumped the international dateline, taking 'first-country' status from New Zealand. The tiny nation dropped its time-zone alliance with the US, lost a day and realigned with Asia, New Zealand and Australia. This now makes the nation the first to celebrate any new year, a status previously held by New Zealand. In return, Samoa had to lose Friday, December 30, 2011.
The shifting of the time zones makes it easier for Samoans to do business with their neighbours. Previously, they would be enjoying a weekend while their neighbours were working, and vice versa.