Currency of Samoa (for earlier issues, see Western Samoa). The Independent State of Samoa, formerly the Independent State of Western Samoa, Western Samoa and German Samoa, consists of two main islands of Upolu (where the capital city of Apia is situated) and Savai'i. Independence from New Zealand: January 1, 1962. Admitted to the U.N. on December 15, 1976. The entire island group (including American Samoa) was called Navigators Islands before the 20th century. Monetary system: Pound/Shilling/Pence to 1967, 1 Tala = 100 Sene from 1967.