New Zealand’s takeover of German Samoa in 1914 was at Britain's behest. The hoisting of the Union Jack at the Apia courthouse signalled the new order. This ‘great and urgent Imperial service’ was led by Robert Logan, a New Zealand farmer and local politician who had joined the army. Logan was not a successful administrator – he presided over the influenza epidemic that killed thousands of Samoans – but on retirement he would sometimes claim to have won the initial bloodless victory virtually single-handed.
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