The Samoa Cabinet has approved the medical transfer to New Zealand of opposition leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoai.

A Cabinet minister said the former prime minister will travel on the next available flight.

The 76-year-old former prime minister was admitted to intensive care last Thursday and stayed in the hospital for five days.

Health officials told Radio Polynesia last week that Tuilaepa had a high fever.

Tuilaepa has not been able to attend parliament since it resumed on Tuesday.

The Human Rights Protection Party has yet to issue an official statement regarding its leader’s situation.

But an RNZ Pacific correspondent reported there had been calls for the veteran politician to step down.

The request for the transfer came from the Ministry of Health.