November 1, 2016 Indian Newslink Digital Edition

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Modi agrees for

closer ties but

stops short of FTA



refuses to sign




Nothing should

stop direct flights



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Key with Bronagh and Modi Signing the Visitors’ Book Official talks at Hyderabad House with President Pranab Mukherjee

Key brings goodwill from India

Venkat Raman in New Delhi


Prime Minister John Key

returned home last weekend

after a two-day visit to

Delhi bringing a bag full of

goodwill and optimism although

he would have desired a more

substantial content.

Despite much rhetoric, a ‘Full and

Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement’

remains an objective with

India cold-shouldering the concept.

However, Prime Minister Narendra

Modi assured that his government

would vigorously towards a ‘Closer

Economic Relationship’ with New


Zindia and Adani promote $200 million Timber Park

Venkat Raman in New Delhi


Zindia Limited, the largest

exporter of timber products to

India signed a Memorandum

of Understanding (MoU)

with Adani Port and SEZ Limited to

promote a Timber Industrial Park at

Mudra Port in Gujarat.

Zindia Managing Director Jacob

Mannothra (who is also Managing

Director of Indian Newslink Limited,

publishers of Indian Newslink and

owners of other Indian Newslink

brands) signed the MoU with Karan

Adani, Managing Director of Adani

Port and SEZ Limited in the presence



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632 Dominion Road


19/185 Great South Road

Hands of Friendship: John Key with

Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House on

October 26

(Picture by Indian Newslink)

of New Zealand Prime Minister John

Key and India’s Minister of State for

Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal in New

Delhi on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

The signing ceremony was a part

of a business meeting organised by

the Confederation of Indian Industry

(CII) in association with the Federation

of Indian Chambers of Commerce

& Industry (FICCI) and a number of

other trade organisations and public

and private undertakings in India.

The Zindia team included RCM

Reddy, Managing Director, IL& FS Education

& Technology Services, Yogesh

Jain, Director, Zindia based in New

Delhi and Sharat Kanthan, Head of

Business Development Zindia-Adani


32, Queen Street


302, Great South Road


195, New Windsor Road


233-237 Lambton Quay

Closer Relationship

“We agreed that actions by both

governments should also promote

greater business connectivity,

including through movement of

skilled professionals between our

two economies and societies. In

this regard, we have agreed to

continue to work closely towards an

early conclusion of a balanced and

mutually beneficial Comprehensive

Economic Cooperation Agreement

(CECA),” Mr Modi said, speaking to

the media at Hyderabad House in

Delhi on October 26 after official

level talks between the two governments.

Mr Key told the media delegation

that accompanied him to India

at almost all stand-up meetings

Jacob Mannothra (right) and Karan Adani signing

the MoU in New Delhi on October 26.

Timber Industrial Park.

INZBC initiatives

The MoU and three other initiatives

of the India New Zealand Business

Council (INZBC) led by Head of

Government Relations Wenceslaus

Anthony and accompanied by

that he remained positive that

India would eventually agree to a

full-scale FTA and that the Indian

way of approaching the subject was

through a CECA.

Contentious Issues

There are several common

factors that bind New Zealand

and India, the least of which is the

Commonwealth platform. Economic

ties have a way of connecting

through political bifocals and this is

where the two countries are yet to

see eye-to-eye. There are four main

issues that impede progress – the

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), India’s

Membership to the UN Security

Council as a Permanent Member

and of course Tariff-free export of

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from New Zealand.

Officials in Delhi said that India

failed to get an outright statement

of support from New Zealand for

its bid to become a member of

NSG but the Modi government ‘felt

encouraged’ by the discussions.

We have analysed the remaining

issues under Homelink and in our

Leader appearing under Viewlink in

this edition.

Venkat Raman was a part of the

Media delegation that accompanied

Prime Minister John Key

during his official visit to India

from October 25 to October 28,


Treasurer Bhav Dhillon and Executive

Committee Member Mr Mannothra

were the highlights of the two-day

official visit of Mr Key to India. Details

of these initiatives will be published in

our next issue but a mention is made

in our report appearing on Page 7 of

this edition.

Global catalyst

Mr Mannothra said that the

proposed Adani-Zindia Timber Industrial

Park (AZ-TIP) will be the largest

project of its kind in India promoted

by a New Zealand forestry company

in India.

“It will catalyse the promotion of

a world class timber industry which

will help the infrastructure development

of India, encourage the use of

sustainably produced, environment

friendly, plantation derived, forestry

products sourced primarily from New

Zealand. Being a Port-based Industrial

Park, coupled with efficient rail-linked

nationwide distribution system, it will

be cost effective and have low carbon

footprint,” he said at the signing


Mr Key said that his government

welcomes and supports such


Venkat Raman was a part of the

Media delegation that accompanied

Prime Minister John Key during his

official visit to India from October

25 to October 28, 2016

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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Modi agrees for closer ties but stops short of FTA

Venkat Raman in New Delhi


India’s Prime Minister

Narendra Modi has said that

his country was keen to establish

a ‘Comprehensive

Economic Cooperation

Agreement’ but stopped short

of mentioning anything about a

Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Speaking to the media at

Hyderabad House in New Delhi

on October 26, 2016 soon after

conclusion of official level

talks of the two governments

led respectively by him and New

Zealand Prime Minister John Key,

he said that the two sides “agreed

to continue to work closely towards

an early conclusion of a

balanced and mutually beneficial

Comprehensive Economic

Cooperation Agreement.”

Key Words

“Balanced and mutually beneficial’

are the key words that

would dominate renewed talks

between the two governments,

notably the chief negotiators.

Mr Key is known for his positive

approach to issues and more

importantly his optimistic vision

over India but New Delhi would

not commit to a pact that would

compromise its farming sector

that includes agriculture and diary


We have more on this in

our Leader appearing under


Let’s walk towards our common destiny- Narendra Modi and John Key near the Deccan

Suite in Hyderabad House, New Delhi on October 26

Trade and Investment

Mr Modi said that trade and

investment were important issues

that were discussed at the

official talks.

“We both recognised the need

for greater economic engagement

to effectively respond to

the growing uncertainties in

global economy and agreed that

expanding business and commercial

ties should continue to

be one of the priority items of

our partnership. I am sure that

the large business delegation accompanying

Prime Minister Key

will not only witness first-hand

the investment opportunities

on offer in India’s growth story.

Their interactions will also build

new commercial partnerships

between our two countries. I

would like to mention food processing,

dairy and agriculture,

and related areas in their supply

chain as some of the areas

of particular potential for bilateral

cooperation. New Zealand’s

strength and capacity in these

sectors can combine with India’s

vast technology needs to build

partnerships that can benefit

both our societies,” he said.

Common goals

Mr Key said that New Zealand

will strengthen its political, security

and economic relationship

with India and work towards

common goals.

“It is important we work together

with likeminded countries

to enhance regional

Two Prime Ministers briefing Media- John Key and Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House,

New Delhi on October

Andrea Smith, Deputy Secretary, Americas and Asia Group at the New Zealand Ministry

of Foreign Affairs & Trade, exchanging an Agreement with Preeti Saran, Secretary

(East) at India’s External Affairs Ministry at Hyderabad House, New Delhi on October 26

John Key inspecting a Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 26

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John Key received by Minister of State for Finance Arjun Kumar Meghwal at Palam Airport on October 26

prosperity and stability and working

more closely with India, which is playing

an increasingly important role in global

and regional affairs, will build on our efforts

to do this,” he said.

Later, addressing a public meeting, Mr

Key said that there was no competition

between the dairy manufacturers in India

and New Zealand and that both can work

together to take new ideas to a commercial


“I am told that as much as 40% of food

that India produces is lost before it reaches

your consumers’ plates. Flip that

around and that is a massive opportunity

for improvement in your primary sector.

There are lessons to be learned from New

Zealand’s logistics and supply chains expertise,”

he said.

Three Agreements

While political issues need to be sorted

out paving the way for greater economic

cooperation, New Zealand and

India signed Agreements at Hyderabad

House on October 26 – deals that would

see closer engagement between the two


They are (a) Establishing a Bilateral

Ministerial Dialogue through annual

meetings, either in India, New Zealand or

on the margins of regional or global gatherings

and hold annual Foreign Ministry

Consultations at the senior official level

in either country (b) Promoting cooperation

and dialogue on cyber issues and explore

prospects for information sharing

in support of our mutual interests in maritime

security (c) Continuing negotiations

for a Customs Cooperation Arrangement

to facilitate information sharing and to

provide a framework for the exchange

of new customs procedures and techniques

(d) Undertaking defence education

exchanges by placing Indian and

New Zealand defence personnel on each

other’s defence courses and staff colleges;

and (e) Encouraging naval ship visits

to each other’s ports, with the next visit

of an Indian vessel to coincide with the

Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary

commemorations in November 2016.

Indian Newslink will analyse the

above in its ensuing issues. Additional

Reading on Page One, this Section and

under Viewlink.

Venkat Raman was a part of the Media

delegation that accompanied Prime

Minister John Key during his official

visit to India from October 25 to October

28, 2016. Additional Reading in

this Section, on Page One and under


NOVEMBER 1, 2016


Of Chandni Chowk, ‘Prime Minister Brendon McCullum’ and Kochi

Venkat Raman in New Delhi



For many of us travelling with Prime

Minister John Key on his second official

visit to India from October 25 to October

27, 2016, the cancellation of the first

phase to Mumbai was a huge disappointment.

Hundreds of people in Mumbai who

were eager to meet Mr Key and his business

delegation also missed the opportunity.

However, our visit to New Delhi was

eventful, exciting and exhausting.

As reported elsewhere in this issue, meetings

with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

other ministers, government officials and the

business community more than compensated

for the loss of the ‘Mumbai leg.’

Rashtrapati Bhavan

The ceremonial reception accorded to Mr

Key at Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt was

spectacular and undoubtedly one of the best

in the world. Soldiers on feet and horseback

greeted him and presented him with the

Guard of Honour. This was a sight that we

missed during his earlier visit on June 28, 2011

due to poor weather.

We missed visiting the 215-year-old Shree

Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Prabhadevi,

Mumbai, where a special Pooja had been

arranged for John and Bronagh Key and his

delegation but we had the good fortune of

visiting the places of worship of Muslim and

Sikh communities in Old Delhi.

Jama Masjid

Masjid-i-Jahan Juma, popularly known as

Jama Masjid in Chandni Chowk is among

the oldest places of Muslim worship in India.

Constructed under the direction of Emperor

Shah Jahan (who also built the Taj Mahal) in

1626, it is also one of the largest Mosques in the


The Mosque has three great gates, four

John and Bronagh Key at Jama Masjid

towers and two 40 m high minarets constructed of

strips of red sandstone and white marble. Its courtyard

can accommodate up to 25,000 people with 899

black borders marked for worshippers.

Sis Ganj Sahib Gurdwara

Sis Ganj Sahib Gurdwara in Chandni Chowk, Old

Delhi, is one of the oldest places of Sikh Worship.

Established in 1783 by Baba Bagel Singh to commemorate

the martyrdom of Ninth Sikh Guru, Guru

Tegh Bahadur who was beheaded on the orders of

the Mughal emperor, the ‘ruthless’ Aurangzeb on

November 11, 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam.

PM Brendon McCullum

If India’s Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma is

known for controversies, he is also known for embarrassing

people around him. And so it was at the

Tourism Conference at Hyatt Regency on October 27

when he repeatedly addressed Brendon McCullum

(the former Black Caps Captain was travelling with

us) as ‘Honourable Prime Minister of New Zealand.’

How a federal minister would not have known the

name of the visiting Prime Minister of New Zealand

and that of his ministerial counterpart (Mr Key also

holds the Tourism portfolio) is still puzzling.

Mahesh Sharma turned out to be the joke of the


Kochi International Airport

The round-off to the trip was at the hugely impressive

Kochi International Airport, stated to be the first

Public-Private Partnership international airport in

John Key and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi at Sis Ganj Sahib Gurdwara

India, due to be opened next month.

Mr Key was impressed (so were we) by the automated

baggage handling with integrated inline

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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Fiji opens doors for New Zealand Media

Bainimarama lifts ban on journalists

Venkat Raman


In a move seen as a goodwill

gesture prior to his first official

visit to New Zealand

as Prime Minister of Fiji,

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama announced

that his country would

welcome New Zealand journalists,

including Barbara Dreaver

(TVNZ) and Michael Field

(Fairfax) who were banned

from entering Fiji earlier.

An announcement made by

him on October 16, just days before

his arrival in Auckland,

said that any journalist would

be welcome into his country,

provided they are approved by

the Information Ministry.

Mr Bainimarama said that the

bans were put in place because

his government believed that

some journalists had crossed the

line from journalism to political

advocacy and inserted themselves

into the domestic political


“Fiji has established a robust

democracy and has no fear of

honest criticism or critical reporting

of events,” he said.

No exceptions

Speaking at a Symposium

organised by Fiji Trade &

Investment at Stamford Plaza

Hotel on October 20, 2016 he extended

a similar message to the

New Zealand Media.

“Now that the bans on individual

journalists visiting Fiji

have been lifted, you are welcome

- without exception - to

visit Fiji like the journalists of

other countries. You are free to

report without restriction once

you have been accredited in the

usual way by our Department of

Information. And all we ask is

that you cover events fairly and

in a balanced manner, which is

the obligation of journalists the

world over,” he said.

“I hope that you will come

and see for yourselves the progress

we have made on the back

of seven straight years of economic

growth – the longest in

Fijian history. And to see for

yourselves that our institutions

of State are functioning properly

and we are strengthening

those institutions as we move

forward. To ensure that they are

truly independent and free from

political and personal influence,

as happened far too often in the

past,” he added.

Tough talk in Suva

As reported by this writer who

was a part of a media delegation

accompanying Prime Minister

John Key during his first official

visit to Fiji on June 9 and 10,

2016 (Indian Newslink, June 15,

2016), Mr Bainimarama had expressed

strongly about the ban

that was in existence at that


“We cannot allow the wilful

propagation of false information

that damages the national

interest and undermines our

vulnerable economy. And that is

what has happened in the case

of certain New Zealand journalists

and others from Australia.

Incidentally, no journalist from

any other country has been

banned from Fiji. Certain journalists

in New Zealand and

Australia, along with certain

journalists in Fiji, think nothing

of dispensing with the facts

if they get in the way of the politically

weighted narrative they

want to tell. We are saying to

the news organisations that employ

them: ‘Send someone else.

Someone who respects the facts

and the right of people to know

the truth. Not some twisted concoction,’”

he had said.

Correcting impressions

Mr Bainimarama appeared

to keen to correct some impressions

in New Zealand.

“It is unfortunate that some of

the New Zealand media reporting

Mr Key’s visit June suggested

that I had given him a hard

time. It is true that I politely outlined

to him the reasons why we

had chosen to embark on a radical

programme in 2006 to create

a level playing field for every

Fijian. And that we had fulfilled

our promise to return Fiji to parliamentary

rule in the election

of September 2014.

“I also said that it was a shame

that New Zealand, Australia

and certain other countries had

failed to understand what we

were trying to do – which was

to introduce genuine democracy

for the first time in Fiji and

guarantee the rights of every

Fijian in the 2013 Constitution.”

No insults, please

Frank Bainimarama with John Key at Government House in Auckland on Saturday, October 22, 2016 (Photo by Sanjesh Narayan, Radio Tarana)

“Yet far from being the insult

that some members of the media

chose to cast it as, I think

John Key understood that the

speech I made was merely outlining

our position and that no

disrespect was intended. The

indignation was on the part of

some of the New Zealand media,

not the Prime Minister, and

undoubtedly because I also criticised

their unrelentingly negative

and unbalanced reporting

of events in Fiji. But away from

their gaze, the atmosphere between

John Key and I personally

was very cordial and we got on


“He knows that I’m Frank

by name and Frank by nature

and I know that he’s a similarly

plain speaking Kiwi. Which

is undoubtedly why the New

Zealand people keep voting him

back into office. So, we are big

enough to say what we think

and then move on. And I want

to thank him for being a straight

shooter, for not taking things

too personally and especially for

giving me the opportunity to get

together with him again in New

Zealand and enjoy each other’s

company,” Mr Bainimarama


Please read related reports

in Fijilink, Businesslink and


NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Myopic approach short-changes

New Zealanders



Mahesh Bindra

In 2011 the government

announced, with much

fanfare, its target of

‘Reducing Reoffending by

25% by 2017.’

New Zealand First, along

with many others, did not

believe them.

Statistics were thrown in

the air, slogans were coined,

speeches were delivered and

a new outfit called ‘Rehabilitation

and Reintegration

Service’ was established to

achieve the coveted target.

Shoulders were tapped and

butchers and bricklayers were

hired as ‘Managers’ to lead a

team of Case Managers and

Sentence Planners, who were

more qualified and experienced

than their bosses!

By the government’s own

admission, 7% reduction in reoffending

has been achieved

as against the targeted 25%.

Getting worse

Given the way Corrections

Services are being managed, it

will only get worse.

The failed attempt will

impact on the government’s

claimed surplus and the

possible tax-cuts.

The government recently

announced a multi-billion-dol-

lar prison expansion.

This will cost about $2.5 billion

to build and operate over

six years to accommodate

the increase in prison muster

we face currently and in the


The proportion of offenders

charged with a series

of offences has risen which

means more people are

being remanded in custody

and serving more of their

sentences in prison.

This, despite the government’s

claim that crime has

reduced in New Zealand.

The figures also underline

the need for an improved

youth justice system as at

least 50% of all adult prisoners

have previous convictions

as youth.

Utter failure

All the facts highlight the

government’s failure to focus

on the early stages of this

issue including law enforcement

and the youth justice

system as opposed to their

reactive approach, after the

offence has been committed

and the individual has been

charged and sentenced to


As a result of this

short-sighted approach,

New Zealand tax-payers will

continue to spend more and

receive less as far as reducing

reoffending is concerned.

Mahesh Bindra is Member

of Parliament on New

Zealand First List and the

Party’s Spokesperson for

Corrections, Ethnic Affairs,

Customs and Land Information.

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Septuagenarian to pursue

MBA qualification

Venkat Raman


The fact that education

is a continuous process

and that age is not a deterrent

has been proved

by another septuagenarian

based in Auckland.

Academic, poet and writer Dr

Mirza Mutiulla Baig Taimoori

will shortly commence his

studies leading to a qualification

in Master of Business

Administration (MBA).

“It is my long-cherished

desire to obtain a degree in

MBA,” he said.

Dr Taimoori however regrets

his inability to take up a fulltime

assignment as a PhD scholar

at the Aligarh University in

Osmania on health grounds.

“Regretfully again, such

Research is not available in

Auckland and Aligarh University

does not allow part-time

students,” he said.

Earlier this year, Dr Taimoori

received his postgraduate

(MA) degree in Islamic Studies

from Maulana Azad National

University based in Hyderabad,


His other qualifications

include postgraduate degree

in Commerce (MCom) from

Marathwada University,

Aurangabad (1974), Philosophy

(MPhil) from Madras University

Dr Mirza Mutiulla Baig Taimoori

(1985), PhD in Commerce

from Kakatiya University,

Warangal (1992) and Diploma

in Human Resources Management

(HRM) from Kakatiya

University (1994).

“The New Zealand Qualifications

Authority (NZQA) has

approved these qualifications

as similar to that of New

Zealand,” Dr Taimoori said.

His teaching experience

spans almost 30 years, 25

of which were for degree

students and four years for

students pursuing diploma


He was elected twice to the

Executive Committee of the

Waitakere Ethnic Board (2008

to 2014) and President of

Urdu Cultural Association of

New Zealand (of which he is a

Founder-Member) in 2007.

He has been Vice-President

of the Association since 2010

and is currently an Islamic


His passion for Urdu

encouraged him to establish

the Hyderabad Urdu Cultural

Association, which later

dropped ‘Hyderabad’ to make

it more ‘Sub-Continental’ to

include people of Pakistani,

Bangladeshi and Fijian origin.

“The launch of the Association

should inaugurate a new

chapter in the saga of cultural

and social integration through

a lingua franca spoken by

almost a billion people and

admired by several millions

more in Asia, Australasia,

Europe and North America,”

Dr Taimoori said in a statement

published by Indian

Newslink.in its December 15,

2009 issue.

He had said that the need to

encourage speaking in one’s

native tongue at home cannot

be over-emphasised.

“We live in a secular,

cosmopolitan country where

English is widely spoken and

written in schools, offices

and public places. But that

does not mean we should

forget our Mother language.

Parents should encourage

their children to learn their

native language and speak it

at home,” he said.

Median house prices move up in

Auckland, Central Otago

Staff Reporter


Auckland and Central

Otago Lakes

continue to top the

Massey University

Home Affordability Report

Index by a considerable

margin, according to a


It said that the two cities

recorded respectively 62%

and 61% less affordable

than the rest of New


“The margin of difference

between these two regions

and the rest of the country

is reaching unprecedented

levels,” the Massey University

Report said.

Massey University Senior

Property Lecturer Susan

Flint-Hartle, who wrote the

Report, said that demand

continues to drive median

house prices up, making

entry into the Auckland

market a challenge.

New High in Auckland

“Auckland has hit a new

high median for this quarter

of $842,500 in August,

which represents a 13.85%

increase, or over $100,000,

over the past 12 months.

The median house price in

Auckland is now 13.5 times

median annual household

income, which will continue

to place strain on first home

buyers in our largest city,”

she said.

The Report, which

covers the three-month

period from June 2016 to

August 2016, also shows

that affordability in Central

Otago Lakes has declined

by nearly 21% over the past

year ¬– the largest drop for

any region in New Zealand.

“The decline in affordability

in Central Otago

Lakes is exacerbated by the

booming tourism industry

putting stress on the supply

of affordable housing,” Dr

Flint-Hartle said.

While most of the country,

including Auckland, has

shown modest improvements

in affordability over

the 12-month period largely

due to steady reductions in

the Official Cash Rate (OCR),

the Waikato/Bay of Plenty

region has joined Otago

Central Lakes in becoming

less affordable over the

same period.

Waikato worse off

“The Waikato is 4.7%

worse off than one year ago,

despite considerably lower

borrowing costs. Worsening

in affordability here can

be attributed to a spill-over

from Auckland as those

locked out of the Auckland

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

market look to areas closely

connected to the city,” Dr

Flint-Hartle said.

She said that while

increases in house prices

in many regions are significantly

outstripping wage

growth, reductions in the

OCR are easing the burden

for home owners to some


“This, of course, is not

much comfort for first home

buyers keen to buy in our

two most expensive regions.

They are facing more stringent

deposit requirements,

markets characterised by

intense competition and a

lack of supply.

“Cheaper borrowing

also holds the potential to

push house prices higher if

demand for housing continues

to grow. This could

lead again to a deterioration

in housing affordability as

we move into the summer

period,” she said.

Least affordable region:

Auckland – 62% less affordable

than the rest of the



was the most affordable

region. It was 54% more

affordable than the rest of

New Zealand.

igniting minds

Hei Whakahihiko Hinengaro

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It’s called kindergarten –and Auckland Kindergartens

have been helping children learn since 1908.

Find your local kindergarten at www.aka.org.nz

or call 0800 4 KINDY today.

Wishing you a happy Diwali and a prosperous new year!

NOVEMBER 1, 2016



Fresh incentives

for education


Bainimarama at the inaugural ceremony of Shaukat Sahib Ali Campus in Nadi last year.

Venkat Raman


Fiji is undergoing a revolution in its

education sector, providing opportunities

not only for teaching and

administrative staff but also for

investors and others engaged in education


That was a message which Prime

Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

gave while speaking at a Symposium organised

by ‘Fiji Trade and Investment’

at Stamford Plaza Hotel on Thursday,

October 20, 2016.

“My Government’s education revolution

is our proudest achievement and the

cornerstone of our nation’s development.

For the first time, we have introduced

free schooling at primary and secondary

level, along with more scholarships

for higher education and a tertiary loans

scheme,” he said.

Impressive initiatives

The government has provided F$ 66.4

million in this year’s budget for new initiatives

including grants to schools that

comply with the prescribed criteria, free

textbooks to children, bus fare for children

of parents earning less than F$

15,600 per year, free milk to all Year 1

students (launched last year) and other


Technical Colleges

Mr Bainimarama said that while the

three established universities, namely

the University of South Pacific (Suva),

University of Fiji (Lautoka) and Fiji

National University (Suva) are functioning

well, his government has established

a new work of three Fiji technical


According to the Education Ministry,

these include Dr Shaukat Sahib Ali

Campus in Nadi, Arya College in Labasa


(Vanua Levu) and Nabua Sanatan College

in Suva.

With a budget of F$ 7 million, these

colleges offer National Qualification

Programmes, enroll students to use the

Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS)

to finance their education and offering

students technical pathways after they

complete Year 10.

“We have established technical colleges

to provide Fiji with the skills base it

needs to prosper and provide employers

with a workforce that is more formally

qualified than at any other time in Fijian

history,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Moving Forward

Mr Bainimarama said that education

was being offered on equal opportunity

basis without discrimination.

“We have put behind us the lost years;

the years in which we argued about who

among us deserved more rather than

working together as one people to take

our nation forward. With everyone now

enjoying the common identity of being

Fijian, there is a new sense of belonging,

a new sense of unity, a new sense of purpose

and the feeling of inclusiveness of

taking everyone with us on our journey

forward. We have entered a new era of

confidence and sustained growth in the

Fijian economy,” he said.

Lifting the poor

Stating that Fiji is now investing in new

infrastructure, he said that the government

is launching schemes to improve

the lives of the disadvantaged Fijians

by providing them with subsidized electricity,

free water and medicine and

the country’s first-ever social security


Editor’s Note: We have related stories

in this Section, under Homelink, Businesslink

and Viewlink.

INZBC to organise Education Summit

Venkat Raman in New Delhi


While the New



is currently

assessing the outcome of

the visit of Prime Minister

John Key to India and will

announce in due course

the next steps to solidify

Indo-Kiwi relations further,

one organisation

has already announced at

least three initiatives with

a calendar to implement


Indian New Zealand

Business Council (INZBC),

which has Chapters in

Auckland, Wellington

and Christchurch with

the fourth scheduled to

be established shortly

in Hamilton to serve

the Waikato region, has

signed a Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) with

the Federation of Indian

Chambers of Commerce

& Industry (FICCI) to

organise a conference on

Education and Technology

in Auckland next year.

INZBC Head of

Government Relations

Wenceslaus Anthony

signed the MoU with FICCI

Secretary General Alwyn

Didar Singh in New Delhi

on October 26, 2016, while

Prime Minister John Key






Auckland Office

Unit 1, 131 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ph 09 278 9302

INZBC-FICCI Partnership: Wenceslaus Anthony, Bhav Dhillon, Alwyn Didar Singh

and others at the MoU signing ceremony

Going forward for Free Trade: (From Left) Dammu Ravi (Joint Secretary, Commerce

& Industry), Jacob Mannothra, Wenceslaus Anthony, Dr Anup Wadhawan (Additional

Secretary Commerce & Industry), Bhav Dhillon, Sudhanshu Pandey (Joint

Secretary, Commerce & Industry), Seetharam Reddy (Additional Director General,

Foreign Trade).

Email bakshi.mp@parliament.govt.nz

and his official delegation

were paying homage

to Mahatma Gandhi at

Raj Ghat, followed by a

ceremonial reception at

Rashtrapati Bhavan and

meetings with Prime

Minister Narendra Modi

to strengthen bilateral

relations (see separate

story in this Section).

High Tech Summit

Mr Anthony said that the

INZBC-FICCI partnership

will deliver a high quality

‘Edutech Summit’ that will

be useful for the education

and training sectors.

“We will shortly

commence work on the

Summit including choice

of keynote speakers, panellists

for discussions and

promotional activities,” he


He was accompanied

by INZBC Treasurer Bhav

Dhillon and Executive

Committee Member Jacob


A while later, the three

INZBC officials met Dr Anup

Wadhawan, Additional

Secretary, Commerce &

Industry Ministry and Lead

Negotiator on Free Trade

Agreements and other


“We also signed a MoU

with the Association of

Chambers of Commerce for

ongoing partnership on a

number of programmes,”

Mr Anthony said.

Postal Address PO Box 23136, Hunters Corner,

Auckland 2025

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Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2016

Master Of Ceremonies: Jackie Clarke

For tickets,

Priced at $150 plus GST (including cocktails and dinner), contact us on

Phone (09) 5336377 or (09) 3910203 Email: editor@indiannewslink.co.nz

Monday, November 28, 2016 at 5 pm




NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Bainimarama refuses to sign PACER Plus

Venkat Raman


In his open and unguarded

style, Fiji’s Prime Minister

and Foreign Minister Josaia

Voreqe Bainimarama has reiterated

his country’s stand on

the Pacific Agreement of Closer

Economic Relations (PACER) Plus,

saying that in its current form,

it is not in the interest of his


He hoped that there would be

an amicable settlement of differences-

largely on legal wordings –

but did not hesitate to warn that

Fiji will walk away.

Speaking at a symposium organised

by the ‘Fiji Trade &

Investment’ at Stamford Plaza

Hotel on Thursday, October 22,

2016, he said that there were two

major issues- Infant Industry

Development and Most Favoured

Nation Status- that restrain Fiji

from signing the Pact.

Sustainable Agreement

“We believe the current legal

text not only fails to meet our requirements.

If implemented, it

would have an adverse impact

on our development and the development

of our Pacific Island

neighbours,” he said.

Stating that Fiji was keen

on an enduring, predictable

and sustainable trade agreement

between New Zealand and

Australia on the one hand and

the Pacific Islands on the other,

he said that the document lacked

these qualities.

“The current document is too

one sided, too restrictive, places

too many obligations on us

that we cannot afford to meet.

We need more flexibility, a recognition

that we are a developing

country and more concessions

to enable us to have trading relationships

with others. So, I repeat:

we cannot sign the current

document,” he said.

Talks continue

Mr Bainimarama however did

not close Fiji’s door for further


He said that Fiji will walk

away only if New Zealand and

Australia ultimately refuse to

be flexible on the key concerns

of Fiji and other Pacific island


“I personally hope that day

Bainimarama with Shane Jones, New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Development and Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Fiji’s Minister of Trade and Investment at the Symposium on October 21.

never comes. That in this instance,

the New Zealand

Government and the New

Zealand Parliament will come

to see the justice of our position.

And I ask you all in the New

Zealand business community to

support us. Because what we are

asking for is reasonable. And it is

fair,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said that

such differences should not divide

the two countries but bring

together on other matters where

there is common destiny and


Fiji and New Zealand share

“our particular corner of the

world and share the warm personal

links between our peoples,”

he said.

Trade and tourists up

Conceding that New Zealand is

a very important market for Fiji,

he said that two-way trade in

goods and services is valued at

F$ 700 million a year.

“In terms of our tourism industry

and Fiji’s biggest revenue

earner, New Zealand is our second

largest source market, with

more than 120,000 Kiwi visitors

each year contributing more

than F$ 200 million to the Fijian

economy. New Zealand visitor

arrivals are increasingly buoyant.

In fact, over the past two

years, we have seen the largest

increase from New Zealand of

any of our markets. Provisional

monthly arrivals in August were

up 15% over the same period

last year to reach a total of over

20,000.,” Mr Bainimarama said.

There are some differences between

the Australian and New

Zealand markets but there are

also some striking similarities

in terms of the overall investment

climate; not in the least is

the dramatic improvement in

the quality of Fiji’s political and

diplomatic engagement with the

New Zealand and Australian governments,

he added.

“This is finally beginning

to match the excellent people-to-people

ties that have always

existed between our


Working out differences

Appealing to investors, businesspersons

and others to have

a fresh look at the trade and investment

opportunities in his

country, Mr Bainimarama asked


MP forManukau East

Electorate Office

7FultonCres, Otara

09 274 9231 or 278 9972

jenny. .salesa@parliament.govt.nz


YouthLine Building,

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George Street,Papatoetoe


mornings 9.30am to 12pm


Otahuhu Town Hall,

10-12 high street,Otahuhu

Monday morning 9am to 12pm

Authorised by JennySalesa

Parliament Buildings,Wellington


designers ltd

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Contact: 09 5772171 /021 687162

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member of ADNZ -recognised professional body

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John Key receives Bainimarama at Government House, Auckland on October 22.

(Pictures by Sanjesh Narayan, Radio Tarana)

them to engage themselves more


“I appeal to you to play your

own part in the economic reinvigoration

of our relationship to

match the new political and diplomatic

re-engagement between

our nations. There are several

benefits of investing in Fiji – our

position as Hub of the Pacific;

our rapidly improving infrastructure

– better roads, better

airports, more efficient ports;

our general connectivity and

world class telecommunications;

our investment incentives, including

duty concessions, investment

allowances and some of

the lowest corporate and personal

taxes in the region,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama was a

guest of the New Zealand during

his five-day official visit

from October 19 to October

23, 2016. During his stay, he fulfilled

several engagements including

a meeting with Prime

Minister John Key along with

officials from both sides at the

Government House in Auckland,

where he inspected a Guard of


Additional Reading: ‘Fiji opens

door to New Zealand Journalists’

under Homelink; ‘Fresh

incentives for education providers’

in this Section; ‘Goodwill

inaugurates new chapter’

under Viewlink; ‘Bilateral

relations with Fiji get a major

boost’ under


NOVEMBER 1, 2016



Bainimarama scores high in New Zealand

Mahendra Sukhdeo

The visit of Fiji’s Prime

Minister Josiah Voreqe

Bainimarama to New

Zealand last month

was clearly aimed at

fence-building; forgetting the past

and moving forward towards

more durable and harmonious


In this regard, Mr

Bainimarama, by his actions and

utterances, scored a mini diplomatic


Positive stance

In his talks with New Zealand

Prime Minister John Key, he displayed

a measure of political


Instead of harping on the insult

sustained by him for banning

his visit to New Zealand after

the 2006 coup, trade sanctions

against Fiji, attempt to isolate Fiji

from international organisations

and failure to understand Fiji’s

political and cultural matrix, he

banked on the positives.

It was a sharp contrast from

the negatives hurled at Mr Key

during his visit to Fiji on June 9

and 10, 2016.

It resulted in an upturn in relations

that is likely to be the

benchmark for similar bilateral

talks with other nations. It is a

Fiji’s Prime Minister Josiah Voreqe Bainimarama

recognition of ‘real politic’ and symptomatic

of the new direction in Fiji’s foreign

policy under his stewardship.

He was therefore willing to play soft

on issues such as the Pacific Islands

Forum, Fiji’s Public Order Decree, and

entry of New Zealand journalists to Fiji.

Melanesians and Polynesians

Pacific Island Nations (PINs) are principally

divided into two dominant

groups of Melanesians and Polynesians.

New Zealand, because of its colonial

past, has had sharper relations with

Polynesians (Samoa, Tonga and Cook

Islanders for instance), who have had

a marked representation in the New

Zealand society; and New Zealand has

used what is euphemistically called ‘checkbook

diplomacy’ to bring them in their fold.

Fiji is intrinsically regarded as a

Melanesian dominant enclave and has

spearheaded a group, the Pacific Island

Development Forum (PIDF) in association

with Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon and other


Papua New Guinea, the largest Melanesia

group of Islands within the Pacific corridor,

is practically regarded as the satellite of

Australia and poses a political challenge for


Look North Policy

Under the new stance of Foreign Policy as

detailed in his speech at the United Nations,

(see story under Viewlink), Fiji does not wish

to be seen as overly dependent on ‘Look

North’ policy, particularly on its reliance on

China for aid and exploitation of resources.

China’s total disregard for the findings

of the International Court of Justice on the

Spratly Islands has not gone well with the

Western Powers and Asian nations.

India’s attempt to isolate Pakistan directly

and China by association on the sore issue

of openly supporting terrorism together

with their abysmal record of deprivation of

human rights has had a marked impact on

UNO’s member-nations.

Trade and Terrorism

It is therefore not a coincidence that immediately

after Mr Bainimarama’s visit last

month, Mr Key led a high-powered delegation

to India to talk on trade and terrorism.

The populist and isolationist trends in the

United States as championed by the enigmatic

Donald Trump have also sent shivers in

diplomatic circles.

Fiji understands for its citizens to prosper

on a long-term basis it must build on its

record of six years of continuous growth of


In recent months, tourism from Australia

and New Zealand has declined.

The two countries are no longer the guaranteed

source of tourism for Fiji.

More island nations such as Vanuatu,

Samoa and Cook Islands have taken a share

of the patronage

Domestic and Global Compulsions

Fiji’s trade with New Zealand as well as

Australia has been singularly unipolar since

the colonial days.

It is apprehensive of its sea and land resources

from being exploited by over-dependence

on China.

Fiji’s emphasis has therefore shifted towards

an “enduring, predictable and sustainable

trade agreements” between Australasia

and the Pacific Islands.

Mr Bainimarama’s visit is the beginning of

the recognition of mutuality of respect for

each other’s domestic compulsions and global


It is in the interest of both the parties to

fortify the planks of this new relationship.

Mahendra Sukhdeo is a Fiji born academic,

writer, researcher and author

whose second edition of the book, ‘Aryan

Avatars: From Prehistoric darkness to

Settlers in the Pacific’ has been published

by USP and is available through its Bookstore

in Suva. Please read related stories

in Homelink, Fijilink, Businesslink and



Please tell family from India

who are visiting New Zealand

to declare any gifts of food

or ingredients – or they’ll

face a $400 fine. That

includes spices, tonics,

pickles and preserves.

Items they should definitely

not bring at all include

seeds, fruit, honey products,

meat, vegetables and fresh

flowers, or temple offerings.

For more information

visit mpi.govt.nz/declare



NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Nothing should stop direct flights now

Sourced Content

Asia New Zealand Foundation

Is distance a barrier

to links between

India and New

Zealand? India has

always been more than

a single non-stop flight

away, unlike destinations

within ASEAN and North

Asia. Now, however,

the technology exists to

make non-stop flights to

and from India possible.

Both Air India and Air

New Zealand have Boeing

787 aircraft in their fleets

that could manage the 16-

hour flight time, but they

look unlikely to chance

their arms on this in the

immediate future.

Air New Zealand

regards the yield on the

sector as insufficient to

justify non-stop

flights, which require a

very heavy fuel load and

thus a potentially smaller

payload. Moreover,

while New Delhi is the

largest single traffic point,

accounting for nearly

half, the balance is spread

across a number of other


Codeshare Options

Of these, Mumbai would

be the most significant

for outbound traffic from

India. Mumbai is the

only centre that Air New

Zealand is entitled to

serve, but as we discuss

below it has some useful

code-share options.

Air India, which is now

a Star Alliance member,

crucially has the right to

fly directly to Auckland

from New Delhi as well as

from any other Indian city

it wishes.

The nearest it has

come so far, though, is

Australia. It currently flies

from New Delhi to Sydney

and Melbourne using a

Boeing 787, which has the

capability to service New

Zealand non-stop as well.

Open Skies Agreement

If direct flights still look

problematic, the good

news is that Air New

Zealand is now

better placed to

promote the Indian

market with Singapore


India long ago came

to a generous open-skies

arrangement with ASEAN,

and one of the many

positive results is that

Singapore Airlines and its

SilkAir affiliate currently

service a dozen Indian


Of these, Mumbai,

Kolkata, Chennai,

Bangalore, Kochi and

Hyderabad are specified

as third-country codeshare

destinations in the

new ASA.

Thus. Air New Zealand

can offer competitively

priced tickets to these six

cities under its “common

metal” revenue-sharing

arrangement with

Singapore Airlines.

In the case of New Delhi

itself, Air New Zealand

can code-share with Air

India but not with a thirdcountry


Singapore Airlines

is, of course, free to

market New Delhi as a

destination. That leaves

Air India, which once

flew to Fiji but has never

mounted services to New


Using Intermediate


With the growing

diaspora in New Zealand

making its mark, it may

eventually be able to

contemplate direct flights

to Auckland, or adding a

Tasman leg to its service

to Australia. Both Air New

Zealand and Air India

may use intermediate

points in Australia,

Bangkok, Hong Kong or


Having its own service

to New Zealand might,

in turn, strengthen Air

India’s hand in marketing

India as a stopover

destination en route

to Europe, something

Air New Zealand and

Singapore Airlines, which

lack beyond rights from

India, are less well placed

to do.

Do direct flights

matter to the growth of

the relationship? The

short answer has

to be yes, but the

verdict may be more

nuanced over such long


A 2013 study of air

services liberalisation in

New Zealand by Aaron

Schiff and John Small

(‘Economic effects of Air

Services Liberalisation

in New Zealand- Covec


suggests the main

benefit has been to

allow competing hub


In addition to

Singapore, the Malaysian,

Thai and Hong Kong

carriers (not to mention

Emirates and Qantas) can

offer good connections to

India from New Zealand.

Price-Sensitive Market

India is reputedly a

price-sensitive market,

meaning hub carriers can

try to offset

time increases with

cheaper fares. The

evidence from China,

however, suggests that

education services in

Australasia have done

best between cities

serviced by direct flights.

Similarly, the vastly

greater tourist growth

projections for China

underline the difference

between markets that

enjoy direct air links

and those that do not.

Arguably direct air

services need to become

part of the equation

between India and New

Zealand in the next three

or four years.

With Air New Zealand

currently excluded from

flying to New Delhi (the

most logical connection

point), making both

national carriers eligible

to fly there direct by 2020

could be just the boost the

relationship will need by


India’s June 2016

announcement that it will

open its skies for direct

services between

destinations over 5000

kms from India may be a

helpful pointer.

Editor’s Note: The

above is an extract

from ‘India and New

Zealand: Growing our

Connectivity,’ a 38-

page report published

(PDF format) by the

Wellington based

Asia New Zealand

Foundation’ on October

15, 2016, the day on

which the Foundationsponsored


Diwali 2016’ was held at

Aotea Square, Auckland.

The Report examines

several areas of

existing and emerging

cooperation between

New Zealand and India.

Written by Graeme

Waters, a former High

Commissioner to India

and a diplomat with

extensive experience,

parts of the Report

will appear in Indian

Newslink in several

ensuing issues.

NOVEMBER 1, 2016



1200 new homes in Manukau development

Supplied Content

Work is expected

to get underway

soon on the first

stage of a significant

new residential neighbourhood

of over 1200 homes on the

edge of the Manukau Harbour

in Auckland.

The Plan

The 14-hectare master-planned

development in

Favona and next to Mangere

Bridge, will ultimately become

home to approximately 4000


Consisting of a combination

of architecturally designed terraced

houses as well as apartments,

the first stage will focus

on the building of 38 two-storey

terrace homes and an apartment

complex that will consist

of 196 apartments within two,

six storey buildings and one,

four storey building.

Large common areas are set to

be a key feature of the development.

A central park of approximately

5000m2 is proposed to be

used for sports and leisure adjacent

to the community centre

that will be available for public

use and to host events.

A small retail precinct with

cafés and convenience services

near to the central park will

also support a weekend market

space, and is expected to create

a vibrant centre for the community

to enjoy.

Inimitable lifestyle will attract 4000 residents: An exterior View

The Cost

Although pricing for homes is

yet to be set, early indications

are that 20% of homes will be

under $600,000 with 70% under


Market Cove General Manager

Guy Taylor, said that having refreshed

earlier plans for the development,

he and colleagues

are excited to be in delivery

mode now with Market Cove

not reliant on bank funding to


“Market Cove will be a new

neighbourhood for a new

Auckland. One that is all about

people and being design led to

ensure that our homes achieve

a modern way of living. The

north facing development captures

views of One Tree Hill,

Mangere Mountain and the

Manukau harbour which will

enable to community to enjoy

its natural surrounding environment,”

he said.

“Market Cove is well positioned

to also take advantage

of the new motorway link

to the CBD that is expected to

open in early 2017. It is also

right next door to the popular

Mangere Bridge and Ambury

Regional Park and only 8 kms

to Auckland International

Airport,” he added.

The lifestyle

Mr Taylor said that with a

high level of amenity proposed

in the form several large common

gardens, linear and pocket

parks and a new coastal esplanade

featuring walking and cycling

tracks, Market Cove will

promote an active and healthy

lifestyle and a tight knit and

nurturing community that is

connected to its surroundings.

Per him, the first stage of construction

will focus on the 38

terraced townhouses, designed

by architects Young + Richards,

located on the western edge of

The Courtyard brings the best of the traditional and the modern

the site accessed by Mahunga


“The terrace homes are all

about architecture that optimises

interaction with the surrounding

streetscapes and

urban realm. With stylish simplicity

and well considered interior

layouts the terrace homes

will offer 2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom options.

As much about creating

individual design statements as

they are about creating a sense

of community, the homes are

representative of the underlying

ethos of Market Cove.” Mr

Taylor said.

Lemauga Lydia Sosene, Chair

of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local

Board, said that the development

and the new wave of new

residents that will come with it,

is great for the economic and social

growth of Favona-Mangere


“I am also encouraged by the

level of design and quality urban

planning going into the

Market Cove and the array of

community facilities that will

be on offer including the rejuvenation

of the harbour frontage,

which I’m sure will make

it a fantastic asset for the wider

community,” she said.

The Schedule

Since Market Cove not reliant

on bank funding to proceed civil

work is now underway on site

to create key access roads and

construction on the terraced

homes is estimated to start next

month and be completed in the

second half of 2017.

Construction for the apartments

at Market Cove is expected

to get underway early next

year anticipated completion by

late 2018.

In the meantime, people looking

to register their interest are

encouraged to do so via www.


“Western Union Online”



NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Fiji revisits friendship and foreign policy

The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

Issue 357 | November 1, 2016

Time to harness relations beyond trade

In the history of the world, bilateral relations exist in a variety of forms

– some of them are purely on give-and-take such as trade and investment;

some of them survive based on security blankets- a watchdog

enterprise to ensure territorial safety; and yet others are based on mutual

respect and pure relationships.

India-NewZealand relationship is gone past the oft-repeated rhetoric of

democracy, justice system, free and fair elections, love of cricket and the

celebration of Indian culture and tradition.

Promoting food safety

Far there is a need to understand the challenges of friends and help

them to improve productivity and profitability. In the case of India, food

production runs counter to any free trade concept since it has sufficient

resources to meets its internal demand.

However, Food Safety is a sector where the country needs international

expertise, for, reports say that India loses almost 40% - either wasted or


Mr Key rightly asked businesses to consider taking our expertise in

logistics and chain management. It was therefore propitious that an

agreement was signed between the two governments to food safety.

Maritime security is another area in which the the Modi and Key governments

found synergy, leading to an accord, which will also see a combined

approach to customs, cyber security and related matters. This

Agreement provides for a framework that would allow sharing information

on new customs procedures and techniques.

Tackling terrorism

Terrorism is an area of serious concern for India and hence Modi welcomed

the agreement on relevant issues including the need to eliminate

terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks

and their financing, and stopping cross-border terrorism.

The Indian side however has cause to be frustrated as there was no indication

on settling the contentious Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG). India

has sought membership, and New Zealand is willing to vote for its inclusion

provided New Delhi signs the NPT.

The visit comes in the run-up to a crucial NSG Consultative Group (CG)

meeting to be held in Vienna specifically to consider whether countries

that haven’t signed on to the NPT (like India and Pakistan) can be considered

for membership.

India would face the meeting almost emptyhanded.

Other matters

There are other matters which we will discuss in due course.

Mr Key would like to see the positive aspects of his visit, saying that

he has met a friendly Prime Minister who understands New Zealand and

willing to work with it.

That may a general statement but let us believe that a new door has

opened for better engagement keeping aside the ever-evasive Free Trade


Goodwill inaugurates a new Chapter with Fiji

Fiji’s Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

may not have been popular with the mainstream media, but appears

to done well with most his people and the business community

during his first official visit to New Zealand last month.

But visits of Prime Ministers are evaluated on the element of goodwill

that they establish with their counterparts and officials of the guest governments.

Having given a tongue-lash to Prime Minister John Key during

the latter’s visit to Fiji on June 9 at a State Banquet, Mr Bainimarama appears

to have softened his approach. He lifted all bans on the New Zealand

media people from visiting his country, and took on a conciliatory approach

to most issues, except on matters relating to the Pacific Islands

Forum and PACE Plus.

The Indian Equation

With India showing interest in seeking full membership to the Forum

(from its current Observer Status), there could perhaps be a resolution.

Indications in Delhi are that there are synergies being developed to

make the Forum a more cohesive organisation. New Delhi may be able to

convince Mr Bainimarama that Australia and New Zealand should be considered

as important and inevitable members.

Prior to his departure from New Zealand, Mr Bainimarama said that he

was encouraged by the positive nature of his meeting with Mr Key.

Encouraging Signs

“I am very pleased that the Prime Minister (John Key) has agreed with

me to take the relationship to another level, a relationship where we let

bygones be bygones and work closely together to advance the interests of

Fiji and New Zealand’s peoples,” he said.

Speaking to journalists later, Mr Key acknowledged that the government

still had concerns about freedom of the media and human rights but

it was encouraging that Mr Bainimarama had lifted a ban on several New

Zealand journalists coming to Fiji.

He said he had talked to Mr Bainimarama about that and told him it was

in the best interests of Fiji to have a free media even if you didn’t always

like what was said.

We have analysed several matters relating to Fiji in this issue.

We would like to believe that a new Chapter of good relations is in the


For it is not in the interest of either country to measure noses.

Conciliation rather than confrontation, will deliver benefits to both


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Mahendra Sukhdeo

In September, Fiji’s

Prime Minister Voreqe

Bainimarama reshuffled

his cabinet that, among other

changes, saw the transfer of

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola as the

Defence Minister and assumed

the role of Foreign Affairs


These changes were made arguably

in anticipation of his address

at the 71st United Nations

General Assembly in New York

on September 20, 2016.

In his address, Bainimarama

spelt out the crux of the policy

shift and stated that he intended

to redefine certain policies and

give ‘A new direction.’

Fundamental axioms

Essentially, the redefinition

and the new direction reflected

oh Fiji’s new found confidence

and were based on two fundamental


One, henceforth, the foreign

policy would be predicated on

its external trade policy and the

emphasis would be on marketing

its impressive array of authentic

consumer products and

services under the ‘Fijian Made’

brand such as Fiji Water, Pure

Fiji Cosmetic, Fiji Timber, Fiji

Kava and other manufactured

goods together with pushing

Fiji as a prime holiday destination

in association with ‘Fiji

Airways’, its flagship airline.

Fiji already has gained a

measure of foothold for its manufactured

goods in the Pacific

island nations and littoral countries

such as Australia, New

Zealand, USA and Canada.

Now the objective would be to

intensify marketing strategies

by extending the marketing destinations.

The National Export

Strategy has already spent over

F$12 million in boosting exports

since 2009.

In practical terms, it is translated

as calibrating together the

governing arms of the departments

of foreign affairs, trade,

tourism and aviation.

Policy shift

Further, it also means that

the functionaries in these departments

would have to work

in congruence with one another

as well as with the manufacturers

and exporters to test their

capacities to provide for the existing

and new trading partners.

The trading policy shift also considers

the goal of accessing ‘international

standard’ goods and

services that would materially

benefit the Fiji consumers.

With an expanding Fijian

Diaspora, together with the demand

for pure, fresh and hygienic

products, ‘Fiji Made’

goods are likely to be attractive

in the existing and newer locales

for which Fiji should gear

itself with the right supply and

marketing logistics.

Bainimarama addressing the UN General Assembly on September 20 (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

Bainimarama with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on September 22

(UN Photo/Kim Haughton)

The China Equation

However, it is the second

plank of the foreign policy shift

that is likely to impact significantly

on Fiji’s relations with

other countries, more particularly,


Long before the onset of

Cyclone Winston, because of the

bellicosity of its traditional foreign

partners, Fiji was left in the


China, India and Malaysia

filled the gap.

Fiji has been experiencing a

measure of isolation as it drifted

towards the stranglehold of

China. Fiji realises that its value

system is different; its ascription

of human rights is not of the

same character as that of China,

its multicultural demography is

different from that of China and

more intrinsically the respectful

manner of treating a sovereign

partner is equally far apart.

More recently, China has exploited

its new-found grandeur

of an emerging superpower

by imposing its control on

the Spratly Islands, unilaterally

supporting Pakistan’s export

of mujahedeen (terrorists) into

Kashmir Valley and rejecting

calls for human rights violations

in China.

Fiji will now “rethink on some

of its foreign policy positions

and objectives” and “re-evaluate”

its central framework of being

“friends to all and enemies

to none.”

Values and Principles

The corollary is that henceforth

Fiji would choose friends

“in a more discerning manner

and align with those countries

that share our underlying values

and principles.”

Bainimarama spells out specifically

the values such as

“mutual respect, respect for sovereignty

and resolving of disputes

by peaceful means and

non-interference in each other’s

internal affairs”. And above

all, Bainimarama emphasises

the requirement of the universal

code of “adherence to international

law, human rights and

human dignity”.

Fiji would thus gradually opt

to “seek closer relations” with

like-minded nations, especially

those that respect human rights.

This is a seismic shift in foreign


Will the West and more particularly

New Zealand and

Australia take concrete measures

to strengthen relations

with Fiji that was ruptured after

the 2006 coup?

The West has been known to

be pontifical, verbose and dictatorial

in their relations with Fiji.

This cannot continue. The littoral

old partners would have to

treat Fiji with more sensitivity.

Realistic approach

Both Australia and New

Zealand should recognise the

primacy of Fiji in the Pacific

Island Nations (PINs) and cannot

be seen to be leading the

Pacific Forum and they should

allow inclusion of China and

India in the Forum

The policy shift has evolved

out of the warm relationship

between Suva and Wellington

as well as between Suva and


The gratuitous assistance provided

by the two countries has

given rise to this shift. It is for

Australia and New Zealand to

rise to the occasion to capture

the moment of opportunity.

Bainimarama delivered this

ground-breaking address when

Fiji is seeking to be the first

Pacific member-nation of the

UN Human Rights Council commencing

in 2018.

While some may view the address

as grandstanding for Fiji’s

bid for a seat in the Human

Rights Council, the explicit tenor

of the text indicates the veracity

of Bainimarama regime’s “new

found confidence” to initiate a

ground-breaking foreign policy.

Additional reading: Fiji revisits

friendship and foreign policy

under Viewlink.

Mahendra Sukhdeo is a

Fiji-born academic, writer,

researcher and author. He is

an astute observer of Fiji politics.

The scone edition of his

book, ‘Aryan Avatars,’ published

by USP is now available

at its Bookstore in Suva, Fiji.

NOVEMBER 1, 2016



Overworked, understaffed Police warrant attention

David Shearer

Being safe in our homes

and communities IS

the minimum that we

should be able to expect

in New Zealand.

But under National, even that

is under threat.

For years, National has under-funded

Police, and crime is


Since National came to office,

population growth and inflation

have added a combined 25% to

Police costs but Police funding

has risen by just 14%.

There are Police available.

When National came to power

there was an officer for every

488 people. Now there are only

one for every 528 people.

Community Police

Worse, Community Police stations

have closed.

In my area, St Lukes, Pt Chev

and Mt Albert each has lost their

community constables through

Police restructuring.

They call it ‘streamlining’ but

each of those neighbourhoods

has experienced it as a serious


Community constables know

their local areas, understand

the problems and characters involved,

and because of that they

can be strategic and targeted in

the use of their time.

Now they are gone, centralised

into a nameless grouping

miles away; that is supposed to

be more efficient but the faces

keep changing and the numbers

keep dropping, when they

should be increasing.

Stress is telling

Thus, victims of crime in my

neighbourhood now sometimes

ask me to phone the Police for

them – to hurry them along.

Our Police officers do the best

job they can, but their caseloads

are too big and their stations are

understaffed, and hence fundamentals

like response times and

crime resolution are starting to

show cracks.

The result of all this has been

a massive increase in crime:

burglaries are up 32% since

August 2014 – that is an extra 50

burglaries every day.

Assaults are up 8% and thefts

up 3%, while robberies are up a

staggering 66%.

Despite promises of a ‘War on

P,’ the drug has become cheaper

and more readily available.

The resolution rate for crimes

is falling too. Just one in twenty

burglaries is now solved and

the offender taken to court.

Police are stretched too thin to

stop crime and catch criminals

because National hasn’t given

them the funds to do the job.

Crime costs

While a rise in crime is unsettling

for New Zealand families,

it’s also very expensive.

Last fortnight, the National

government announced that it

will spend $1 billion adding another

1800 beds to prisons.

The prison population is forecast

to reach 10,000 by 2017 and

Corrections is looking to recruit

600 new prison officers by next


Spending that much on prisons

shows how badly we are

falling short. Even our Deputy

Prime Minister Bill English has

called it evidence of moral and

fiscal failure.

After years of underfunding

and neglect of our excellent

Police force, crime is getting out

of control in New Zealand, and

there is now a lot of catching up

to do.

The National government

needs to make a priority of

keeping New Zealanders safe,

and take a good hard look at the

causes of crime.

David Shearer is an elected

Member of Parliament from

Mt Albert in Auckland and

Labour Party’s spokesman for

Foreign Affairs.

Not even sky is the limit for house prices

James Shaw

The price of the average

house in Auckland recently

rose above $1


I think that’s ridiculous and

shows that the housing market

is broken.

Every person should know

that if they work hard and save

up, they can afford to buy their

own home.

But how can a young family

in Auckland do that, when even

the average house costs over $1


The truth is that people earning

normal incomes just cannot

afford to buy their own home

in our biggest city anymore.

Worried people

If we look at a teacher, a

nurse, or a police officer, they

might earn $50,000-$60,000 a

year. There is absolutely no

way that they could buy a decent

home for their family in

Auckland on that salary. But we

need teachers, nurses, and police

officers in Auckland. They

are vital for the city to function


Businesspeople have started

telling me that they are worried

about attracting staff to Auckland,

because housing is too expensive.

In the meantime, rents are rising

and families who rent can be

pushed from house to house every

12 months.

Children would have to move

schools and people find it hard

to put down roots in their


What can be done to fix housing?

The National Government

has had eight years to fix it, and

they have failed.

Fixing the problem

But if we change the government,

we will know what to do.

Firstly, we need to fix the rental

housing market.

The Green Party is working to

change the tenancy laws so that

people who rent get longer term

security. This would allow people

to call their rented house a home.

We also think that rent rises

should be more transparent.

When a bank raises someone’s

mortgage payments, they must

explain why and how they calculated

the new payments. We

think renters should get that

same transparency when landlords

raise rents.

Building homes

But the big goal is still home


Auckland is 40,000 homes

short of what it needs to meet

demand, and in addition, needs

about another 15,000 new

homes built every year just to

keep up with population growth.

The market has not been able

to build that many homes, which

is why the Government needs to

build more houses.

We also have a problem

with property speculation in


I believe that first and foremost,

houses are for meant for


It is natural that homeowners

might make a reasonable profit

if they sell their house and move

elsewhere, but making a profit

should not be the main reason

for buying a house but to create

a home for yourself and your


Capital Gains Tax

That is why the Gree Party will

close the loopholes that allow

property investors to make a lot

of money at the expense of home

buyers. We’d also like to see a

capital gains tax (excluding the

family home). Every dollar people

earn by working for wages or

a salary is taxed. We think that

it’s fair that the money property

speculators earn on houses gets

taxed too.

And finally, we think that too

many young families who have

managed to save up enough to

buy their first home are being

outbid by overseas investors.

The Green Party has a very simple

principle: anyone who lives

in New Zealand for a reasonable

amount of time should be able to

buy a home, but people who do

not live here shouldn’t be able to.

We think that is fair.

There are lots of things that can

be done to fix the housing crisis,

but the National government is

not doing enough.

That is why we need to change

the government.

James Shaw is Co-Leader of

Green Party and its Spokesman

for Climate Change and

Economic Development.



NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Trusts safeguard assets

beyond your lifetime

Farah Khan

Individuals and businesses

are realising the importance

of Trusts on the face of increasing

risks to businesses

and individuals.

Trusts are the most popular

way of safeguarding personal

assets and reducing the risk

of huge financial losses in the

event of financial hazards faced

by companies.

While large and medium sized

enterprises and high net-worth

individuals have in place appropriate

safeguards and risk

management techniques, small,

owner-operated companies and

ordinary New Zealanders are

largely unaware of the importance

of establishing Trusts.

It is therefore essential to

make people understand that

Trusts can be established and

managed with relative ease but

by qualified and experienced


The Trinity of Trust

A Trust is a way of giving

property or assets to somebody

to look after for the benefit of

somebody else. Three parties

are required in the process.

They are the Settlor, the Trustee

and the Beneficiary.

The person who sets up a Trust

and transfers property or properties

into the Trust is called the


The person who looks after the

property on behalf of the Beneficiaries

is called the Trustee

and the person for whose benefit

the Trust has been set up is

called a Beneficiary.

Usually, there would be more

than one Trustee. That would

assure the Settlor that all decisions

made by them (Trustees)

are in the best interest of the


Primary Beneficiary

There will always be a

Primary Beneficiary for whom

the Trust is set up, but most

Trusts will have a large pool of

Discretionary Beneficiaries who

would come into the picture if

the Primary Beneficiaries are no

longer alive.

The same person can be a

Settlor, Trustee and Beneficiary,

but there should be other

Trustees and Beneficiaries

as well. Otherwise, it may be

deemed a ‘Sham Trust’ and become

legally void.

Equitable Entity

A Trust is not a separate legal

entity. Hence, if a person transfers

a family home into a Trust,

the title of the property will be

registered in the name of the

Trustees personally and not in

the name of the Trust.

A Trust is an equitable entity

whose primary purpose is

to look after the assets for the


A Trust has a lifespan of 80

years, unless it is dissolved earlier

by an agreement of the

Trustees. This means a person

can ensure that his or her

personal assets are dealt with

properly and that there is no

uncertainty after their death.

Setting up a Trust

New Zealand Law requires that

a Trust which holds hould be

in writing, with all relevant

details of the property or asset,

mentioning the person or persons

establishing the Trust, the

names of Trustees and Beneficiaries.

The Cost

The cost of establishing a

Trust varies and as in the case of

everything else, quality always

has its price.

My advice is that anyone keen

on establishing a Trust must

make proper inquiries, compare

costs and then decide on a firm.

However, be sure that you are

comparing apples with apples.

During my eleven years of legal

practice, I have come across

many Trusts that would not

stand the test of validity in a

court of law. It is therefore imperative

that a Trust is set up

correctly by someone who has

a thorough knowledge and


This is a very specialised field

that should be handled only by


Farah Khan is Partner & Notary

Public Practice Manager

at Khan & Associates Lawyers

and Notary Public based in

Papatoetoe, Auckland. She can

be contacted on (09) 2789361.

Facebook: Farahkhanlawyer.

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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Fiji made a dramatic

change in its Cabinet in


Apart from re-jigging

some portfolios, the most prominent

was the transfer of Foreign

Affairs Minister Inoke Kubuabola

as Immigration, National Security

and Defence Minister. The impact

of this change was hardly noticed

by the media and political


The assumption of foreign

affairs segment by Prime Minister

Josiah Voreqe Bainimarama and

capping Inoke Kubuabola as his

National Security, Defence and

Immigration aide has far-reaching

significance in domestic and

foreign policies.

The Cabinet reshuffle is a sign

of Bainimarama’s political maturity

and an inclination towards

nipping the growth of chiefly

influences, provincial fissures

and ethnically based utterances

that are inherent in Fiji’s politics.

Personal Notes

As the first Divisional Welfare

Officer, Northern in Fiji’s civil

service in early 1970s, I had met

Inoke’s father, a humble, amiable

scion of Cakandrove Province.

He had asked me to meet with

his young, educated son.

That opportunity came when


Cabinet reshuffle a sign of political maturity

Mahendra Sukhdeo

Bainimarama introduces Inoke Kubuabola and other ministers to John Key and his delegation (not seen here) at his Office in Suva on June 10, 2016.

Inoke invited me to attend the

breakfast meetings of the Bible

Society in Suva.

Since those early days, Inoke

was a prominent politician in the

Alliance Party, an activist for the

‘Taukei Movement’ and later as a

Minster in the post-coup Rabuka,

Mara and Qarase regimes. He is

in fact a pragmatic nationalist.

Cakandrove, the third arm of

the Eastern Chieftain Confederacy,

has been the home of several

well-known chiefly clans such as

the Ganilaus and Lalabalavus.

It is also the birthplace of

Sitiveni Rabuka, the primal coup

leader and a sizeable number

of top military and civilian personnel.

Cakaudrove is a volatile

geographical enclave that also

provided the fodder for several

incidences of insurrection in Fiji.

In the post-election period,

Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, a

quiet conservative exercised

more power in the affairs of the

Social Democratic Liberal Party

(SODELPA) than its anointed

leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa. With

the assumption of the Presidency

of SODELPA by Sitiveni Rabuka

early this year, Cakaudrove’s hold

on the Party is complete.

Rabuka’s Ascension

Ostensibly, Rabuka’s ascension

as the leader of SODELPA was

described as of little political

effect; but an ethnically based

political party of Taukeis with

Rabuka and Lalabalavu at its

command, can rake up enough

dust to destabilise Fiji’s politics.

Indo-Fijian based parties are

in disarray and would look at

any opportunity to get into the

limelight, including associating

with SODELPA to combat the

overall multi-ethnic support of

the Fiji First Party.

The recent participation of the

amorphous group of Opposition

leaders on a platform provided

by the NGO, Pacific Dialogue to

discuss Fiji’s Constitution was an

ill-timed, divisive project that did

not have the tacit approval of the



Opportunity lost

The Pacific Dialogue meeting

was neither intended to be Pacific

nor a dialogue.

Despite the Constitution providing

for an avenue of periodical

review, the meeting would have

accorded an opportunity for the

Opposition leaders to air their

assumed grievances in the public

with the intent presumably of

highlighting the abatement of

citizenry rights in anticipation of

the coming General Elections in


The Government naturally

pounced on a procedural

requirement of the NGO’s failure

to obtain a police permit contrary

to the Public Order Decree to

hold such a politically infected

discussion and detained five of

the participants.

Seditious activities

It is ironical that leaders with

a strong symbiosis with trade

union and political management

failed to check the bureaucratic

compliance machinery. It is apparent

that there are incidences

of seditious activities both in Fiji

and abroad and Bainimarama

had to issue a warning that those

responsible will tracked and


It is in this context that the

appointment of Inoke Kubuabola

as the Minister of National Security

and Defence can provide

an effective counter balance of

protective defence against the

possible provocative utterances

and actions of the old leaders

vying to take over the helm of

Fiji’s governance.

Any visible increase in support

for SODELPA will dilute the

strength of the Fiji First Party.

Intelligence Mapping

The Defence and National

Security Ministry has a wider and

more extensive reach and hold

over Fiji’s domestic matrix.

It can access its own sources

of sensitive intelligence together

with community resources to help

in intelligence gathering. This

would assist the Fiji First Party

in keeping a tab on the evolving

political manoeuvres at grass root

as well as at national levels.

Additional reading: Fiji revisits

friendship and foreign

policy under Viewlink.

Mahendra Sukhdeo is a

Fiji-born academic, writer, researcher

and author. He is an

astute observer of Fiji politics.

The scone edition of his book,

‘Aryan Avatars,’ published

by USP is now available at its

Bookstore in Suva, Fiji.



NOVEMBER 1, 2016

An inglorious chapter on chi

Alex Penk


know that’s not

PC, but you know,

that’s me,” Police

Minister Judith

Collins said, commenting

on child poverty at a

Police conference.

Green Party Co-Leader Cue

Metiria Turei, who alleged that

Collins was displaying ‘deepest

ignorance’ and making ‘A foolish

statement’ because Collins reportedly

had said that child poverty

is ‘primarily due to a lack of

[parental] responsibility.’

Collins hit back, claiming that

her comments were about the

link between poverty and crime,

and that they had been taken

out of context. And so, the unedifying

debate about child poverty

recorded another inglorious


Amid the ‘not-PC’ and ‘you are

ignorant’ and ‘that’s out of context’

posturing, the crucial question

lingers, “Was Collins right?”

Taking in context

Let’s check the context first.

It is possible to interpret

Collins’ comments as referring

to the link between poverty and

crime, rather than the causes of

poverty, when she said that parental

responsibility is a ‘primary


If so, then her words were taken

out of context, as she says.

However, her earlier comments

seem pretty clear: “One

of the things when I look at

child poverty, actually I don’t

see just money or monetary

poverty, I see a poverty of ideas,

a poverty of parental responsibility,

a poverty of love, a poverty

of caring.”

So, giving the benefit of the

doubt and setting aside the

question of ‘primary’ effect for

now, do parental actions make a

difference to child poverty?

The truth is that they do play

a part.

Shaping the future

Parents’ actions create a context

for their children that significantly

shapes the children’s


For example, parents can influence

their children’s future

when they model and transmit

pro-social or anti-social

behaviours and create an environment

that either fosters or

impedes development of cognitive

ability and social and emotional


Parents also provide resources

for their children, or at least,

they are supposed to do so. Not

all parents do, and not all parents

can, as Collins recognised.

The reasons for this can be

complex and varied, such as

lack of education or poor health.

But it is also true that for a

family in poverty right now,

simply urging parental responsibility

Is not likely to make an

immediate difference to the


Other factors assume more

short-term importance, like the

adequacy of benefits and the

availability of jobs.

For the sake of clarity, and regardless

of what Collins did or

didn’t say, it should be clear by

now that parental responsibility

matters, but it is one factor

among many.

When we are making generalised

statements about poverty,

none of them can be singled

out as the ‘primary’ factor.

Quality debate needed

We need better quality debate

and discussion about the

pathways in and out of poverty,

and last week’s posturing, sadly,

wasn’t it.

We need to stay focused on

the people. Not by the sort of

petty, ad hominem attack involved

in calling your opponent

‘ignorant’ and ‘foolish,’ but

by remembering that this is a

debate about how to help real

people in real need.

That should be all the motivation

we need to elevate the


Alex Penk is Chief Executive

of Maxim Institute based in






The cost of surgical and medical treatments

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ld poverty


Facebook creates new work ethics


Anand Mokashi

The social space giant

has launched Facebook

Workplace (www.workplace.fb.com),


allows people in an organisation

to connect everyone and turn

ideas into action, through group

discussion, personalised news

feed and voice and video calling,

work together and get more


Workplace is an ad-free space,

separate from your personal

Facebook account.

Workplace was released

released recently to selected

organisations in the world, as

a beta-trial. Now, encouraged

by the positive response from

over 1000 companies that are

currently using this platform,

Facebook has announced that

it has made the app available

to all.

Good interaction

Using this app, an employee

can interact with colleagues

across the world in real time,

implement a virtual discussion

in a Group or ‘attend’ a presentation

made on the other side

of the globe, on ‘Facebook Live.’

“Users have created nearly

100,000 groups and the top

five countries using Workplace

are India, the US, Norway, UK

and France,” Facebook said in a


“We are announcing that

Workplace will now be available to

any company or organisation that

wants to use it.”

Among the global users of

Workplace are Danone, Starbucks

and Booking.com, international

non-profits such as Oxfam and regional

leaders like the Government

Technology Agency of Singapore.

Paradigm shift

“It’s a whole new paradigm in

employee engagement! This platform

reflects the perfect synergy

of people driving technology,” S N

Subrahmanyam, Deputy Managing

Director and President, Larsen &

Toubro (India), said.

Facebook also announced

‘Multi-Company Groups,’ that

are virtual ‘shared spaces’ that

allow employees from different

organisations to work together and

extend collaboration beyond their

companies in a safe and secure


Workplace by Facebook is free to

use for Charities and not-for-profit


Active Users

For other businesses, Facebook

offers a three-month free trial

period after which they can choose

from a tiered pricing model

starting from US$3 per active user

per month.

“The more active users an

organisation has, the less they pay

per user. So, US$3 per user is for

the first 1000 monthly active users,

US$2 for 1001-10,000 monthly

active users and US$1 for 10,000+

monthly active users,” a Facebook

official said.

While it is too early to comment

about its efficacy, knowing

Facebook’s ability to intuitively

understand and deliver a product

that the market so dearly wants,

Workplace to be a winner-in-the


Anand Mokashi is an IT Lecturer,

Consultant and Digital Media

Specialist with a passion for all

things online. He runs the Facebook

group of Amateur astronomy

lovers (https://www.facebook.com/

groups/ilavip/) and the website

www.astronomyhuble.com. Email:






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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Bilateral relations with Fiji get a major boost

Venkat Raman


New Zealand and Fiji

can look forward to a

new chapter in their

bilateral relations with

increasing opportunities for

engagement in several sectors,

Prime Minister John Key has


Following a meeting with Fiji’s

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

at the Government House in

Auckland on Saturday, October

22, 2016, Mr Key said that it was

time to forget the tensions of the

past and focus on areas that will

benefit both countries.

New Chapter begins

“There has been a troubled

period. I think both sides have

agreed, look, let’s look forward.

It’s always a lot more fun looking

at the front window than the

rear vision mirror and I think

that will serve both sides best,”

he told journalists following talks

that included officials of the two


Mr Bainimarama echoed the

sentiments of his host.

“I am very pleased that the

Prime Minister (John Key) has

agreed with me to take the

relationship to another level,

a relationship where we let

bygones be bygones and work

closely together to advance

the interests of Fiji and New

Bainimarama inspecting a Guard of Honour at Government House, Auckland on October 22

The two governments discuss the way to move forward on October 22 (Picture by Bevan Read, Fairfax)

Zealand’s peoples,” he said,

briefing journalists after the


Earlier, speaking at a Symposium,

Mr Bainimarama

said that Fiji has invested

heavily on education, health

and infrastructure over the

past few years.

Friendly policies

He attributed such investment

to his government’s

sound management of the

economy, business friendly

policies and zero tolerance

towards corruption.

The Symposium,

organised by Fiji Trade & Investment

at Stamford Plaza

Hotel on Thursday, October

20, 2016, was attended by

New Zealanders of Fijian

origin, public and private

undertakings, investors and


He asked them to view the

investment opportunities

that Fiji offers with fresh


“Whether you are looking

for a new manufacturing

base, develop a tourism

venture or an agricultural

project, take advantage of

the growing opportunities in

ICT, mining, food processing

and several other areas. Fiji

is open to business,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama cited

well established banking

and financial institutions,

state-of-the-art communications

and an educated

workforce as advantages

of doing business with his


Wonderful Fijians

He described Fijians as

“wonderful people, who are

finally working together as

one nation with their eyes

firmly set on excellence,

transforming Fiji into a

modern nation State and

on achieving the awaiting


“Fijians are famous the

world over for their friendliness

and hospitality – so

much so that we proclaim

ourselves as the place

‘where happiness finds

you.’ We are even happier

than usual ourselves these

days. Because, for all the

continuing challenges that

we face including recovering

from the adverse effects of

Tropical Cyclone Winston,

the entire nation has been

on an unprecedented high

after our World Champion

Rugby Sevens Team brought

back Olympic Gold from

Rio,” he said.

Additional Reading: 1. Fiji

opens doors for New Zealand

Media (Homelink) 2.

Fresh incentives for education

providers 3. Bainimarama

refuses to sign

PACER Plus (Fijilink) 4.

Goodwill inaugurates new

Fiji Chapter (Viewlink).

NOVEMBER 1, 2016


Kartik Purnima brings good tidings to earthly people

This article is a mixture of Tulsi Vivah, Dev Diwali and Guru Nanak Jayanti

Sourced Content


Kartik is the eighth lunar

month in Hindu


The Full Moon Day

during the month of Kartik is

known as Kartik Purnima.

This day is also referred as

Poornima, Poonam, Pournami

and Pournimasi.

In Vaishnava tradition, Kartik

month is known as Damodara


Damodara is one of the names

of Lord Krishna.

Many people take pledge to

take a holy dip before sunrise

in Ganges and other holy rivers

every day during the month of


The ritual of holy dip during

Kartik month begins on the day

of Sharad Purnima and ends on

Kartik Purnima.

Kartik Purnima is also very

significant as many rituals and

festivals culminate on this day.

Festivities begin on ‘Prabodhini


Tulasi Vivah

Tulasi-Vivah Utsav, which begins

on the day of Prabodhini

Ekadashi, culminates on the day

of Kartik Purnima.

According to tradition, Tulasi

Vivah can be performed on any

suitable day between Ekadashi to

Purnima in the month of Kartik.

However, many people choose

Lord Vishnu receives the ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ from Lord Shiva; Lord Rama,

as an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, prays to Lord Shiva

the day of Kartik Purnima to perform

marriage rituals of Goddess

Tulasi and Lord Shaligram, an

iconic representation of Lord


Bhishma Panchaka fasting,

which begins on Ekadashi day,

ends at Kartik Purnima.

In Vaishnava tradition, the utmost

importance is given to

Bhishma Panchaka fasting during

the last five days of Kartik


The five days of fasting is

known as Bhishma Panchaka as

well as Vishnu Panchaka.

Vishnu worships Shiva

Vaikuntha Chaturdashi fasting

and Puja is performed on

Chaturdashi Tithi i.e. one day

before Kartik Purnima. It is believed

that Lord Vishnu worshipped

Lord Shiva on the day

of Kartik Chaturdashi during

Shukla Paksha and offered Him

1000 Lotus flowers.

It is also believed that Lord

Shiva presented the ‘Sudarshan

Chakra’ to Lord Vishnu on this

day. The Chakra is used to destroy


Many Shiva Temples organise

special Puja during which Lord

Vishnu is worshipped along with

Lord Shiva.

On the day of Vaikuntha

Chaturdashi, a holy dip in

Ganges before Sunrise at

Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi is

considered very significant.

Dev Diwali

Dev Diwali which is also

known as ‘Diwali of Gods’ is celebrated

on the day of Kartik


It is believed that Lord Shiva

killed demon Tripurasura on the

day of Kartik Purnima.

Devotees taking a Dip in the Holy Ganges

Celebrations at Brahma Khund, Gujarat

Hence Kartik Purnima is also

known as Tripuri Purnima and

Tripurari Purnima.

As per the legends of Tripuri

Purnima, Tripurasura defeated

Gods and started ruling their


When Tripurasura was killed,

Gods were overjoyed and celebrated

the day of Kartik

Purnima as the day of illuminations.

Hence, thousands of earthen

lamps are lit at all Temples

as well as at the bank of River

Ganga on Kartik Purnima.

The Full Moon Day or the

15th day in the Hindu month of

Kartik, ushers in an auspicious

occasion known as the Kartik

Purnima. which has a great significance

among Hindus, Sikhs

and Jains.

Guru Nanak Jayanti

It coincides with the Sikh festival

of Guru Nanak Jayanti and

the religious day of the Jains who

celebrate it by undertaking an

auspicious journey or the ‘Sri

Shatrunjay Tirth Yatra’ to worship

Lord Adinath at a Temple

situated on the Shatrunjay Hills.

First Incarnation

Kartik Purnima is also celebrated

to commemorate the

birth of Lord Vishnu’s first incarnation,

the Matsya (Fish) Avatar.

As mentioned earlier, it is also

the birthday of Vrinda (the epitome

of the Tulsi plant) and of

Lord Kartikeya, the son of Shiva.

This day is significant for

Radha-Krishna devotees.

It is believed that Krishna and

Radha performed the Raasa

(dance) on this day and Lord

Krishna worshipped her. Kartik

Purnima is also dedicated to



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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Festival of Lights energises New Zealanders

Auckland Diwali 2016

Venkat Raman


This year’s Festival of

Lights got to a brilliant

start on Saturday,

October 15, 2016 at Aotea

Centre with the weather lending

its helping hand.

‘Auckland Diwali 2016’ was

usual and yet different.

The Usual

It was usual with speeches

by Prime Minister John Key,

Opposition Leader Andrew

Little, Auckland Mayor-Elect

Phil Goff and Indian High

Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli.

It was usual with the stage

ceremony – lighting of the

lamp, garlanding the dignitaries

on stage, applying the ‘Tilak’

on their foreheads and performances

by visiting and local artistes,

followed by photographs

and selfies.

The Unusual

It was unusual with a number

of students protesting the

potential deportation order that

they face, on charges of having

provided fake documents. They

were restrained and dignified

– which in effect added to their

sympathy from a section of the


It was unusual since for the

first time Auckland Diwali featured

dancers from the North-

Eastern State of Assam.

Meghranjani Medhi and her

mother Marami were at their

best presenting two Kathak

numbers, the first of which was

invoking the Blessings of Lord


“We pay tribute to the Indian

community for their diligence

and hard work,” Mr Key said,

John Key with Eric Ngan

instantly followed by ‘Shame,

Shame,’ by the protesting


He said that New Zealand

was keen to have students from

India, gain good education and

go through the system to become

permanent residents.

Mr Little and Mr Kohli were

keen to have the students’ issue

solved. Continued on Page 22

A section of the crowd on October 16

Marami and Meghranjani Medhi present a Kathak number

Students protesting at the inaugural ceremony on October 15

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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Continued from Page 20

Radio Tarana Bollywood Dance Competition Winners with little Zara and Robert Khan

The ASB Dance Videos

ASB at the Festival

Siobhan Enright,

Communications Advisor

(Marketing & Communications),

ASB Bank sent us the following


ASB took its support of the

Auckland Diwali Festival one

step further this year as ITS staff

from across the city performed

on the main stage on October 15

& 16, 2016.

More than 40 ASB staff rehearsed

for several months to

create street and main stage

performances for the festival’s

crowds at Aotea Square.

The ASB performance group

recruited external choreographer

Kesha Surti from Khottey

Sikkey to help create the dance.

Carmelina D’Souza and

Ruzbeh Palsetia drove the ASB

staff, family and friends’ performance,

and were overwhelmed

with the commitment from the


Performing on stage was exhilarating.

There were some

members who had no stage experience,

and they said it felt

just like an adrenalin rush just

before a sky dive. The crowd

cheering and the tempo increasing

with every song was electrifying,”

Ms D’Souza said.

ASB Head of Community,

Sponsorship and Events Mark

Graham said ASB was pleased

to support the Auckland Diwali

Festival for the second successive


“Bringing the bright lights, vibrant

colours and exquisite cuisines

of India to the diverse

Auckland community, the

Festival is becoming a special

date in the Auckland cultural

calendar and an important celebration

of Auckland’s diverse

community,” he said.

ASB Dance Videos

A Festival favourite, the ASB

Zone was home to a social video-sharing

stand where festival-goers

recorded their best

Diwali dance moves on a green

screen video background and

then share it via social media.

Every ASB video that was

recorded and shared on social

went into the draw to win

one of two, one night stays in

the Sky City Grand Hotel, with

breakfast for two at Gusto

and a $200 Food and Beverage


ASB Staff performers at the Festival

Continuedon Page 23

ThiruSubramaniyar Aalyam

69 Tidal Road,Mangere Auckland,New Zealand


(30-10-2016 to 06-11-2016)

Date Time Function

Oct 30(Sun)



10.00am to




Vigneshvara Pooja, Punyagavachanam, Vasthu shandhi, Pravesa bali,Mirthsankraganam, Ankurarpanam, Raksha bandhanam, Deeparadhanai,


Vigneshvara Pooja, Snabana Kalasa Pooja, Sri Skandha Homam, Abishegam, Poornahuthi, Subramanya Sahasranama Archani.


Vigneshvara Pooja,1st Kaala Yagasalai Pooja, Sri Skandha Moola Manthra Homam, Poornahuthi, Subramanya Trisathi Archani.


Nov 01(Tue)





Vigneshvara Pooja,2nd Kaala Yagasalai Pooja,Snabana Kalasa Pooja,Sri Skandha Maala Mandra Homam,

Abishegam,Poornahuthi, Subramanya Sahasranama Archanai, Deeparathanai.

Vigneshvara Pooja,3rd Kaala Yagasalai Pooja,Sri Skandha Gayathri Homam, Poornahuthi, Subramanya Trisathi Archani.


Nov 02(Wed)

Nov 03(Thu)

Nov 04(Fri)

Nov 05(Sat)

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Vigneshvara Pooja, 4thKaala Yagasalai Pooja,Snabana Kalasa Pooja, Sri Skandha Homam,

Abishegam,Poornahuthi,SubramanyaSahasranama Achanai,Deeparathanai.

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Poornahuthi, Subramanya Trisathi Archani, Deeparathanai.

Vigneshvara Pooja, 6th Kaala Yagasalai Pooja,Snabana Kalasa Pooja, SriSkandha moola mandra Homam,

Abishegam, Poornahuthi,Subramanya Sahasranama Achanai, Deeparathanai.

Vigneshvara Pooja,7thKaala Yagasalai Pooja, SriSkandha Sahasranama Homam, Poornahuthi, Subramanya Trisathi Archani.


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NOVEMBER 1, 2016



Continued from Page 22

Roopa and Jessica set the pace for dancing

Music a highlight of the festival

Henna proved its popularity

Bhartiya Samaj

Charitable Trust

Vivek Arya, Community

Relationship Manager,

Bharatiya Samaj Charitable

Trust said that the organisation

celebrated Diwali along

with Roopa Aur Aap at Fickling

Convention Centre located at

Three Kings in Auckland on

October 15, 2016.

“The Celebration included

games, henna and nail painting.

The festive mood was enhanced

with members of the

Trust singing, dancing and sharing

sweets,” he said.

While ‘Auckland Diwali’ organised

by the Auckland

Council controlled Auckland

Tourism, Events and Economic

Development (ATEED) with the

support of Asia New Zealand

Foundation and several commercial

organisations, is the

largest Festival of its kind in

Auckland (like its Wellington

counterpart), the credit for having

brought the event to Aotea

Centre belongs to Bhartiya

Samaj Charitable Trust and its

Chairman and Secretary, respectively

Jeet Suchdev and Roopa


“The Trust shifted its celebration

of Diwali to Aotea Square in

2002, following which Asia NZ

Foundation (then known as Asia

2000 Foundation) and Auckland

Council requested us to ‘release

Aotea Centre’ to them. They

said that the two organisations

had major plans. We were happy

to comply in the larger interest

of the community. Our Trust

has been conducting several

programmes including India’s

Independence Day at the Aotea

Centre even prior to 2002. We

are proud that Diwali has become

a major festival, attracting

more than 100,000 people from

varied ethnic communities,” Mr

Arya said.










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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

ANZ honours achievers in the Indian community

Smita Kanwar


The contributions of the

Indian community to the

progress of Indian economy

were recognised by

a top official of ANZ Bank last


Speaking at the ‘ANZ Diwali’

Festival held at Sudima

Auckland Airport Hotel on

October 21, 2016, Andrew

Webster, the Bank’s General

Manager said that cultural diversity

was important for ANZ.

“Our people come from over

230 different backgrounds. We

have Indian staff from across

the globe and 15% of staff in

our Auckland Business Banking

team are Indian,” he said.

Helping new migrants

Mr Wester said that the Bank

has helped about 7000 Indian

customers into a banking relationship

this year and continues

to help people moving to

New Zealand with its Migrant

Banking Package.

“New Zealand and India enjoy

a strong relationship, with

52,000 Kiwis travelling to India

and close to 60,000 Indians visiting

New Zealand during the

period covering March 2015

and 2016. India is a very important

trading partner for

New Zealand and an important

segment for ANZ both in

New Zealand and globally,” Mr

Webster said.

As a part of its Diwali celebrations,

ANZ had decorated

its ATMs with special Rangoli

designs at 11 locations in

Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington

and Christchurch, in neigh-

Andrew Webster honours Ratna Venkat

with ‘Young Achiever Award’

bourhoods popular with Indian


The Bank also sponsored

‘Diwali Market Day’ in

Waitakere (West Auckland) and

Christchurch, in addition to special

offers and prizes at its selected


Among them was a Limited-

Edition Cricket Bat signed by the

Black Caps.

ANZ Community Awards

Head of Migrant Banking Eric

Chuah announced the winners

of various categories of Awards,

selected in association with the

New Zealand Indian Central

Association (NICZ).

Among them were Jay

Randhawa of Waikato (Migrant

Support Award) for services to

the community; Dr Sashi Patel of

Rotorua (Entrepreneur Award)

for making a significant impact

in the community through

small business; Prakash Biradar

of Auckland (Community Spirit

Award) for services to the community

through a not-for-profit

organisation; and Ratna Venkat

of Auckland (Young Achiever

Award) for exceptional leadership

and demonstration of

innovative ways to achieve excellence

beyond what is expected

of them.

As a special gesture, the Bank

National List MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar, Fiji Honorary Consul in Auckland Harish Lodhia, Andrew Webster, Eric Chuah and others

with the ‘ANZ Diwali Award Winners.’

Ratna Venkat presenting Kathak with the support of Dr Sukh

Dev and Basant Madhur

ANZ officials Devika Kumar, Sweta D’Silva, Amrita Prasad

and Pulkit Khorana

presented her a cheque for $500

“to help on her journey to pursue

her passion in the fine arts.”

Earlier, Ratna presented

a Kathak performance accompanied

by Professor

Sukh Dev Madhur (Vocal and

Harmonium) and Basant

Madhur (Tabla).

Smita Kanwar is Channel and

Smita Kanwar with community leaders at Christchurch Diwali on

October 22

Smita Kanwar with Naveen Prakash and others at Waitakere Diwali on

October 23

Business Development Manager

(Migrant Banking) at ANZ

Bank. The above is a highly

edited version of her original


Waitakere Diwali 2016 excels its predecessors

Venkat Raman


Diwali may have acquired


overtones with the

standard accusation

that the festival has been ‘hijacked’

by organisations to promote

their own interests, but

the fact that it is attended by an

increasing number of people of

all ethnicities should justify the

means to the end.

In fact, as one reader suggested,

“We should be happy that

hundreds of thousands of people

in New Zealand have come

to expect quality cuisine and variety

entertainment at the festivities

organised at various

venues. The response has been

so overwhelming that Diwali is

today firmly established as one

of the most important events in

the country’s social calendar.”

Indian Newslink has received

reports of festivities held

in various parts of New Zealand,

some of which have been reported

in this Section.

Superb Venue

Waitakere Indian Association

(WIA) celebrated its annual

Diwali Mela on Sunday, October

Robert Khan, Faiyaz Koya, Phil Twyford and Mahesh Bindra at WIA Diwali 2016

23, 2016 at Te Pai Netball Courts,

located at 31-35 Te Pai Place,

Henderson, which is close to the

Trusts Stadium.

More than 15,000 people are

reported to have attended the

event held from 11 am to 10 pm,

with a spectacular display of


Guests of Honour

Among the guests of honour

were Fiji’s Trade Minister Faiyaz

Koya, New Zealand Members

of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh

Bakshi, Melissa Lee, Phil

Twyford, Mahesh Bindra and

Carmel Sepuloni; Councillor

Linda Cooper and Radio Tarana

Managing Director Robert Khan.

The programme included

‘Ram Leela’ by a visiting group

from India, traditional and

modern songs and dances performed

by members of the community

and their children. Stalls

selling food items, household

goods and curios attracted a

larger number of shoppers.

WIA President Mahendra

Sharma writes:

Waitakere Indian Association

has been marking this event for

16 years.

We are mindful of the fact

that Diwali needs to retain its

theme, its respectability and

dignity. Therefore, successive

Diwali Committees have been

directed by our Trustees to have

a good balance of the modern

Carmel Sepuloni, Mahesh Bindra, Linda Cooper, Melissa Lee, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

and Alastair Bell at WIA Diwali 2016

Children rendering an invocation song in praise of Lord Ganesha

culture with tradition to ensure

that the Festival retains its light

of wisdom, divinity and dignity.

This was reflected in the ‘Ram

Leela’ performed by the students

of Ayodhya Research

Institute. Their visit was sponsored

by the Indian Council of

Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the

Indian Government working in

coordination with Indian High

Commission and support of Shri

Ram Mandir.

The overall theme of Diwali is

victory of life over death, the victory

of light over darkness and

the ultimate victory of good over


Let this Diwali enlighten us

and the sweets sweeten us.

NOVEMBER 1, 2016



Model of the Fortnight

If life like is an

Opera sing it


Rugby lovers, who

were at the Bledisloe

Cup Test Matches held

in Auckland in 2009

would have secretly wished

that the solo performer

at the beginning could

have sung a few morefor

that is the power of

her voice.

Those planning to

attend the premier

of ‘The Stars in Her

Eyes,’ a locally

produced English

film at Sky City

Theatre on

November 18,

2016 would

see an anxious,



and empathetic

young woman

literally at crossroads.

She made

you laugh as well as

sympathise but in the

end she was happy and

so were you.

Leila Alexander, our

Model of the Fortnight

is many things at once,

just as her character

‘Anousha’ was in ‘The

Stars in Her Eyes’ (see

separate review in

this issue).

The best medicine

“I believe in living

life to the fullest,

embracing opportunities

and pursuing

my dreams. I love

challenges and I

am not afraid to

laugh at myself,”

she said.

A second generation

Anglo-Indian, born in

Auckland to a full Indian mother

and European-Kiwi Father,

she has imbibed the traits and

discipline of both.

A degree (Bachelor) of

Laws has brought her career

as a lawyer at a local firm,

while her current pursuit of a

Bachelor degree in Music with

Classical Vocal Performance as

Major continues to lit her passion

for the arts.

Traditional Opera

She has taken leading roles

in traditional operas, such as

Serpina in La Serva Padrona,

and has been featured in premier

New Zealand operas including

Len Lye, State of Mind

and Kiri Masterclass.

Earlier this year, the New

Zealand Opera School selected

her to participate in a televised

Masterclass with Dame Kiri Te


A regular competitor in

Operatic events, she won the

South Auckland Performing

Arts Operatic Aria and Recital.

This year, she was the Runner-

Up at the prestigious Beacroft

Aria Final on the North Shore.

She is the Coordinator of

‘Young Friends of the New

Zealand Opera,’ which encourages

people under 30 to evince

interest in the art.

As well as singing, her 17-

year training as a multi-disciplinary

dancer, has helped her

gain proficiency in tap, jazz

and ballet with various dance


-Venkat Raman

If you wish to be featured as

our ‘Model of the Fortnight,’

please write to editor@indiannewslink.co.nz

Diwali under Counties Manukau Police Watch

The Police performing

the highly vibrant

Bhangra has become an

important aspect of social

interaction and it is no surprise

that the men and women

in blue uniform have become

a source of endearment and


More than 200 people

watched constables and sergeants

performing the ever-popular

Punjabi dance at

the Diwali celebrations held at

the Headquarters of Counties

Manukau Police on October 19,


Among them were District

Commander Superintendent

John Tims, Inspector Nga Wati

Chaplow, Maori Responsiveness

Advisor, Members of the

South Asian Advisory Board,

Members of the Local Boards,

community leaders and others.

Superintendent Tims spoke

Ranjna Patel, John Tims and Nga Wati Chaplow

about the spirit of oneness

that Diwali brings, while

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora

outlined the legend behind

celebration of the festival.

“We were fortunate to

have the company of the

members of the South

Asian community, officials

of the Department of

Corrections, Community

Patrols of New Zealand.

Service Providers and ethnic

media,” he said.

-Venkat Raman

Ambika Krishnamoorthy presents ‘Veeram,’ a dance of

courage dedicated to the Police



NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Fashion takes a step

forward with tradition

Staff Reporter


Assam, the North-

Eastern State of India,

is a region blessed with

Divinity and religious

fervour for thousands of years

Inspiring journey

Born in Nagaon, a small town

near the Assamese Capital

Guwahati, Sanjukta is known for

creating a unique combination

of clubbing traditions and prints

of different geographies into one

unique customised piece of gar-

2014 with just three looms.

Success loomed large and in

just four years, her ‘factory’

has grown to account for more

than 100 looms.

However, her journey has

not been so smooth.

Like across the other parts of

Bipasha Basu adorns in a Sanjukta outfit

Sanjukta Dutta: Never Say Impossible

and in recent times, its unique

tradition and arts have become

a source of delight to the world.

The performances of

Assamese Kathak dancer

Meghranjani Medhi and her

mother Marami at ‘Auckland

Diwali’ held on October 15

& 16, 2016 and ‘Wellington

Diwali’ held on October 22 &

23, 2016, public interest in the

Indian hill state, where the

Brahmaputra River flows, has


Propitiously, we received

information about Sanjukta

Dutta, an Assamese designer

who has been making impressions

on fabric to the delight of

millions of people around the

world. Now a celebrated fashion

house, ‘Sanjukta’s Studio’

has taken its creations to various

centres in India.

Importers of designs will find

the textiles of Sanjukta distinctmodern

in outlook with a blend

of traditional design.

ment, with the Assamese silk

Mekhela Chador in most cases

being the base.

A graduate in Engineering, she

began her career with the Public

Works Department of the Assam


It was in 2012 that her love for

colours and designs took her to

various part of India.

Influenced by the Bandhej of

Gujarat, Leheria of Rajasthan,

Ari of Kashmir and digital prints

from all over India, she experimented,

twisted and evolved textures

with her own touch based

in Assamese ethos but blended

with futuristic tastes.

Sanjukta believes that clothing

is not just a piece of cloth but

a key and integral part of every

human being and their identity.

It is her central belief that one’s

clothing tells a story of not just

the kind of person you are but

also the mood that affects you.

Modest beginning

She established ‘Sanjukta’s

Studio,’ her commercial outfit in

the country and other art forms

the weavers, the true artisans

of the Mekhela Chador also began

to fall prey to the pulls

and stretches of demand and


Cost advantage of China drew

a large portion of the Muga industry

out of Assam to China.

This coupled with the better financial

opportunities available

in other areas slowly but surely

drew these artisans away from

this industry.

Thus one of the key factors

that she had to battle with and

focus on while trying to revive

this industry was to get these

artisans back.

The Renaissance

Today, Sanjukta supports

more than 100 families of artisans,

covering all aspects such

as education, medical, boarding

and lodging and off course over

industry average salaries.

“The benefits are showing

and even after doing the

above we are still able to make

healthy profits which we are

re-investing in getting more artisans

back to the core while

ensuring the welfare and wellbeing

of their families, so that

all that they have to bother

about is their art,” she said.

Sanjukta’s passion has seen

her design empire grow to account

for 13 factories, starting

with Maa Durga Axomiya

Pat and Muga Kapuror Boyon

Protisthon – in Guwahati,

which translates to over 100


It is in this factory that she

produces her characteristic silk

‘Mekhela Chadors,’ with different

varieties of coloured silk

threads, especially Muga and


She has added a new dimension

to her creativity by working

on designing traditional

Assamese jewellery as well.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Zarine Khan was the show stopper at the Mysore Fashion Week (September 16-18, 2016)

These captivating pieces of jewellery,

like her clothing lines are

also custom-made, handcrafted

and designed in different shapes

and sizes of some of the most

popular Assamese traditional

jewellery – Dug Dugi, Keru Moni

and Junbiri.

NOVEMBER 1, 2016



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Artlink-Ratna Venkat

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Parsee Cuisine spreads taste and friendship

Following their migration from ancient

Persia to India about 1300 years

ago, Zoroastrians, popularly known as

Parsees adopted many Indian customs

and traditions and made them their own.

Their food also underwent subtle changes,

whilst retaining many traditional ingredients,

flavours and dishes.

The concept behind each dish remained unchanged,

but they were enhanced and influenced

by the flavours of the west coast of India

and their Hindu benefactors.

Essentials such as coconut, garlic, ginger, coriander

seeds and red chillies form the staple

basis of most Parsee dishes.

Secret Recipes

Every family has its own special secret recipe

for ‘Mutton Pulao Dal’ (a rice delicacy made

up of the long grain Basmati rice layered with

boneless mutton cooked in a spicy gravy, boiled

eggs and fried potato cubes with sprinklings of

coriander and fried onions) eaten with spicy

dal and prawn kababs (fried spicy prawn balls).

These age old recipes are neatly written

down in single lined note books and accompany

every new bride when she leaves for her

new home.

They are set in stone and lo behold anyone

wanting to make any alterations to these community


The traditional wedding menu include ‘Patra

Ni Macchi’ (fish, marinated in green chutney

and steam cooked in banana leaves, ‘Kid Ghost’

(tender baby goat meat cooked in rich cashew

gravy) and ‘Chicken Farcha’ (chicken

legs laced with spices and fried

in egg).

Typical Dishes

The way to a true Parsee heart is

definitely through a double helping

of ‘Mutton Dhansak and Kebabs’

with double peg whiskey on the


Other dishes include ‘Bheja Fry’

(lamb brains marinated with special

spices and chutney), ‘Mutton Chops’

(lamb chops served with a sweet

and sour tomato gravy), ‘Papeta

par Edda’ (eggs cooked on a layer

of shoe string potatoes with a huge

sprinkling of coriander) and ‘Aleeti

Paleeti’ (spicy, diced lamb liver with

diced potatoes).

A Sunday lunch is never complete

without servings of ‘Mutton

Dhansakh’ (chunks of marinated

Lamb Cutlets

mutton, pressure cooked in a mixture of

lentils, with a generous helping of fine

spices and a variety of vegetable) eaten

with the finest aromatic Basmati rice and

spicy mutton mince cutlets.

We are fortunate in Auckland to have

our own Parsee caterer Hoshang Katki,

ably assisted by his wife Maharukh.

Sensational Seasoning

Their catering service ‘Sensational

Seasoning’ provides the Parsee community

with authentic and traditional Parsee


They constantly add new dishes to their

ever-increasing repertoire, which includes

Indian, Continental, European and

Arabic delicacies.

Commencing his culinary journey as

an apprentice at ‘Taj Mahal Hotel’ in

Bombay in 1977, Hoshang honed his

skills at the Bahrain Hilton, polishing

them further at the Dubai Renaissance.

He moved with his family to Auckland

in 2002 and held various positions at

the Stamford Plaza.

Having branched out on his own, he

has never looked back.

‘Sensational Seasoning’ is a wellknown

and trusted name.

Hoshang and Maharukh can be contacted

on (09) 5874941 or


Here are two popular Parsee dishes




• Lamb Mince 750 Gms

• Red Chilli Powder 1 to 1½ tsp

• Ginger Garlic Paste 2 tbsp.

• Turmeric Powder 1 tsp

• Black Pepper Powder ½ tsp

• Potatoes 3 small

boiled and mashed

• Coriander leaves 1 small

bowl washed and chopped

• Eggs for Dipping

• Breadcrumbs for rolling the cutlets

• Salt to taste

• Oil for frying

Aleti Paleti (Spicy Chicken Liver)


• 350 gms Chicken Liver

• 100 gms Chicken Gizzards

• 2 Onions finely sliced

• Ginger & Garlic Paste

• 3/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

• 1 tsp Chili Powder

• 1-1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder

• Vinegar - Sugar (optional)

according to taste

• Salt to taste


Mix the lamb mince with all

the above ingredients except

Breadcrumbs and eggs in a bowl.

Cool in the refrigerator for about

three hours. Later, mix thoroughly

and make them into balls, roll into

breadcrumbs, dip in the beaten

eggs and fry on medium flame till

the cutlets are well cooked from


Serve with tomato gravy or

ketchup or just eat by itself


Wash the liver and gizzards. Apply

Ginger-Garlic paste and refrigerate

them for an hour. Pressure Cooker

the gizzards till soft. Place a frying pan

on medium fire, add oil to heat. Fry

the sliced onions. After sometime add

the turmeric, chili and Garam Masala

Powder. Add the chicken liver and

drained gizzards and stir-fry them

for about 7-10 minutes. For sweet

and sour taste, add vinegar and sugar


Serve with hot roti.

Pictures by Tinaz Karbhari

Disclaimers: Hoshi Katki has decades of experience in the food industry and has worked in international hotels in India, Bahrain, Dubai and New Zealand. He is currently running ‘Sensational Seasoning,’ a catering

company in Auckland. Hoshi and Indian Newslink absolve themselves of any responsibility relating to the ingredients, cooking methods and other matters relating to ‘Hoshi’s Kitchen’ column. Some ingredients

may not be available and may cause allergy in some people. Caution must therefore be exercised and Hoshi Katki and Indian Newslink will not be responsible to any health issues in this connection.

Please consult your General Practitioner, Nutritionist or such others you may be consulting in connection with your dietary requirements.

NOVEMBER 1, 2016




Use the photos to find the answer: entertainment for the daring


No. 003

No. 013


The phrase as dead as adodo refers to the three species of

flightless birds that once flourished on three adjacent islands

in the Indian Ocean. Each species inhabited one island: the

brownish ‘solitaire’ thrived on Rodrigues, the (possibly) white

‘solitaire’ lived on Réunion, and the bluish Raphus Cucullatus,

which inhabited the island of Mauritius, is known as the dodo,

a termderivedfromthe Portuguese wordfor ‘simpleton’.

Unable to cope with the predators introduced in 1507 by the

Portuguese, the dodo became extinct by about 1681. Within

acentury the two ‘solitaire’ species suffered asimilar fate.

Spot the 10 Differences




+ A


In the addition sum different

letters represent different digits.

Rewrite the addition sum using:


1 2 3 5 6

Solution to Attemptation No. 002


0 1 2 3 5 7 8 9


JUMBLE No. 1736 SUDOKU No. 1057 HI


How many words of 4letters ormore can you make from

these 9letters? In making aword each letter may be

used only once, and the centre letter must be included.

There must be at least one 9-letter word. No slang,foreign

words, plurals, hyphens or apostrophes.


15 Words Good

18 Words Very Good

21 Words Excellent

25 Words Genius


eminent emit inset

intense intent item

meet mesne mete

mien mine mise mite

mitten neem nene

nest nett nine seem

seen seine semen

sennet sennit sent

sentient SENTIMENT

sett sine site smite

smitten stein stern

stet teem teen tenet

tennis tense tent

test time tine



3 Without equal

9 Newspaper boss

10 Regretted bitterly

11 Coarse sieve

12 Flower

16 Sudden

17 Not long past

20 Child’s toy

21 Prescribed amounts

of medication

23 Rescued from


26 Attach

29 Proverbs

31 Country

33 Great number

34 Diminishes

36 Biblical boat builder

37 Pincers with long


38 Amaze


1 Place of pilgrimage

2 Jagged mountain


3 Babble

4 Mistake

5 Utterly wrecked


Crossword No. 11904

6 Went first

7 Small whirlpools

8 Perspires

13 In aforeign country

14 Spice

15 Suitable

18 Secret

19 Required

22 Tomb inscription

23 North African desert



7 Almost rate as

dunderheads (5)

8 Once it is

compounded with a

poison (7)

9 About afactor having

achemical effect (7)

10 Water carriers were

diverted to the south


12 One afflicted with this

can’t dowithout his

glasses (10)

15 Keeping to the act?


18 Remove the outer

cover from the missile


19 It’s acontainer,

however,for an old

instrument (7)

21 Afriend hires out

mattresses (7)

22 Ameeting to discuss

the Foreign Office with

some spirit (5)


1 Spritely relations (5,5)

2 Mark isafter nothing

but recognition as a

performer (5)














hazard lights














No. 17556

3 Narrow passage

without aspot in the

sea (4)

4 A permanent design

for military display (6)

5 Infavour of no-one

coming back in the

morning (8)

6 South Mediterranean

peninsula? No, it’s in

Russia (7)

11 What comes before a

fall (10)

24 Empty

25 Lower in dignity

27 Greek letter

28 Extreme disgust

30 Japanese dish

32 Most insignificant

35 Also

13 Youth embracing dishy

girl isduly identified


14 Style we adapted in a

melodious way (7)

16 What scrap material

has fallen into (6)

17 Call off when the boat

capsizes about the

start ofthe race (5)

20 Smack on the wrist?


Sudoku No. 1056 Cryptic No. 17555

Across: 1Starboard;

8Pro; 9Vacant stare;

11 Coronet; 12 Holst;

13 Alison; 15 Cannon;

17 Amass; 18 Astable;

20 Step ladders; 22 Eli;

23 Small beer.

Down: 2Tea; 3Benin;

4Assets; 5Drachma;

6Spelling bee;

7Constance; 10 Cardinal

sin; 11 Character;

14 Oysters; 16 Dahlia;

19 Tidal; 21 Rue.

Snap Decision No. 002 What’s Different No. 012 Attemptation No. 002






1. Letter box different colour

2. Cloud missing

3. Dog’s lead missing

4. Bush different colour

5. For Sale words missing

6. Man’s foot missing

7. Part of fence missing

8. Dog different colour

9. Porch post missing

10. Extra telegraph wires

















0 1 2 3 5 7 8 9







Artlink-Ratna Venkat

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Artistic combination creates a unique spectacle

Ratna Venkat


So far, Indian Newslink

readers have had opportunities

to read and know

about various arts - be it

performance-related such as

theatre or visual-related such

as painting.

But what about a combination

of theatre and painting?

Most New Zealanders may

not have heard of this relatively

new concept – of another art

form called ‘performance art.’

Auckland-based Rewa Walia

will be introducing this unique

concept, illustrating the evolution

of her spiritual journey

through the combined disciplines

of music, dance, painting

and films in her show

“Shiv Sangam: The Power of

Unity,” scheduled to be held

on Friday, November 4, 2016

at Blockhouse Bay Community

Centre in Blockhouse Bay,


Tickets, priced at $20 per person,

are available at the venue

from 530 pm before the start of

the programme at 730 pm, and

will finish by 830 pm.

Strong message

“My message in this show is

‘In unity, we stand strong,’ and

that is driven from my spiritual

realm hidden in the form of


“The audience will witness

and enjoy a selection of

Hindi cinema’s popular songs

known as ‘Antakshari,’ proceeding

to Bhakti, Chanting

and Meditation all in one the-

Rewa Walia with her works of art

Rewa, the performer

atrical space,” Rewa told Indian

Newslink during an interview.

Originally from Mumbai, the

commercial capital of India,

Rewa’s fascination for visual art

stemmed from her childhood,

in which she was evinced interest

in drawing faces. Her family,

coming from a film-making

background, encouraged her

with books on Picasso’s works

and other Impressionists, inspiring

her to eventually pursue a

Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at

Mumbai’s oldest art institution,

Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy (known

as JJ) Institute of Applied Art.

The spiritual realm

After her graduation, Rewa’s

‘brush’ with spirituality arose

Faces that tell tales

with her series of watercolour

paintings and mixed media canvases,

her subject being ‘faces

without eyes’ at her solo exhibition

held in Mumbai.

‘Shiva-Shakti’ was another

subject drawn from her spiritual

side, exhibited at The Jehangir

Art Gallery in Mumbai.

Upon her migration to New

Zealand in 1998, Rewa’s ten-year

stint in the fashion industry in

Auckland opened opportunities

to foster a full-time career in art.

After her collaborative venture

of art and fashion at a popup

show in 2009, Rewa painted

for the ‘Joker Series’ exhibited

in Auckland, and had some

of her works presented in a

group show called ‘Parampara’

(Tradition) in India as a part of

an International Contemporary

Artists Exhibition in 2010.

Solo Exhibition

In 2010, she exhibited a series

of paintings titled ‘Being Kiwi’

as part of ‘The Small Packages

Show’ in Takapuna.

In 2011, she was invited to

participate in ‘The Auckland

Anniversary Celebrations,’ and

later had her first solo exhibition

in Christchurch at the

Council building, in remembrance

of the Christchurch


Rewa’s dedication and passion

for art has given her occasions

to travel any counties

including Austria, Turkey and


Her venture into film-making

also took form when she

directed a documentary titled

‘Mere Sapno ka School,’

(‘My Dream School’) which

was screened at The Museum

Art Gallery in Mumbai in 2010 and

Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal in 2011.

Motivating factors

Rewa’s motivation behind the

concept of her forthcoming show

‘Shiv Sangam,’ bringing together

her visual and film-making fields,

was her family business in Hindi

Cinema, in which she had constant

exposure to popular ‘Bollywood’

songs and dances.

Inspired by New York-based performing

artiste Marina Abramovic,

Rewa’s quest to combine

Exhibition with Theatre in amalgamation

with her spiritual thirst

for self-discovery took almost one

year of planning.

Her performance will therefore

showcase her gradual transformation

from commercialism to spiritualism

through the effects of live

music, dance, films as well as her

‘live’ paintings.

‘Shiv Sangam’ will feature

Rewa as a dancer and artist for

the first time on stage, joined

by other artistes in their respective

fields: Ashish Ramakrishnan

(Vocal), Araad (Octopad), Basant

Madhur (Tabla), Dharmesh

Parikh (Keyboard) and Professor

Sukh Dev Madhur (Vocal and


Thousands mark Diwali with Emraan and Tarana

Apurva Shukla

Radio Tarana organised

the Manukau Diwali

on October 24, 2016 at

Vodafone Events Centre

in Manukau City.

The day-long celebrations

gave thousands of attendees a

chance to enjoy a fun day out

with friends and family and

meet Bollywood star Emraan


Manukau Diwali, entry to

which was free, started at midday

with the formal inauguration

held at 230 pm.

Auckland Mayor-Designate

Phil Goff, Members of

Parliament Dr Parmjeet Parmar

(National) and Mahesh Bindra

(New Zealand First) and Radio

Tarana Managing Director

Robert Khan and other guests

were present on stage.

Before Emraan arrived on

stage, the audience heard Dr

Parmar singing and learnt that

Mr Bindra is a good cook.

Emraan’s song and dance


Emraan was on his first trip to


He was an instant hit with

Emraan Hashmi addresses the people

A section of the audience

the crowd. Stylishly dressed

with his trademark sunglasses,

Emraan sang and danced with

several members of the audience

on stage.

He expressed his excitement

and happiness at being in New

Zealand and mentioned that he

will be here again soon with his

family for a holiday.

He also regaled the crowd by

rendering famous dialogues

from his films.

The star behind the success

of ‘Raaz’ and ‘Murder’ franchises

made another appearance

in the evening where he

posed for pictures with fans,

and was at hand to witness

the sparkling fireworks which

brought the enjoyable event to

a close.

Celebrating culture

Manukau Diwali is an occasion

at which Indian culture

is celebrated and entertaining

acts presented on stage to

keep the people engaged.

This year saw many song

and dance routines from

Hindi films performed.

What was refreshing to witness

was the amalgamation

of different eras of songs and

music in the same acts.

It gave audiences of all ages

Emraan Hashmi with his fans

something to connect with, and

showcased the talent of the performers

who easily juggled between

different styles of music.

Children presented traditional

dance forms like Gidda and

Kathakali and received wide applause.

These youngsters are a

good example of modern Kiwi

Indians- a blend of the best of

Kiwi and Indian traditions.

Refurbished Centre

This was the first outdoor

event held by Radio Tarana at

the newly refurbished Vodafone

Events Centre. The venue now

boasts of a much more spacious

and user- friendly layout. This

added to the occasion and convenience

at Manukau Diwali.

The event also had many food

stalls selling delicacies from

across India.

These witnessed heavy footfalls

throughout the day making

Manukau Diwali a culinary


Auckland Transport had for

the first time a marquee at

the event advertising its new

transport schedule for South


Mr Goff wants Auckland

Council to have better favourability

ratings with Aucklandersthis

was a step in the right


Manukau Diwali was a well organised,

family friendly event.

It not only gave people of

Indian origin a chance to celebrate

Diwali, but also showcased

Indian customs and culture

to a wide segment of the Kiwi


It reinforced the strong connection

that Indians have with

the Hindi film industry and its


NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Artlink - Ratna Venkat / Classifiedlink / Sportslink


Ramayan leaves some lasting impressions

Ratna Venkat


Most of us are aware that

‘Great power comes

with great responsibility,’

attributed to

individuals who possess some form

of hold or influence over others.

Whether used responsibly or

corruptly, is what separates those

individuals as superheroes or


Having the power to re-enact a

legendary story to the audience too

takes great responsibility, one of

which was ‘Ramayan: The Legend

Relived,’ a drama staged from

Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October

2 at Bruce Ritchie Performing

Arts Centre in West Auckland.

The Story again

The story begins with the birth

of Prince Rama (played by Vishnoo

Mokkapati) and moves on to his

marriage to Princess Sita (Parvathy

Balan), their exile from Ayodhya

Kingdom as per the orders of

Queen Kaikeyi (Raagini Vijaykumar),

the kidnapping of Sita by

King Ravana (Rahul Chopra), and

her rescue by Rama with the help

of his half-brother Prince Lakshman

(Vaidik Raj) and the Monkey

God Lord Hanuman (Daivik Raj).

Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman

all return to the Kingdom

of Ayodhya triumphant and are

welcomed by a joyous celebration.

Change of Name

I, Bhajan Lal S/O Sham Lal R/O 27

Tongariro Drive, Aotea, Porirua 5024,

have changed my name from Bhajan

Lal to Bhajan Lal Mehta for all future


Having read, witnessed and

participated in numerous versions

of Ramayan, I wondered what

would be different this time.

This ‘Ramayan’ surprised me in

many ways.

Ramayan with a difference

Presented by Chinmaya Mission

New Zealand and Relianz Travel,

‘Ramayan: The Legend Relieved’

was organised and staged by

youngsters of CHYK.

The all-English narration and

dialogues, which is itself unique

for classical Indian drama, made

it possible for people coming from

varied backgrounds and ethnicities,

to appreciate one of India’s most

celebrated epics and absorb some

of the humanitarian values championed

by Rama and heroine, Sita.

Those of us who grew up listening

to Lord Rama’s story in their

native Indian languages, found this

a welcome change and well-suited

for a multicultural country such as

New Zealand.

Although CHYK has organised

other fundraising events in the

past, ranging from stage productions,

Garba and quiz nights, this

year’s event was conducted on a

much larger scale.

Subtle expressions

The 150-minute production

featured a cast and crew of over

60 local youth, who showcased an

interesting display of ‘Abhinaya’

or acting, interlaced with modern

dialogue and contemporary dance

to present the epic.

The ease in understanding the

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Kaikeyi: Some reflecting moments

Lord Hanuman: The Power of Piety and


dialogues between the characters

was noteworthy, as the subtlety

of expressions were brought out

without the need of complicated

vocabulary, thus attracting the

young and impressing the elderly.

Eye-catching costumes, attention

to detail in stage settings, use of

props, impressive dance sequences

by Indiance that also represented

the characters’ state of mind, and

powerful background scores all

point to signs of Ramayan not

being time-bound but rather being

‘relieved’ time and again.

Homecoming to reality: Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman

The drama had quite a few

scenes that created lasting impressions

in my mind, some of which

made me ponder on whether it

was clever direction or eye trickery.

One such was the chamber

scene of Queen Kaikeyi when she

sees herself into the “mirror,” but

in fact it was the audience she

was looking at, making it appear

as though we were ‘reflecting’

whatever she perceived to us.

Righteous battle

Another memorable moment

was the war scene towards the

end, when Rama and Ravan,

finally face each other.

The fight between the two superpowers

was in steady, constant

motion while the battle between

their ‘armies’ were considerably

‘slowed down,’ as though “time

stood still” around the hero and

the villain.

More importantly, I felt everyone

involved in the production was

never out of character. Whether

it was Kaikeyi throwing her

jewellery to the floor in response

to her anger, Ravan pushing

others or shoving props due to

his arrogance, or Shabari (Mrinal

Murali) nibbling real grapes to

show her true devotion to Lord

Rama, no actor shied from being

fully in character.

It was thus pleasing to witness

an intense drama that made away

without symbolic expressions or


Other notable characters

included Kaushik Balan as King

Dasharath (Rama’s father) and

Eena Bajaj as Queen Mandodari

(Ravan’s wife.)

We look forward to Chinmaya

Yuva Kendra’s next mega production

in the not-too-distant a future.

Black Caps inspire poor children

Tim Southee and Trent Boult with (from left) Thrinath Chandanala (15),

Yuva Durga Sai Boyadapu (13), Siva Babu Yasarapu (12), Madhu Ganajla

(15), Anjel Chikkireddy (12) and Mouni Tatpudi (13)

Supplied Content

Six World Vision

sponsored children

were overwhelmed

to have the opportunity

to meet the New

Zealand cricket team

ahead of the final ODI in

Vishakhapatnam, India.

The four boys and two

girls from the Korukonda

community in Andhra

Pradesh were too excited

to sleep the previous


They were welcomed

into the Black Caps training

and were gifted gear.

For many children, it

was their first visit to a

large city and to a beach.

World Vision works

The Korukonda community

is supported by New

Zealanders who sponsor

more than 2800 children.

For the last three

years, World Vision has

worked in the Korukonda

region providing education

resources, clean water,

education on essential

hygiene, economic development

through farming

education and grants, and


“Today, I am really happy.

I never imagined I

would do something like

this. It is like a dream. My

heart is full of gratitude,”

Thrinath Chandanala said.

“This partnership with

New Zealanders has allowed

World Vision to

provide these communities

with opportunities

and a standard of living

that they would have never

experienced. To see this

relationship with New

Zealand continued by the

New Zealand cricket team

with these children was

very special. These players

are not just cricketing

heroes, but also role models,”

Chanukya Palukurthi


Goat farmers

Goat farming is an important

source of income

in the Korukonda community.

Ahead of the visit

with the Black Caps one of

the children made a tribute

to the New Zealand

team naming his two goats

after the Black Caps opening


“I am very happy, and

very grateful to meet with

the New Zealand cricket

team. I have named my

family’s two goats Tim

Southee and Trent Boult,”

thirteen-year-old Yuva

Durga Sai Boyadapu, 13.

Where World Vision

works in the sub-continent

cricket is increasingly becoming

a tool for development

and an avenue

for creating positive outcomes

for some of the most

vulnerable children in

Bangladesh and India.

In India cricket transcends

religion and social

background. This allows

cricket to act as a tool to

empower children to provide

positive future pathways.

Through cricket

children are given access

to an education, and skills,

they would otherwise never


In the Korukonda community

World Vision has

provided cricket bats and

equipment to schools. This

allows the sport to become

an essential part of

their education, promoting

skills like concentration,

patience, decision making,

and teamwork



BCCI could be bowled out for unruly defiance

Ravi Nyayapati

The Supreme Court of India, in

its ruling on October 21, 2016,

limited the financial freedom

of the Board of Control

for Cricket in India (BCCI) until it

complied with the recommendations

of the Lodha Commission, setup to

transform cricket governance in


The New Zealand media picked

up the speculation that the Black

Caps’ ongoing tour of India may be


The Lodha Commission, headed

by former Chief Justice of India, RM

Lodha, submitted a report in January

2016, recommending sweeping

reforms to shake-up cricket governance

in India. The BCCI has been

resisting the verdict.


The BCCI prides itself of the

command it has in World Cricket.

After decades of dominance by its

English and Australian counterparts,

BCCI has become the authoritative

figure within the ranks of the International

Cricket Council (ICC).

Such is its influence that it dictates

its own terms, defying the norms of

the general rule book. For example,

it chooses not to use the Decision

Review System (DRS) in a bilateral

series, or have ‘strategic time-outs’ in

T20 games for commercial benefits.

This commercial dominance has

been a catalyst to a remarkable shift

in Team India’s overall performance.

Gone are the days of nervousness

where games involving the boys in

blue were subject to uncertainty and

trepidation. Now, the Indian team

is in the top league in all formats of

the game.

A glut of troubles

Amidst all this glory, the BCCI has

unfortunately been embarrassed

very often on the world stage.

Cricket is perhaps the only sport

of India with a true patriotic fervour

of its people. Yet, BCCI continues to

be mired in controversies, be it with

the ICC or with the Indian judicial


The Lodha Commission was

established for a very good reason –

to focus on the irregularities of BCCI,

especially because of match fixing

and corruption that became more

common after the advent of the

Indian Premier League (IPL).

In July 2015, the Lodha Commission

gave its final submission and

placed a ban of two years on IPL

franchises ‘Rajasthan Royals’ and

the highly successful ‘Chennai Super

Kings,’ which boasted of Captain

Mahendra Singh Dhoni at its helm.

Structure and Constitution

The Commission submitted a report

in January 2016 recommending

reforms to the structure, constitution

and governance of BCCI.

Basic structural and constitutional

issues were identified, such as the

absence of representatives from

states such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh,

Uttarakhand and six North-Eastern

states, even though there are 30 full

time members in BCCI.

A notable yet bizarre irregularity

is that BCCI is still registered as a

society under Tamil Nadu Society

Registration Act. State Associations

are all registered under different

types of establishments.

The Lodha Commission wants to

rectify these irregularities by ensuring

that each state is represented

by only one member (and therefore

one vote) and an associate member

status is given for smaller states so

that their views may be considered.

This would bring about uniformity

in BCCI’s constitution.


BCCI’s governance was noted as

particularly poor by the Commission.

For example, the President of the

Board has all powers of management

including selection of teams

and the power to veto the Selection


The absence of women in the

organisation has been noted.

The Commission highlighted the

contentious issue of unlimited term

for office-bearers; worse, there are

no grounds for disqualifications on

which an office bearer must demit


The Commission has recommended

an Apex Council comprising nine

members including the President,

who will all collectively share the


It has also recommended the

appointment of a CEO and the term

of office-bearers to three years,

limited to two continuous terms. In

addition, no person can hold two

posts at the same time.

The Commission has also said that

ministers and government officials

should not be included in the BCCI

governing body. The current President

is a Member of Parliament.

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Indian Premier League

A range of sensible steps have

also been suggested for Indian

Premier League (IPL) management.

To counter match-fixing issues, the

Commission’s view is that it should

be made a criminal offence and betting

should be legalised except for

players and those people covered by

the BCCI and IPL regulations.

Unnecessary Resistance

In September 2016, ICC refused to

be embroiled in the controversy.

Its current President is Shashank

Manohar, a former BCCI President,

highly regarded for his stance on

logic and rationale in the sport.

The spirit of Lodha Commission

report accentuates the need to reform

cricket in India by eliminating

poor governance.

However, BCCI has been fighting

tooth-and-nail to resist the recommendation

and of late has been

cherry picking recommendations.

Its disregard for the legal mandate

is incomprehensible.

After all, most recommendations

are logical and necessary.

On September 28, 2016, Chief Justice

of India TS Thakur warned BCCI

of its resistance as the September 30

deadline approached. On missing

this deadline, the Court ordered the

financial lockout.

This report may set the landmark

for reforms in other sports bodies

in India.

The challenge at hand is to see it


BCCI president Thakur and

secretary Ajay Shirke are to meet the

Lodha Commission before November

3, 2016 to report on progress.

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