Indian Newslink 1st February 2017 Digital Edition



The Treaty

and the History

belong to us


PC goes mad

with the ‘Butcher’




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back in time

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The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

Issue 362 | February 1, 2017 | Free


Another year of

reckoning for

Akshay Kumar



09 533 6377









Migrants add value to New Zealand: Report

Venkat Raman

Contrary to the fears expressed

in some quarters about

their ‘harmful and negative

effects,’ migrants are good

for the progress of the country and New

Zealand’s Immigration Policy should be

more welcoming.

That is the gist of a report published

by the ‘New Zealand Initiative,’ a

Wellington based think tank.

The Report, titled, ‘The New New

Zealanders: Why migrants make good

Kiwis,’ released on January 30, 2017,

is a short analysis of the various sectors

of the New Zealand economy that are

impacted by migration.

“Simply by moving here, immigrants

have helped to shape the forces that

make up modern New Zealand,” it said.

The Report said that the country has

a lot to offer to temporary migrants as

well as those who want to move here


“But are we suffering from our own

success?” it asked.

A different story

The Report cited arrival figures on

PLT (Permanent and Long Term) basis

to argue that the ‘extent of permanent

migration has been overstated.’

Quoting official figures, the Report

said there were 125,000 PLT arrivals

between June 2015 and June 2016,

29% of which were New Zealand and

Australian citizens.

About 55% of the PLT arrivals during

the period comprised temporary student

and work visas and that only a fifth

of the temporary visa holders gained

permanent residency.

“PLT departures make up the other

side of the migration equation. Overall,

there was a net loss of 3200 native born



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19/185 Great South Road

New Zealanders in 2016, the lowest

level in the current PLT data series,” the

Report said.

Well integrated

The Report quoted the New Zealand

General Social Survey as saying that

immigrants integrated well into the New

Zealand society.

“They are less likely to claim a benefit,

more likely to be employed, and their

children have better education outcomes

than native born New Zealanders. There


32, Queen Street


302, Great South Road


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is relatively little ethnic or migrant

clustering, and where concentrations

do occur there is no indication of high

unemployment. 87% of migrants say

they feel they belong to New Zealand.

Surveys show New Zealanders too have

a generally positive view of migrants,

and value the contribution that they

make to the economy and the cultural

diversity they bring,” it said.

NZ First slams

But New Zealand First Leader and

Northland Member of Parliament

Winston Peters was not impressed.

“It is academic gobbledygook for

anyone in New Zealand to believe

125,000 people settling here in a year

is beneficial,” he said, calling the think

tank as ‘Pro-Market Lobby Group.’

As children go back to school and

principals struggle to find space and

teachers for them the pro-market lobby

group NZ Initiative has the gall to insist

mass immigration is a plus for this

country. Theirs is a jaundiced and biased

point of view. New Zealand infrastructure

is under siege,” he said.

Labour appreciative

Labour Party MP and Immigration

Qualityadviceisassured through

ateam of Licensed Immigration Adviser /Ex-Immigration Officer.

We provide tailor-made solutions to individual

migrant and their families seeking to study,work,

invest,dobusiness and livein

NewZealand permanently

Spokesman Ian-Lees Galloway was

more charitable, saying that it engages

people on one of the most significant

current political issues but found it short

on realities.

“The report fails to address the

inequity of outcomes for different kinds

of migrants. People who transition from

temporary work or student visas to

residency and citizenship earn considerably

less and have poorer employment

prospects than people who come as

skilled migrants. Those people are also

incredibly exposed to exploitation from

unscrupulous employers,” he said.

Indian Newslink will carry further

analysis of the Report in its ensuing issue

Bakshi becomes Parliamentary

Private Secretary

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi,

who has been a Member of

Parliament on National List

since November 2008, has

been appointed Parliamentary Private

Secretary (PPS) to the Police Minister.

Melissa Lee, who has also been a

Member of Parliament on National List

since November 2008, was reappointed

to the post of PPS to Ethnic Communities

Minister. She has held the post

since 2011.

Among the other three PPS

appointments announced by Prime

Minister Bill English on January 26,

2017 were Jian Young (to Ethnic

Affairs Minister), Jonathan Young (to

Economic Development Minister) and

Scott Simpson (to Environment and

Conservation Minister).

“These are important roles that

help ensure strong links between the

Minister and caucus and help ensure

communities are better served by the

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

Government. Keeping all of our communities

safe is a priority of this Government

and Mr Bakshi will help the Minister of

Police in this regard,” Mr English said.

PPS are MPs appointed to assist

Ministers but, unlike Under-Secretaries,

they are not part of the Executive. They

receive no extra remuneration.

-Venkat Raman

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FEBRUARY 1, 2017

GOPIO petitions Delhi on demonetised notes

Venkat Raman

The US-based GOPIO International

has sought the signature

of the People of Indian Origin

(PIO) to a petition being sent to

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

requesting acceptance of demonetised

currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500

denomination with effect from the

midnight of November 8, 2016.

These are now known as Specified

Bank Notes (SBNs).

GOPIO International President Dr

Thomas Abraham said that PIO should

be treated on a par with Non-Resident

Indian (NRIs) who are now allowed

to deposit up to Rs 25,000 with the

Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

NRO deposits

“Some of the NRIs (those holding

Indian passports), PIO and OCI card

holders have old currency notes safely

kept in their residences in India for reasons

such as education of their children

in India, supporting old age parents and

helping family members. The RBI and

commercial banks that hold Non-Resident

Ordinary (NRO) accounts must be

allowed to accept the old currency notes

up to Rs 250,000,” he said.

“Since all Indians holding PIO and

OCI card may not be able to visit India

prior to June 30, 2017, they should be

allowed to deposit old currency notes

at either the RBI or NRO Accounts

maintained with various banks in India

up to December 31, 2017,” Dr Abraham


GOPIO Oceania Coordinator and

Waikato GOPIO Founder-President

Suman Kapoor said that her Chapter

fully supports GOPIO International.

“I have also received a large number

of petitions from people in this origin. I

request all those people of Indian origin

to support this petition. It is necessary

to be a member of GOPIO to do so,”

she said.

What the Reserve Bank of India says

On January 24, 2017

An updated Ordinance of Reserve

Bank of India (issued on January 24,

2017) in Mumbai announced that

grace period has been allowed for

Indian Residents who were not in India

between November 9 and December

30, 2016 and that they can deposit the

SBNs at the RBI Offices in Mumbai,

New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and

Nagpur un to March 31, 2017.

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

who were not in India during the

above-mentioned period can deposit

the SBN up to June 30, 2017.

“The Reserve Bank, if satisfied after

making the necessary verifications,

that the reasons for failure to deposit

the notes till December 30, 2016 are

genuine, will credit the value of notes

in the KYC (Know Your Customer)

compliant bank account of the tenderer,”

the notification said.

The Process

“While there is no monetary limit

for exchange for the eligible Resident

Indians, the limit for NRIs will be as

per the relevant Foreign Exchange

Management Act (FEMA) Regulations.

In terms of Section 6 of the Ordinance,

whoever knowingly or wilfully

makes any false declaration shall be

punishable with a fine which may

extend to 50,000 INR or five times the

amount of the face value of the SBNs

tendered whichever is higher. Any

person aggrieved by the refusal of the

Reserve Bank to credit the value of

notes as mentioned above may make a

representation to the Central Board of

the Reserve Bank within 14 days of the

communication of such refusal to him/

her,” the notification said.

Only for Individuals

The facility can be availed only

in individual capacity and only on

one occasion during the period. No

third-party tender is permissible under

the facility.

This facility will not be available

for Indian citizens resident in Nepal,

Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and

Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) are not


Additional Reading: Our Editorial:

Will India consider exemption to

foreigners?’ under Viewlink.

Thousands join Women’s

March in Auckland

Jacinda Arden speaking at the Auckland

March on January 21

Staff Reporter

Thousands of Aucklanders took

to the streets on Saturday,

January 21, 2017 at ‘The

Women’s March’ held in more

than 80 countries.

Labour List MP said that it was not

a protest.

“The goal was to to bring people

together to take a stand on issues that

feel like they could be under threat, and

to remind everyone of how important

those issues were. In the wake of so

much global political change, many

who came along felt it was important

to highlight the need for equality for

women, rights for immigrants and

workers, and religious freedom. It was

a celebration of difference and a call for

equality,” she said.

Global Movement

The Women’s March was also to

champion other causes including im-

migration reform, health care reform,

protection of the natural environment,

LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom

of religion, and workers’ rights.

The rallies were also aimed at

Donald Trump, immediately following

his inauguration as President of the

United States, largely due to statements

and positions attributed to him regarded

by many as misogynistic or otherwise


More than five million people are

reported to have joined the March

around the world and all of them were


The March in Washington DC was

held as a grassroots movement to “send

a bold message to our new administration

on their first day in office, and

to the world that women’s rights are

human rights.”

The organisers posted the ‘10

Actions for the first 100 Days’

campaign for joint activism to keep up

the momentum.

Marchers on Queen Street in Auckland

Authorised by Mahesh Bindra, Parliament Buildings, Wellington


Move immediatelytothe nearest

high ground or as far inland as

possible. Don’t wait for an official

tsunami warning.

All of New Zealand’scoastline is

at risk of tsunami. Knowing the

right immediate action to takecan

prevent injury and savelives. If

youare near the coast and feel an

earthquakethat lasts morethan a

minute or makes it hard

to stand up,move quickly.

Makeaplan today.Know where

to go,and find out who can help

youand who might need your

help. Youcan find Auckland

tsunami zone maps and local

information on the Auckland

Civil Defence and Emergency

Management website.




Spokesperson for: Corrections, Ethnic Affairs, Customs, LINZ

Auckland Office

Level 1, 21 East Tamaki Road, Papatoetoe

Auckland 2025

P: 0800 BINDRA (246 372)


Find out more: visit

FEBRUARY 1, 2017



The Treaty and the History belong to us



Waitangi Day

continues to fascinate

me today

as it did when I

first moved to Aotearoa New

Zealand and started learning

about this nation’s history.

It is an opportunity to reflect

and take stock of the Crown’s

relationship with Maori and

think about where we are

headed as a nation.

For me, it is an opportunity

to reflect where migrant and

ethnic communities fit into the

social fabric of our Nation.

In 2016, I had the privilege

of joining the Labour Party

team at Te Tii Marae for the

Political Day that precedes

Waitangi Day. It was a special


Waitangi, in the Bay of

Islands, is a beautiful place.

Unfortunately, when we

were there for the Political Day

2016, it was bucketing down

with rain. We stood for about

an hour in the rain waiting to be

welcomed onto Te Tii Marae.

Amazing Vibe

Waitangi has an especially

amazing vibe during Waitangi

Day celebrations. The Treaty

grounds are taken over by

about 150 stalls.

Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi

It was a convivial event with

music, laughter and children


I was pleasantly surprised,

because all the media reports

that I had read about Waitangi

focused on the protests and the

sometimes-hostile treatment of

politicians on the Marae.

It was a surreal experience to

be in a place on a day that holds

such historical and political

significance for New Zealand.

I feel very strongly that we

have a responsibility as migrants

to learn New Zealand’s

history and understand the place

that tangata whenua occupies

in that history. For too long

now, there has been a struggle

between biculturalism and


Conflicting ideas

Some people consider

biculturalism as restrictive

because it excludes ethnic

communities. Others consider

multiculturalism a threat to the

bicultural framework within

which New Zealand operates.

They are concerned about the

effect of multiculturalism on

the status accorded to tangata

whenua, the people of the land.

I believe that we need both.

As popular Public Lawyer

Mai Chen said, “We need to

start talking about multiculturalism

on a bicultural base.”

The Treaty

I learnt about Te Tiriti O

Waitangi relatively recently.

It was when I was studying

a paper that dealt with issues

of race-relations that I learnt

about its two different versions,

the original in te reo Maori and

the other in English translation

and the way it has shaped

Pakeha-Maori relations.

I learnt about the land wars

and confiscation, the struggle

that Maori went through to

preserve te reo Maori and their

culture. It was then that I started

to understand the Treaty settlement

process and the protests on

Waitangi Day.

A public meeting that I

attended recently in Pt England

highlighted the importance of

learning Maori history.

The meeting was called to

hear the views of residents on

a government Bill that would

enable the sale of a third of the Pt

England Reserve to Ngati Paoa

as part of their Treaty settlement


There were various views

expressed, both for and against

the sale of the land.

However, there were a couple

of questions that led me to

realise that there was a need

for more education around the

Treaty settlement and negotiation

process – why it is happening

and what it entails.

As New Zealanders, we are all

in this together.

As migrants, Aotearoa’s

history has become ours.

The onus is on us to find out

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FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Together, we can make Mount Albert better

Jacinda Arden

February 25, 2017 may not have

etched into many people’s minds

as much as it is etched into mine.

It is the day of the Mt Albert


By-elections may seem like common

place of late.

Phil Goff’s election as Mayor of

Auckland (on October 8, 2016) triggered

one in Mt Roskill Auckland (on December

3, 2016).

But Mt Albert is not a place that has had

much MP turnover in the past few years.

In fact, the Constituency has had only have

four Members of Parliament since it was

established in 1946.

I can see why.

It is a wonderful place to live, with a

tight-knit community.

But having knocked on a few doors now,

and talked to people about the issues of

their interest and concern, there is no doubt

that there are ways we could make a great

place even greater.

Affordable Housing

The most common theme I have heard at

the doorsteps is the roof over people’s head.

Those who own a home are often worried

about whether they could ever afford to

move if for instance their family grew, or

whether their children will ever be able to

buy their own home.

Those who are renting are worried that

rentals have also gone up by 40% since

2008. And those who are looking to buy

simply want to know if would get any


It is a fair question, given that Mt Albert

is the seventh least affordable place in

Auckland to buy a home.

Basic human right

Shelter, a safe warm and dry home

should not just be in our law, but a human

right. Housing needs to be affordable; so,

that means building what our market does

not have.

Demand needs to be dampened. That

means putting a stop to those who do not

live here being able to buy.

Investment should be into our productive

economy instead; that means taxing speculators.

As we meet the growing demand

on our city, we need to keep a sense of

our community. That means decent urban

design and planning.

The housing crisis has a knock-on effect.

Improving transport

Developments like Unitec are bringing

much-needed housing into Mt Albert, but

must make sure that we have the transport

infrastructure to deal with the growth in


And by that I mean, for instance, a

crosstown bus route connecting Mt Albert

to the North-Western busway and to the

south, light-rail that comes from the city

through to Dominion Road (something that

we announced while campaigning in the

Mt Roskill By-election) and safer walking

and cycling options, including looking at

ways to connect the school communities

that are divided by motor ways.

These are all things that would significantly

improve people’s ability to move

around the community.

Growing schools

Like other parts of Auckland, we have

great schools in Mt Albert, but they are

facing challenges. Rolls are growing, and

we now have two of the largest primary

schools in the country.

That would be fine, so long as the

schools have the space and buildings they

need to cope. I know that the Principals are

doing their best, but operational funding for

schools was frozen in the last budget and

there are some massive building projects


We need to make sure that we work

alongside school communities to meet the

growing need, not wait till they burst at the


Safer communities

There would always be more that we do

to make our communities feel safer, more

secure, and better connected.

Community-based policing is one of


My father was a policeman for 40 years.

I have always believed that the best

policing is community based – that means

having them in our neighbourhoods,

available and approachable.

Over the years, Mt Albert has lost the

small police kiosks, with the police moving

to centralised offices.

That needs to change, and we should

start by bringing the police presence back

to Mt Albert.

There are so many good things about the

communities in which we live, but there are

always things that we could make better.

What is on your wish list?

Please feel free to write to me at

I also look forward to meeting you at

your homes, offices, festivals, community

events; in fact, at every opportunity.

Jacinda Arden is Member of Parliament

on Labour Party’s List from Auckland

Central Constituency. She is the Party’s

Spokesperson for Justice; Arts, Culture

and Heritage; Children; and Small Business.

She is also Associate Spokesperson

for Auckland Issues.

She is the Labour Party candidate to

contest in the Mt Albert by-election

scheduled to be held on February 25,

2017 to fill the vacancy caused by the

resignation of David Shearer, who is

taking up UN diplomatic assignment as

the Head of the Peacekeeping Force in

South Sudan.

Fight over Jallikattu turns political

Protestors mount anger on Modi government

Venkat Raman

It began as a fight against the human

right to conduct a two-thousandyear-old

sport but soon became an

agitation against Prime Minister

Narendra Modi, accusing him and his

government of having caused havoc with

demonetisation and a host of other issues.

‘Jallikattu,’ a popular sport which

involves taming of bulls at ‘special

fights’ watched by thousands of people

in various cities, towns and villages of

Tamilnadu, became a national issue of

debate, because it was banned.

New Zealand protests

Protests were held throughout Tamil

Nadu and other parts of the world where

people from Tamilnadu live. These

continued even after the ban was lifted

and the Tamil Nadu government issued

an Ordinance that the ‘Taming of the

Bull’ can be conducted as a ceremony.

Protest meetings, which were later

described as ‘expression of solidarity

by the people of Tamilnadu’ were held

in Wellington and Auckland. The mood

was one of exuberance and the ‘urge to

be heard.’

Speakers at the meeting held in the

Auckland Domain said that Tamilians

Breach of rules endangers bulls- a fight in progress in Tamilnadu.

should forget their differences on politics

and other issues and come together

to voice their support to upholding

traditional and cultural values.

In Tamilnadu, Chief Minister O

Panneerselvam promised protestors that

the Ordinance, promulgated by Tamil

Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on

January 19, 2017 would take effect

immediately and that the government

would introduce a Bill in the State

Assembly to reinstate Jallikattu as an

approved sport. The crowds in most

cities and villages did not appear


Traditional Sport

Jallikattu, held thereafter at a number

of centres had enthusiastic support

of people who ‘enjoy’ the sport but it

lacked the purpose for which it came

into being more than 2500 years ago.

Some historians place the origin of

the ‘Game’ to at least 100 BC but it

gained popularity under the reign of

several popular kings of Tamilnadu

to promote the spirit of competition

between villages, determine the valour

of contestants who were allowed no

more than 30 seconds to hold the horns

of the raging bull.

Each bull can be restrained only by

one contestant and no foul methods

were allowed. The bulls were treated

with respect.

Following allegations that

the animals were ill-treated and

inappropriately prepared for the fight

and that Jallikattu fanned unwanted

inter-community rivalry, the Indian

Supreme Court banned the game in

January 2008 but revoked its own order a few

days later allowing the game to be held under a

new set of conditions and guidelines.

Among them was the ways and means of

promoting safety of the participants.

The sport is usually held as a celebration of

Pongal, the harvest season in Tamilnadu, occurring

on January 14. It was not at least a week

later this year that as protests became violent and

destructive, that the federal government issued

an Ordinance according permission, followed by

the State government.

Differing views

This writer hails from Tamil Nadu and has

watched Jallikattu held in many parts of the

State. Indian Newslink have said that in recent

years, this sport has acquired ‘nasty dimensions’

and that those preparing bulls for fights

violated all rules of the game. Safety of the men

participating in these events also became a cause

for concern.

Media reports in India said that the Jallikattu

issue has taken another course – to demonstrate

the growing animosity against the Centre.

Writing on the website of The Wire India

on January 23, 2017, R Ramasubramanian described

the ‘growing ire of the agitators and their

leaders against the media was ‘A noteworthy


He quoted them as saying that the media

coverage of anti-Modi protests was lukewarm.

Media apathy

Communist Party of India South Chennai

District Secretary A Bakkiam said that

there was an unwritten understanding on the

part of the media – especially the electronic

media – to suppress and blackout as much as

possible of the anti-Modi protests at the Marina.

“There is a huge difference between what one

sees on the television and what is happening at

the ground level. Repeatedly, media is focusing

on ‘People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’

(PETA) because the organisation is just a soft

target and constitutes just 10% of the total anger

among the crowd. But over 90% of boiling

anger is against Modi,” Mr Bakkiam said.

“When a protestor speaks to the camera on

PETA she will be allowed. But when she starts

speaking on Modi, she will be immediately

pulled out by somebody and the concerned TV

crew themselves are immediately discouraging

her from continuing. I openly told this in a live

TV talk show from the Marina beach and the

anchor retaliated by asking how you can say that

just because somebody was shouting against

Modi there is a ground swell of anger against

Modi. This is their understanding of the issue

and what more I can say?”

Mr Subramanian also quoted A Marx, a writer

and social activist as saying that activists and

authors too criticised the media for this attitude.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy added his

own fuel to the burning fire.

He described the protestors as ‘Porukis,’

meaning street urchins

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Indian seeks seat on Howick Board



Venkat Raman


young health professional

of Indian origin is seeking

to serve on the Howick

Local Board (Botany

Subdivision), voting for which

commenced on January 24 and is set

to conclude on February 17, 2017.

Nivedita Sharma Vij is contesting

as an Independent in the by-election

caused by the dramatic resignation

of Lucy Schwaner (wife of Jami-Lee

Ross, elected MP from Botany

and Junior Whip of the National

government) just a month after the

local board election held on October

8, 2016.

Community governance

Ms Vij said that she is aware of

the challenges that the job of a local

board member entails and that she is

prepared to face them.

“I will work for transparent and

effective governance to advocate and

acknowledge core community needs.

I will ensure respect for all voices of

our communities and that people’s

suggestions are included in the local

board decision making process. I

want to support Botany residents and

their families so that they enjoy life

as per their aspirations,” she said.

Married with two children, Ms

Vij migrated to New Zealand from

her native India in 2002. A Justice

of the Peace, she has community

governance experience in a number

of organisations including the Manu-

Nivedita Sharma Vij

kau East Council of Social Services,

Manukau Indian Association,

Bhartiya Samaj, Rotary Club and

Khushi, a project of Shanti Niwas

Charitable Trust.

Lofty goals

Ms Vij said that her vision for the

Local Board is an inclusive and safer

society, recognition and celebration

of diversity, equal opportunity

for all and healthier and holistic


We need to take pride for all good

work and be honest and ready for

challenges it entails. Let us make our

Auckland a great place to live, work

and play. Together in partnership, we

will address the concerns effecting

our present, our future and the

stability of all our residents,”

she said.

Her catchment area for local

board includes Flat Bush, East

Tamaki, East Tamaki Heights

and Ormiston. The Subdivision

has 36,000 enrolled electors

including around 200 new

voters who turned 18 since the

main local body elections were

held three months ago.

Mandatory Registration

Electoral Officer Dale

Ofsoske said that any person

who has not registered to vote

should do so by requesting for a

special vote.

“It is a simple process. Please

call the Electoral Office on (09)

9735212 or 0800- 922 822.

Ballot boxes and special votes

are available at Botany Library,

Level 1, Sunset Terrace, Botany

Town Centre or at the Electoral

Office, Independent Election

Services Ltd, Level 2, 198

Federal Street, Auckland,” he


There are six other candidates

contesting for the single

seat. They are Mark Johnson

(Labour), Malcolm Page

(Independent), Julie Patterson

(Independent), Ailian Su (Independent),

Mike Turinsky (Practical

Not Political) and Kuan

Cheong Yap (Independent).

For further information,

please visit



FEBRUARY 1, 2017

International students urged to get

NZQA assessment

Staff Reporter

International students keen on

gaining employment in New

Zealand should have their overseas

qualifications assessed by the

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

(NZQA), a young graduate has said.

Prasannan Thilakan, who obtained

a Graduate Diploma in Operations

and a graduate degree in Production

Management from the Universal

College of Learning (UCOL) said that

recognition of qualifications by NZQA

is the first step towards career success

in this country.

Employers confident

NZQA assessed and certified engineering

qualifications that he obtained

in India, which he said meant that they

are valued in New Zealand.

“Employers can see what they are in

terms of NZQA,” he said.

Prasannan completed Mechanical

Engineering in India and arrived in

New Zealand to study Production

Management while also gaining work

experience overseas. He chose UCOL,

Prasannan Thilakan

which according to him “stood out for

its practical learning, smaller class sizes

and Palmerston North’s relatively low

cost of living.”

UCOL Values

“Students from India ask me about

UCOL and I say that it provides practical,

hands-on learning. You learn skills

that help you in the real world.”

Before arriving in New Zealand,

Prasannan emailed more than 30 companies

based in Palmerston North and

surrounding areas, offering to do paid

or unpaid work. His efforts landed him

an internship with interior joinery company

Hansens for the first semester, as

well as a part-time production operator

role at farming hardware manufacturer

Kiwitech International.

“I advise international students

seeking admission to UCOL to do their

research and find an internship. If possible,

look not only for part-time work

that pays well but also for internships

that provide great opportunities after

you finish your course.”

Adapting culture

A highlight of the Graduate Diploma

in Operations and Production Management

for Prasannan was interning at

integrated services company Spotless

during the second semester.

“Through interning, I learnt how

to fit in with the New Zealand office

culture, how to appeal to people here

and how to communicate effectively.”

He says his lecturers were very

helpful, especially when it came

to overcoming communication


“When I first got here, I had a bit

of trouble understanding the New

Zealand accent, but the lecturers were

able to explain things in ways I could

understand. There are also Learning

Advisors on campus who can help with

your assignments, Prasannan said.

Soon after graduation, Kiwitech

International made him a full-time job

as Production Engineer.

Six months later, he wanted to move

on to a bigger company and was skilled

enough to get a technical job at the

Proliant Biologicals plant in Fielding.

Proliant Biologicals is an American

biofirm that produces about half of the

world’s bovine serum albumin (BSA),

which is used in pharmaceuticals,

vaccines, and medical research.

The Feilding plant in New Zealand

was opened in February 2016 and has

the capacity to process 1000-1500

tonnes of blood plasma with the ability

to expand up to 3000 tons a year.

“There are plenty of opportunities to

grow,” Prasannan said.

Health promotion in schools should be holistic

Dr Eva Neely

We need a more holistic

approach to health

promotion in schools to

empower youth.

I was dissatisfied when reading literature

about young people’s nutrition,

which was often narrow and negative.

Young people are always put in a

bad light, because they do not adhere to

the right fruit and vegetable levels, and

they are deemed a big risk to our future

health. I always felt that it was really

undermining, and very narrow, and

it did not really take into account the

whole picture.

Beyond physical health

Our strong focus on this physical

health lifestyle approach really impacts

on health holistically. I think a much

better focus for looking at health in any

population is a more holistic picture,

looking at physical, mental and social

health and how these aspects affect

each other and how we can approach

health promotion from more of an

empowerment-based approach.

My personal interest in nutrition

clashed with existing research, and

I wanted to know more about the

meaning of food for social health.

It is not up to individuals always to

make the right health choices, and not

everyone can.

I watched and spoke to teachers and

Year 13 students (between 16 and 18

years of age), exploring the students’

everyday food practices including

routines, rituals and habits.

Filling knowledge gap

The purpose of my paper was to fill

the knowledge gap exploring how food

rituals act as vehicles for young people

to establish, maintain, and strengthen

social relationships.

While fully immersed at school,

attending three-to-five days a week, I

was able to observe the students’ eating

habits and decision-making. They

discussed typical things you would

think of interest to 16-year-olds, from

boys, to things going on at school to

other girls and other groups.

Relationships would seem to me to

be one of the main things that matter to

young people - where they stand, who

are their friends - because they seem to

be their primary support people during

that quite vulnerable period.

Those emerged as key things in their

talk. Food emerged in these practices as

something quite noticeable sometimes.

For example, if people were in a mood

or having a fight, they didn’t offer that

person food as part of the group when

offering food around.

Food rituals

The findings include three food

rituals highlighted as significant for

young people in managing their social


Food rituals were used to build,

maintain and regulate relationships.

Gifting food was quite a big thing.

There were often girls that had made

cupcakes to bring and share with others

or they made something for someone’s


These were all really engrained

practices linked to their relationships.

The act of going for a walk to get

lunch encouraged social interaction

and was a means for young people to

integrate into a new group, and ritualised

food sharing involved negotiating

friendship boundaries.

Further research is needed to explore

how young people use food rituals in

their everyday lives to manage social




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A focus on social relationships in

settings such as schools could broaden

the scope of nutrition promotion to

promote health in physical, mental,

and social dimensions, and have

wide-reaching implications for school

health promotion.

Dr Eva Neely is a Lecturer at the

Massey School of Public Health. She

spent a year at an urban secondary

school for girls, observing and

interviewing students and teachers

about how they use food in everyday

life to understand the social meaning

of food amongst young people. She

was a guest at a weekly ‘Who Cares?

What’s the Point?’ podcast, recently

launched by Associate Professor Sarb

Johal from Massey University School

of Psychology. The series is ‘About

the mind for people who think.’

The picture here shows her with her

daughter Laurel. |09968 8614


FEBRUARY 1, 2017



Children’s programme benefits more schools

Staff Reporter

About 1500 children studying

in low decile schools from

Northland to Nelson were

among the beneficiaries

in the new school year that began on

January 30.

Seventeen schools in this region

received food, raincoats, shows and

basic health and hygiene items under

the ‘KidsCan’ Programme, run by the

KidsCan Charitable Trust since 2005.

Impressive performance

The items are supplied to children in

hardship in 600 low decile schools, accounting

for an increase of 100 schools

last year, thanks to donor support.

The current KidsCan ‘Food for Kids’

programme assists more than 21,000

children a week, thanks to generous

funding from the government, individual

donors, Trusts and Foundations,

corporate partners and Principal Partner

Meridian Energy.

The support of its donors has enabled

the charity to distribute 17,422,619 food

items, 250,309 raincoats, 114,749 pairs

of shoes, 229,558 pairs of socks, and

351,044 health and hygiene products

since KidsCan began in 2005.

The ‘KidsCan Nit Buster Programme,’

which treats head lice in 110

schools has performed 65,093 head lice

checks and 28,000 treatments in the past

two years.

KidsCan Charitable Trust Founder

and Chief Executive Julie Chapman said

that the Programme is now available in

58% of all decile 1-4 primary, intermediate

and high schools, including 75% of

all decile 1 schools and 72% of all decile

2 schools.

“The Charity is seeing a constant

increase in the need for the support

it provides to children living with

hardship. Four years ago, the average

number of children needing food

support from KidsCan in lower decile

schools was around 15% but has since

risen to almost 25%,” she said.

About 75% of the participants in

a KidsCan 2016 Survey said that the

most common food issue was children

arriving at school without having had

breakfast and without any lunch.

The top two issues are nutrition/

hunger and head lice infestations,

followed by oral hygiene and skin


Persistent poverty

Figures released by the Office

of the Children’s Commissioner in

December 2016 indicated that there

were still 295,000 (more than 1 in 4)

children living in hardship despite

recent improvements in the economy.

Of the families living in hardship,

45% of children in income poverty are

in households where the main income

is paid employment and income

poverty has doubled from 14% in

1982 to 28% today.

Approximately 155,000 New

Zealand children live in households

that go without seven or more things

they need (material hardship). This

includes going without adequate food,

suitable shoes and clothing, sufficient

heating and visits to the doctor.

Social responsibility

Ms Chapman said, “We all have a

responsibility to ensure that our communities

and the children in them can

thrive and have the chance to grow

into contributing members of society.

I think most New Zealanders would

agree that it is not ok that so many

of our children are going hungry and

without the basics through no fault of

their own.”

Meeting the extra costs incurred at

‘Back to School’ time can be stressful

for low income families, and KidsCan

Charitable Trust is looking for more

caring Kiwis to support a child in

need for $15 a month (50 cents a day)

through its ‘In Our Own Backyard’

Useful items that poor children cannot afford

programme. Regular donations of just

$15 per month provide a child with food

at school, a raincoat, shoes, socks and

basic health and hygiene items.



About KidsCan

The KidsCan Charitable Trust was

co-founded in 2005 in a garage

in Greenhithe, Auckland by Julie


An evaluation was conducted in 80 low

decile schools, following continuous

media reports about New Zealand

children going without the basics.

It revealed that thousands of children

were turning up to school cold, wet

and hungry because their parents were

struggling to make ends meet. Schools

reported that this was having a major

impact on children’s learning ability,

self-esteem and health.

Children who miss out on the basics

get sick more often, do worse at school

and when they become adults they

are more likely to be unemployed and

have children who will also grow up in


KidsCan was started with a generous

Julie Chapman

$40,000 grant from the Guardian

Trust, now trading as ‘Perpetual


Today, KidsCan supports the education

of thousands of children in 600

low decile schools throughout New

Zealand, providing food, shoes,

socks, fleece lined Vodafone Warriors

branded raincoats and basic hygiene


Its tangible programmes ensure that

disadvantaged children can get to and

through the schools’ gates in a better

position to learn.

Mission Statement: As a reputable

New Zealand charity, KidsCan strives

to be the conduit for individuals, community,

business and Government to

cooperate in providing food, clothing

and basic health care in schools, to

enable all disadvantaged New Zealand

children to reach their potential.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Varsity partnership to develop cancer vaccines

Sourced Content

Back to School Safety Tips for all

Anthony on Safekids


Thousands of students are

marching back to school.

Safekids Aotearoa has valuable

safety tips to keep children safe.

For children

They are safer in a booster seat till

they are 148 cm tall.

Primary school children seated in

booster seats in the back seat of the car

are 59% less likely to be injured in a

crash than children using only seat belt.

No helmet, no brain. Wearing safety

helmets when cycling, scootering or

skateboarding to school is a must.

For cyclists, aside from being a law,

wearing a helmet reduces the risk of

severe brain injury by 74%.

Devices down, heads up when

crossing the road. Avoid digital

distraction; teach children to remove

their earphones when crossing the road,

and to stop walking if they need to use

their phone.

Watch out for sneaky driveways. If

you cannot see the driveway from the

footpath, remember to stop and look to

make sure there are no cars exiting the


Have a school travel plan. Teach

children to use a safe route to school,

and to be aware of dangers when

walking, cycling or scootering.

Closely supervise new entrants

when walking to school for the

first time.

For drivers

Double check intersections and


A child might dart across the

street when you least expect it.

They are also hard to see

between parked cars.

Stopping at intersections and

slowing down in high pedestrian

traffic areas will give you time

to check if your path is clear of


Slow down at school zones.

30-40 kph variable speed limit

zones will be operational again

during school commute hours,

and drivers are required to slow

down when the lights are on or

the signs are up.

Even when they are off, be

extra vigilant; an evening event

or a weekend game might be on,

and hence you must watch out for


Passing school buses: Either

way, it is 20 kph.

If a school bus has stopped, the

law requires you to slow down

and drive at 20 kph or less, until

you are past the bus, no matter

which direction you are driving.

The University of Auckland is

partnering with an American drug

development company to launch a

biotech start-up that will research

novel cancer vaccines.

The new start-up, ‘SapVax,’ was formed

by scientists from the University of Auckland

and BioMotiv, an accelerator company in

Cleveland in Ohio that is part of a $300

million initiative for advancing medicine.

SapVax will develop a suite of first-in-class

cancer vaccines based on a novel peptide

platform technology.

It is based on intellectual property licensed

from the University of Auckland, developed

by Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble

and Dr Geoff Williams in Chemistry, and

Professor Rod Dunbar, a physician-scientist,

in the School of Biological Sciences.

Novel platform

All the academic scientists will continue to

be involved in the clinical development of the


“The Auckland team’s discoveries present

a novel platform for overcoming traditional

barriers to developing cancer vaccines. We

look forward to accelerating their work into

breakthrough therapies through SapVax,”

BioMotiv Chief Executive Baiju R Shah said.

UniServices (Commercialisation Company

of University of Auckland) General Manager

Will Charles said that the partnership holds

exciting promise of cancer immunotherapy.

“Our partnership demonstrates the value

of University seed funds that can invest

early and quickly to rapidly make inventions

ready for further follow-on investment and

partnering,” he said.

SapVax has a pipeline of similar vaccines

in development with lead vaccines targeting

a key antigen expressed in a broad range

of cancers and Epstein-Barr virus proteins

Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble

strongly associated with certain cancers,

including nasopharyngeal cancer, lymphoma,

and gastric cancer.

Research funding

The research was funded by the Maurice

Wilkins Centre of Research Excellence at

the University of Auckland.

Auckland UniServices managed the

transitional and early preclinical research

program, which was supported by the

University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund

and the New Zealand government’s Pre-

Seed Accelerator Fund.

The University of Auckland, represented

by UniServices, was advised on the funding

and licensing transaction by Innovator

Capital, the London based, life sciences

and sustainable technology specialist

investment bank.

BioMotiv is the mission-driven

accelerator associated with The Harrington

Project for Discovery and Development,

a $300 million initiative for advancing

medicine, centred at University Hospitals

in Cleveland.

The focus is to accelerate breakthrough

discoveries from research institutions

into therapeutics for patients through an

innovative model that efficiently aligns

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FEBRUARY 1, 2017



Fijian art, music and kava for the Queen

Emma Knights

Norwich Evening News

Greeted by Fijian warriors

and the sounds of traditional

drumming, the Queen was

taken on a cultural tour of

the South Pacific island during a visit to

the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in

Norwich on Friday, January 27, 2017.

Huge crowds turned out to watch

the Queen’s arrival at the centre on the

University of East Anglia (UEA) campus,

and there were big cheers when her car

drew up at the entrance and she stepped

out onto the red carpet.

Excited pupils from West Earlham

Infant and Nursery School and Bluebell

Primary School were among those to

give a warm welcome to the Queen who

was dressed in a striking fuschia and

black outfit for the occasion.

She was greeted by the UEA’s

vice-chancellor, Professor David

Richardson, the Fiji High Commissioner

to the United Kingdom, Jitoko Tikolevu.

Largest Show

Once inside the Sainsbury Centre, she

enjoyed a tour of the exhibition Fiji: Art

and Life in the Pacific, which is thought

to be the world’s largest show about the

island nation and takes visitors through

more than 200 years of the country’s

history from the late 18th century to the

present day.

The Queen’s tour began with a

Fijian choir performing for her next to

The Queen listens to Professor Steven Hooper, the exhibition curator at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich on Friday, January 27,

2017. Among the others in the picture are co-curators, Katrina Igglesden and Karen Jacobs.

Picture: Denise Bradley for Norwich Evening News

one of the exhibition highlights - a

specially-commissioned Fijian sailing

canoe which featured in the Queen’s

90th birthday celebration pageant at

Windsor Castle - before she was taken

around the rest of the show by curators

Professor Steven Hooper, Dr Karen

Jacobs and Ms Katrina Igglesden.

Professor Hooper said it was a very

special day and wonderful to see the

Queen, who has visited Fiji many

times, show such enthusiasm for the


“We are really happy that she was

able to come, and the Fijians who

came here today were all happy and

proud. They will never forget today

and nor will I,” he said.

Brilliant visit

“After the President of Fiji opened

the exhibition in October he had an

audience with the Queen and gave

her a copy of the catalogue, and

she showed interest in wanting to

see the exhibition when she was at

Sandringham. Now it has happened,

and it is brilliant.

“She knows Fiji, she was really

engaged in the exhibition, really enjoyed

the choir singing and looking

at particular objects that have royal


Among the exhibits the Queen

paused to look at was a ceremonial

whale tooth, or tabua, which she was

presented with during her first visit to

Fiji in December 1953, and she also

watched black and white footage of

the tour.

Interesting exhibits

There were many treasures in the

exhibition which caught the Queen’s

eye, including some which had special


One of them was a wedding

dress created using traditional Fijian

barkcloth textiles which are made from

paper mulberry trees.

Ms Igglesden, who showed the

Queen the dress, said: “The dress

is the wedding dress of (former

Fijian President and Prime Minister)

Ratu Kamisese Mara’s daughter and

interestingly the Queen’s comment to

me was that his daughter married Her

Majesty’s Lady in Waiting’s son and

so she knows the personal connection

between this Fijian family and the

British family. To be able to show her

something that she actually knew the

people it related to was really nice.”

Other items prompted the Queen to

reminisce about her experiences while

in Fiji.

Dr Jacobs said: “She was interested

in a really big kava bowl and we

actually spoke about the fact that she

drank kava (a traditional Fijian drink)

during a visit to Fiji.

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama with Manasseh Sogavare, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and others at the signing ceremony on January 20, 2017. Photograph for Fiji Sun by Vilimoni Vaganalau

New Melanesian FTA to

demolish economic walls

period from 2010 to 2014, the annual

total trade value between Melanesian

countries grew by 114% to F$169

million and over the last five years,

trade between Fiji and MSG countries

grew by 73% to F$143.4 million.

Mr Bainimarama said that the MSG

has made flow of goods, services

and resources more efficient and

more reliable.

“We are all rising high on

the same tide of economic

achievement. In the Melanesian

way, we have harnessed each of

our strengths, worked side-by-side

in mutual trust and respect and

done well by each other and for

each other. The benefits of our

accomplishments are experienced

everyday by the men and women

we are proud to represent and all

work so hard to serve,” he said.

He said that the ‘renegotiated

agreement’ is stronger, clearer and

more accommodating and more


Although MSG nations are

small, they are seizing the opportunity

to control their own collective

destiny as much as possible to

advance by their own efforts, by

the strength of their own will, he


Venkat Raman

Fiji has signed a

new version of the

Melanesian Spearhead

Group (MSG) Free

Trade Agreement (FTA) with its

member countries, with Prime

Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank)

Bainimarama describing it as a

‘Model in the Pacific.’

Among the other members

of the Group are Papua New

Guinea, Solomon Islands and


The agreement was signed in

Suva on January 20, 2017.

Free movement of goods and

services has become effective

between Fiji, Papa New Guinea

and Vanuatu but Solomon

Islands is yet to open its borders.

Mr Bainimarama is confident

that Solomon Islands Prime

Minister Manasseh Sogavare

will make the move soon.

Mr Sogavare was present

at the ceremony, which was

also attended by Fiji’s Attorney

General and Minister of Economy

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,

diplomats, government officials

and businesspersons.

Regional Test

Stating that the FTA was a test

of 24 years of regional economic

partnership, Mr Bainimarama

said that the new version would

establish a solid economic

foundation suited to address

several emerging challenges

faced tby he member-countries

of Melanesia.

He paid tributes to Mr

Sogavare, the current MSG

Chair “for transforming MSG

into a vehicle of economic

development and progress for

our people, and for carrying on

the legacy Fiji set out during our

term as Chair.”

Growing cooperation

“During our Chairmanship, I

called for economic cooperation

among MSG countries that

matched the strong political

ties we have always shared,

to serve our citizens better by

knocking down barriers to the

movement of trade, investment

and our people, and set an

example of regional growth and

development for every nation

in the Pacific. MSG has lived

up to the ambitious potential

I believed we were capable of

realising,” he said.

Statistics quoted by him

said that during the five-year

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FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Electoral Commission delay deplorable

Dr Biman Prasad

The National Federation

Party is deeply concerned

that the Constitutional Offices

Commission continues to

delay the appointment of the Electoral

Commission, which is critical for

preparations for a truly credible, free

and fair general elections.

The three-year term of the Electoral

Commission ended on January 9, 2017

and since then, the Supervisor of Elections,

who reports to the Commission

and follows its directions, has been left

unsupervised and is carrying on with

preparatory work for the elections.

We ask, “Who is the Supervisor

reporting to and taking directions

from? Is it the Minister responsible

for Elections who happens to be the

Attorney General as well as the General

Secretary of the Fiji First Party?”

The Constitutional Offices Commission

(COC) is empowered under

Section 13 of the 2013 Constitution to

appoint the Chairperson and Members

of the Electoral Commission. The COC

is chaired by the Prime Minister and

its members are the Attorney General,

the Leader of the Opposition, two

Members appointed by the President on

the advice of the PM and one member

appointed by President on the advice of

the Opposition Leader.

Lopsided Body

The Member nominated by the Leader

of the Opposition, lawyer Richard

Naidu, resigned last year. The current

COC is therefore totally lopsided in

favour of Government. We also note

that the COC Chairperson (the Prime

Minister) has been empowered to make

acting appointments for a period of

three months. He used this to appoint

the Acting Commander of the Army in

August 2015.

Why couldn’t the Prime Minister

extend the term of the Commission

chaired by Chenn Bunn Young for a

three-month term, pending the Commission’s

reappointment or appoint

a Commission for another three-year


Election 2018

It is deeply concerning that the

Elections Office has been running

without the constitutionally-mandated

oversight of the Constitutional Offices

Commission, especially when it is already

preparing for the 2018 elections.

The next scheduled general election

can be constitutionally held as early as

April 2018, three-and-half years into

the term of the current Parliament.

This is 15 months away. We cannot

have the Supervisor of Elections

preparing for election at his discretion

against a backdrop of clear conflict of

interest from his Minister, who is the

General Secretary of the ruling Fiji

First Party.

Furthermore, the Court of Appeal

judgment (Civil Appeal ABU 0069 of

2014) was crystal clear in its declaration

when it said, “The construction

to be placed on sections 76(3) of the

Constitution read with section 8(a)

of the Electoral Decree requires the

Supervisor to comply with all decisions

and directions given to him concerning

the performance of his functions by the


This is a very clear direction from the

Court of Appeal and their declaration,

read with the Constitution, places the

onus on the Prime Minister to ensure

that these legal principles are upheld


Multinational Group Comments

An Electoral Commission is

needed to ensure the implementation of

Recommendations of the Multinational

Observer Group, which included the

General Election 2014 and the Annual

Report 2014 of the Electoral Commission


We know that the Reports, after a

delay, were referred to the Parliamentary

Select Committee on Justice, Law

and Human Rights.

The Committee’s Report should

be tabled in the February sitting of

Parliament, in the interest of a truly

credible and genuinely free and fair

election next year.

The full implementation of the

Report is a prerequisite to our electoral

integrity and for totally free and fair

and robust debate among and between

political parties and candidates and,

most importantly, for the media to

amplify, without fear, their voices to the


For the sake of transparency and

accountability of the electoral process,

there should not be any delay in the

appointment of the Electoral Commission.

Otherwise, in our view, it would

constitute systematic election rigging

by ignoring the need for the continuous

existence of an independent institution.

Dr Biman Prasad is Leader of the

National Federation Party and Elected

Member of Parliament. Prior to

his political career, he was Professor

of History at the University of South

Pacific in Suva.

Indian government honours prominent Fijian

Staff Reporter

The Indian government has

honoured Vinod Chandra

Patel, Chairman of the

Vinod Patel Group, with the

prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman


A communication from the Indian

Overseas Affairs Ministry, which

organises the biannual event with

the support of the Confederation of

Indian Industry and several other

organisations, said that the Samman

Award was in recognition of Mr Patel’s

Social Service.

He was among 30 others to receive

the high civilian honour at the 14th

Edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

(PBD) held in Bengaluru from January

7 to January 9, 2017 with the Karnataka

government jointly hosting the event.

PBD background

The Indian government instituted

PBD for greater engagement with

people of Indian origin living overseas

and to recognise and reward achievers.

The PBD was held in New Delhi

from January 7 to 9, 2003.

PBD began as an annual event but

was made biennial for the larger Indian

Diaspora in 2015. It commemorates

the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India

from South Africa on January 7, 1915

to lead the Freedom Movement.

India’s President Pranab Kumar

Mukherjee presented the Samman

Awards on January 9, 2017, while

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke

in praise of the Indian Diaspora (Indian

Newslink, January 15, 2017).


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Among the New Zealanders who

have received the Samman Awards

in the past years are former Dunedin

Mayor Sukhi Turner (2004), Justice

Ajit Swaran Singh (2008), former Governor

General Sir Anand Satyanand

(2011), Dt Satendra Singh (2013) and

National List MP Kanwaljit Singh

Bakshi (2015)

About Vinod Patel

The 78-year-old Ba based founder

of Vinod Patel Group, attributed the

honour to the community.

“I have been fortunate to receive

overwhelming support from many

friends, family members and charitable

organisations. These include Red Cross

of Fiji, Shri Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi

Sabah and other social organisations.

Therefore, I truly feel that the Samman

Award has been bestowed on many

hundreds of people who have supported

me in my social service journey,”

he said.

He also thanked his wife and

children for their support.

Among the several organisations

that he has supported include AD Patel

College, Tagore Memorial School and

Ba Gujarat Education Society.

He established the Shankarbhai

and Shantaben Patel School for boys

and girls in the name of his parents in

Karkhadi, a village near Vadodara in


FEBRUARY 1, 2017




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FEBRUARY 1, 2017

The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

Issue 362 | February 1, 2017

Some thoughts for

the Waitangi Day

Winston Peters

The Treaty of Waitangi is an important historical document.

It gave all New Zealand citizens rights and protection as British

subjects and contained a shared vision of the peoples of New Zealand

living in harmony.

Over the past few decades, the status of the Treaty has changed as a result of

political interference, Maori radicalism and judicial activism.

Instead of binding us as equal citizens under one rule of law for all, the Treaty

now divides, polarises and isolates us.

Three main issues

Three fundamental issues are at the core of Treaty discontent: 1. Lack of

progress in expeditiously addressing historical grievances 2. Lack of clarity as to

the ‘contemporary status of the Treaty’ and 3. The pervasive influence of a new

ethos based on the corrosive influence of the so-called ‘Principles of the Treaty’

which has imbued the public service and beyond with counterproductive political


The meandering progress of the settlements process and the insertion of

‘Treaty Principles’ into legislation has done little for a majority of Maori.

In fact, it has had the more insidious impact of diverting attention and resources

away from the real path to prosperity and social progress for Maori - sound

education, well paid employment, adequate health and improved housing.

Grievance mentality

In their place, a grievance mentality has permeated the thinking of many Maori

and even worse it has facilitated the development of a Treaty ‘gravy train’ which

sees large amounts of money going to lawyers, consultants and Treaty travellers

at the expense of those in genuine need.

Finally, the permissive impact of the Treaty is creating an unhealthy and

divisive ethos within the public service and beyond.

This has occurred as policy and law-makers have tried to reconcile Maori

culture with the business of government through the foolhardy insertion of the

‘principles of the Treaty’ into legislation and the extension of this into government

policy and policy-making processes.

Positive Steps

New Zealand First will (a) remove all references to the ‘principles of the

Treaty’ and associated terms from all legislation and regulations where they exist,

including the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, (the Act), as they remain undefined,

ambiguous and are an unstable footing upon which to base claims under the Treaty

and (b) replace the Waitangi Tribunal with a Waitangi Commission, refocusing

its role according to the Act as a ‘Commission of Inquiry’.

For New Zealand First, the intention of this policy is to ensure that the Treaty

becomes the instrument to bind us that our forefathers had intended it to be.

Winston Peters is leader of New Zealand First Party. The above Opinion Piece,

written by him, appeared in our September 15, 2005 issue and is relevant even

today. This Leader is a fitting inclusion to commemorate Waitangi Day on February

6, 2017. Another article on the Treaty, written by Priyanca Radhakrishnan,

appears under Homelink in this issue

Will India consider concession

to foreigners?

In their petition to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials of the

Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) have appealed

that the Indian Diaspora- meaning people of Indian origin not holding

Indian passports, should be allowed to deposit Indian Rupees valued up to

Rs 250,000 per person at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) offices as specified in

an Ordinance. Details of this appear in our Homelink section.

Their stand is that a large number of Indians would have kept hundreds of

thousands of dollars in cash in their homes in India for expenses to be incurred

on the education of their children, care of their elderly parents or relatives and for

emergency expenses.

Meaningful appeal

From one standpoint, the appeal has meaning. Most Indians, if not all, carry

some Indian currency with them when they leave the shores of India for handy

use when they return- to pay for the taxi fare or buy small items at the duty-free

shops in the arrival area and so on.

However, the RBI rules state that people leaving India or arriving into the

country can carry no more than Rs 5000 to meet their immediate expenses,

although it does not say if this allowance is available for ‘foreigners,’ including

former Indian passport holders. Our thinking is that the facility is available

only to people (including foreigners) who are ordinarily resident in India, since

carriage of Rs 5000 would be convenient from their perspective.

Since recent rules and regulations do not specify, we have sought clarifications

from the RBI and Indian government so that we can keep our readers informed

of the actual position.

However, some sources in Delhi said that the suggestion that the GOPIO

request was ‘too steep to climb.’

We will wait and see; and of course, report.

Indian Newslink is published by Indian Newslink Limited from its offices located at Level

1, Number 166, Harris Road, East Tamaki, Auckland 2013 and printed at Horton Media

Limited, Auckland. All material appearing here and on our web editions are the copyright

of Indian Newslink and reproduction in full or part in any medium is prohibited. Indian

Newslink and its management and staff do not accept any responsibility for the claims

made in advertisements.

Managing Director & Publisher: Jacob Mannothra; Editor & General Manager: Venkat


Production Manager: Mahes Perera; Assistant Editor: Ratna Venkat;

Financial Controller: Uma Venkatram CA; Phone: (09) 5336377 Email:


PC goes mad with the

‘Butcher’ incident

Dr Muriel Newmanl

The mainstream media did

themselves no favours earlier

this month, with their handling

of the ‘he said, she said’ row

between the ‘Mad Butcher’ Sir Peter

Leitch and Waiheke Islander, Lara


Their dispute over whether comments

he made were ‘racist,’ dominated

the news with the New Zealand Herald

even running it as a front-page lead


What Sir Peter described as

‘light-hearted banter,’ occurred at the

Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island,

where he said that he had warned

her group to be careful of drinking

and driving because there were lots of

police around.

She responded saying that she was

Tangata Whenua and could do what she

liked, to which he replied that Waiheke

is a ‘White man’s island too.’

When he was informed that she

had taken offence, he said that he

apologised unreservedly.

Media indictment

The fact that the press dined out

on this story for days on end is an

indictment - and a sad reflection on the

state of the media today.

The demise of quality journalism is

one of the main reasons the industry

is in decline. This incident served to

reinforce the view that they are becoming

- to use media commentator Brian

Edwards’ description, ‘trash tabloids,’

with a focus on ‘gossip, celebrities, and


The Herald’s decision to publish

paparazzi photos of John and Bronagh

Key on holiday in Hawaii, just a few

days later, invading their privacy

without any mitigating news interest,

reinforces the view of Mr Edwards.

Sadly, for the mainstream media,

they don’t seem to realise that they are

now on the same slippery slope that

led to the demise of the New Zealand

Truth newspaper. Unless they return to

the standards that were once the hallmark

of their profession, they will find

their readers will increasingly abandon

them to find their news elsewhere.

Destructive intolerance

The Mad Butcher story also serves to

remind us of a destructive intolerance

to free speech that has now pervaded

society. At one time, you could call a

spade a spade - and if you inadvertently

offended someone, then such was life.

But these days, the rise of political

correctness means that if you say something

that social activists consider to be

wrong, you can be mercilessly hounded,

ridiculed and humiliated - your career

threatened and your reputation ruined.

We saw this last year when the

executive chairman of Saatchi &

Saatchi, New Zealander Kevin Roberts,

was forced to resign following a storm

of criticism from feminist groups

after he challenged a prevailing view

about diversity. When asked by a

reporter whether there was a problem

with a lack of gender diversity in the

advertising industry, his response, ‘not

in my view,’ was not what the feminists

wanted to hear, and the barrage of ugly

protest led to him stepping down.

Sir Peter Leitch- Victim of harmless humour

Massey University Chancellor Chris

Kelly suffered the same fate just before

Christmas. Discussing changes to their

veterinary degree course, the former

veterinarian explained that there was

a high fallout rate of male students,

but with female vets taking time off

from their careers to raise a family,

it was resulting in a shortage of vets

especially in rural areas:

Feminists dived in to the attack,

twisting his comments and claiming

they were sexist and insulting to

women. That’s not what he intended,

of course, but nevertheless a week later

he resigned.

Vested interest

Political Correctness is being used

by vested interest groups to force new

norms of thought and behaviour onto


Nowadays if you are not ‘sensitive’

enough in embracing values such as

‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity,’ you will be

aggressively attacked and stigmatised

by activist critics - including in the


In seeking to impose a uniformity

of thought and behaviour onto society,

the roots of political correctness are


This is the thinking behind the PC

attacks on the likes of Kevin Roberts,

Chris Kelly, and Peter Leitch – their

comments were taken out of context by

activists and portrayed as prejudice in

order to advance their agenda.

The reality is that unless the political

left abandons identity politics – and

political correctness – they risk generating

a cultural backlash from Kiwis

who are sick and tired of being sneered

at and vilified by left wing activists

whenever they speak their mind.

With a growing feeling that political

correctness is out of control, it is

clearly time to rein it.

Firstly, the fact that the Human

Rights Act makes it illegal to ‘insult’

anyone in New Zealand is being used

by social justice activists to justify

their attacks on the free expression of

others. Under Sections 61 and 131 of

the Human Rights Act, it is unlawful to

promote anything that is threatening,

abusive, or ‘insulting,’ and while the

Human Rights Commission claims the

threshold for complaints is very high,

the penalty is, nevertheless, a criminal

conviction, with imprisonment for up

to 3 months or a fine of up to $7000.

Soft Racism

The campaign by the Race Relations

Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy

against ‘soft racism’ has also made the

situation worse. Nowadays, it seems

that if you say almost anything at all

about race - including calling for ‘equal

rights,’ you are accused of being a


It is clearly time that the word

‘insulting’ was removed from the

Human Rights Act, but in reality, to

knock back the political correctness

that is stultifying society, we need to

go further and abolish the whole Act,

since we already have a Bill of Rights

to protect our freedoms.

In addition, all forms of affirmative

action, whether in laws, regulations,

policies, or programmes, should be

hunted down and eliminated.

And all government agencies pushing

political correctness and identity

politics should be dismantled - including

the Human Rights Commission,

the Ministry for Women, the Ministry

for Pacific Peoples, and the Ministry

for Maori Development.

The media too have a role to play

by recognising when they are being

manipulated by the PC brigade and

rejecting their advances in favour of

common sense.

It is surely time that New Zealanders

took back control of the country from

the social justice elites who have held a

gun to our heads for far too long.

The above is the edited version of the

views expressed by Dr Muriel Newman,

Director of the New Zealand

Centre for Political Research, in her

web-based free weekly Newsletter,

NZCPR Weekly. For full text, visit

FEBRUARY 1, 2017



‘Marginal workers’

impact unemployment rate

Jed Armstrong and Ozer Karagedikli

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Each quarter, on average,

about 18,000 people transit

from unemployment to employment

and about 24,000

people from employment

to unemployment.

These worker separations and

accessions are typically thought of as

drivers of the unemployment rate.

If worker separations exceed worker

accessions, the unemployment rate will

rise, and if worker accessions exceed

worker separations the unemployment

rate will fall. However, there is a third

state of the labour market, which is

non-participation (often denoted not

in the labour force or NILF), which is

typically omitted from macroeconomic


‘Active’ Non-Participants

NILF refers to those working-age

individuals in the economy who

are neither officially employed nor

officially unemployed.

According to formal economic

definitions, non-participants do not take

part in the labour market. They do not

officially contribute (or seek to contribute)

formal labour resources, and hence

should not impact the equilibrium

unemployment rate or wage level.

As such, non-participants are

traditionally modelled as exogenous

to labour market dynamics. More

recently, there has been a rise in international

economic evidence to suggest

that non-participants can be ‘active’ in

the labour market, which means that

they play a role in determining labour

market outcomes.

Two Main Forms

The role of non-participants comes

in two main forms.

Firstly, non-participants may

determine labour market outcomes

indirectly by acting as a potential

pool of labour that can erode wage

bargaining power.

If there is a large number of

labour market non-participants in the

economy, firms may be less willing to

compete for workers by offering higher

wages due to the large pool of potential


Secondly, non-participants may

influence the labour market directly

by transitioning from NILF into

employment or unemployment when

they desire.

Marginal workers

In this sense, non-participants act as

marginal workers, entering the labour

force only when competition for workers

is sufficiently intense and wages are

sufficiently high. As such, when we see

large transitions in and out of NILF, it is

likely that these non-participants have

a material impact on the equilibrium

determination of unemployment and

wage rates.

The most suitable dataset for analysing

labour market dynamics through the

lens of transitions between labour market

states is gross flows data. These data

measure the total number of workers

who transit each quarter between each of

the three states of labour market participation-

employment (E), unemployment

(U), and non-participation (N).

Gross flows data

Gross flows data highlight churn and

labour market dynamism more fully

than the stock numbers reported by most

statistical agencies.

Using gross flows data, we (among

others) find that movements in and out

of NILF occur with high frequency

in New Zealand, and that these flows

typically follow the broad economic


The movements in these flows

suggest that there may be a large role for

non-participants in determining labour

market outcomes in New Zealand.

This role is amplified by the fact that

the stock of non-participants is very

large: in 2015 there were (on average)

1.1 million non-participants in the labour

market. Given this large stock of NILF,

even small changes in the probability

of non-participants entering the labour

market can lead to large changes in the

unemployment rate.

Jed Armstrong and Ozer Karagedikli

work in the Economics Department

at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand

based in Wellington. The above is a

small part of their detailed analysis.

For full text, please visit www.rbnz.

Let’s keep our minds open for Trump- for now

Grant Duncan

New Zealand farmers may

be miffed that Donald

Trump’s presidency spells

the end of the Trans-Pacific

Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and

the opportunities it promised.

But for those opposed to it, the

likely death of the TPP may be the one

good thing that comes of the highly

contentious US election result.

The Don’s presidency would bring

about a lot of change on the international

political scene, including in the

area of climate change policy.

Differing approach

It it is ironic that while the US is set

to pursue a protectionist, anti-globalisation,

America-first approach to trade,

China’s head of state is speaking in

favour of globalisation.

D New Zealand is well positioned to

relate well to China and the US.

Ironically, it has been much easier

for us to get a free trade agreement with

China than it has been with the US.

We have been trying for much longer

to get a free trade agreement with the

US and it has been impossible.

China continues to be our primary

trading partner and will continue to be

really important. There is a lot of doubt

now about our access into the American


Trade War

The threat of a trade war between

China and the US would be a disaster

for all parties, including New Zealand.

But China’s position in the Asia-Pacific

region would be advantaged by

Trump’s nationalism, he adds.

With Trump’s anti-immigration

message a dominant theme of his

electoral campaign, I urge New

Zealand’s political leaders to reassure

the country’s migrant communities that

there should be no flow-on effect here.

I emphasise that a majority of New

Zealanders did not share these views.

Trump’s comments about

undocumented immigrants and Muslim

immigrants in particular are alarming,

and out of step with international law.

Let us adopt a ‘wait and see

approach’ as the world braces itself

for the reality television star’s first

days as President because some of

his statements maybe just testing the

waters, prodding people to see what

reaction they get.

Trump is a contradictory and often

self-contradictory individual and he

thinks that people need to keep an open

mind and wait and see what he actually


Grant Duncan is Associate Professor

of Politics at Massey University

Auckland Campus. The above were

a part of his interview given to

Lawrence Law of World Television

(Picture Courtesy: Massey News)

14 Businesslink

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

New Migrant Policy disturbs

Chinese values

Dr Liangni Sally Liu

Government policy

changes in New Zealand

and China are creating

pressures for only-child

migrants from China who

face difficult decisions juggling new

lives with cultural expectations to care

for ageing parents.

A policy change constraining

Chinese migrant families sponsoring

elderly parents to immigrate to New

Zealand is akin to ‘rewriting traditional

Chinese cultural practice and the family

norm of unification.’

As well as New Zealand’s tightened

policy, Chinese families are anxious

about China’s revised legislation

requiring children to visit parents more

regularly or risk being sued.

About half of New Zealand’s

171,411 Chinese residents were born in

China, according to the 2013 Census,

with many migrants and their parents

making up a significant proportion of

the country’s Chinese-born population.

Temporary closure

New Zealand’s 2016 policy change

has temporarily closed the Parent Category

to receive any more applications.

Whether this category will be open

again for applications is uncertain.

While some adult migrants bring

their elderly parents here for retirement,

others come to support their adult children’s

career development by providing

care for their grandchildren.

In return, adult migrant children

assume responsibility for supporting

their parents when they are unable to

live on their own.

Many Chinese adult migrants are a

part of a new trend of becoming global

citizens. They may have multiple

residencies, business connections and

children who opt to live and study in

other countries.

But the care of elderly parents is

becoming problematic.

Family reunification

Before the new restrictions, New

Zealand’s policy had supported family

unification, as it recognised the value

of skilled migrants to the New Zealand

economy as well as the benefits

of extended families and multiple

generations being together.

The increasing costs of elder care to

the New Zealand taxpayer are part of

the rationale for the new restrictions.

This policy change is particularly

challenging for many Chinese migrant

families because of a strong tradition

of filial piety in Chinese culture, which

requires the adult children to provide

daily care for their elderly parents.

The high proportion of Chinese

parents admitted over the last three

decades reflects this cultural factor.

Social stigma

A lack of welfare and the cultural

stigma about placing elderly people

in rest homes in China adds to the

complexity of the issue.

As a Chinese migrant facing difficulties

in arranging care for my ageing

parents in China, I have a personal as

well as academic interest in the issue.

After working in New Zealand for

many years, I discovered that the new

immigration policy blocked my parents

from moving here.

The feeling is like a betrayal.

I am a New Zealand citizen like

many other locals, but the new policy

creates two classes of citizens – one

class is those who can enjoy a family

life, while the other is not able to. As

the only child in my family, taking care

of my parents is a serious issue.

Unlike Chinese migrants of early

last century who were motivated by

economic factors, most migrants from

China today seek a better lifestyle,

advanced education system, and the

securing of foreign passports.

Attractive New Zealand

Many of the 50 new Chinese migrants

I have interviewed say that they

are attracted to this country because

they perceive it as “safe, liberal, and

easy-going. Politically, it is democratic

and the stable government is perceived

as better than China’s. In practice, the

entry criteria and living costs are lower

than other ‘white settler’ countries. The

great natural environment, advanced

education system, and the welfare

system are also attractive.”

My research will provide fresh understandings

of how migrants extended

and multi-generational families from

China adapt to New Zealand.

I use a novel three-generation

framework encompassing migrants,

their children and parents to investigate

how migratory mobility and intergenerational

dynamics affect individual

family members and shape migrants’

family life and sense of identity and


Dr Liangni Sally Liu is a Lecturer

in Chinese programme in the School

of Humanities, Massey University.

In her three-year Marsden-funded

study, titled ‘Floating families? New

Chinese migrants in New Zealand and

their multi-generational families,’ she

takes the policy changes described in

the above article as a starting point

for exploring the changing dynamics

of New Zealand’s growing number of

Chinese migrant families.

Expect a tougher

Skilled Migrant regime

Dwelling consent numbers fall

The number of new residential

dwelling consents issued fell

sharply in November, down

9.2%. While the recent Kaikoura

earthquake may be playing some

role, the result also reflected a normal

pull-back following earlier strength.

We will be watching next month’s

figures for more definite signs about

how the recent earthquakes have

affected building.

Over the year, dwelling consent

issuance was up 5%.

Looking into the regional breakdown

of consents, we see that dwelling

consent issuance in Auckland is up 6%

over the month, taking the total number

of new dwellings consented over the

past year to just over 10,100.

This is still below the level Auckland

needs in light of the region’s strong

population growth and existing housing


More concerning, the trend in

dwelling consent issuance in Auckland

appears to have flattened off.

In Canterbury, dwelling consent issuance

did pick up by 6% over the month.

However, residential construction has

taken a noticeable step down over

the past year as the housing stock has

been rebuilt. We expect this trend will

continue over the coming year.

Consent issuance fell sharply in


While some of this may be due to

earthquake related disruptions, this

follows strong issuance in the past few

months (including a large number of

apartments) which could have been

expected to ease regardless.

The value of non-residential consent

issued rose 3% over the past year, with

just under $6 billon of work consented.

Gurjinder Singh

The new regime of Skilled

Migrants Category (SMC) is

likely to affect thousands of

people who are in New Zealand

as migrant workers or international


The changes are a response to

concerns that the current system does

not effectively prioritise migrants with

skills and salary levels.

The proposed changes would

introduce the use of salary levels and

strengthen the use of work experience

to define skilled employment; and

realign the points system to recognise

highly skilled migrants better.

Those planning to seek permanent

residence status after completion of

their study or work experience ranging

between two and three years would find

it difficult to do so.

Many Chefs, ethnic restaurants and

cafe managers could also find their

jobs excluded from the SMC with

the introduction of a new minimum

salary or wage level and skilled-based


The current scenario

Currently, to claim points for skilled

employment, applicants must have a

job (or job offer) in an occupation at the

Australian New Zealand Standard Classification

of Occupations (ANZSCO)

Level 1, 2, or 3. The focus is/was on

occupation not on the skills needed to

perform that job.

There are examples of migrants in

highly paid positions who are unable to

use the SMC because their job description

matches a low-skilled occupation

under the present criteria. An Area

Manager in a fast food franchise does

not qualify for residency in comparison

to a motor mechanic or a baker.

Higher salary

The proposed changes introduce an

additional requirement of a minimum

salary or wage level. The suggested

new minimum salary range is from

$47,486 to say $57,000 for 40 hours of

weekly work.

This would exclude migrants in

lower-income jobs from being able

to apply for residency. This change

would mostly affect migrant’s workers

working around $30,000 per annum.

Migrants earning $70,000 or more

and applicants with postgraduate

qualifications and skilled workers with

experience will gain additional points.

Immigration New Zealand may

require skilled workers, regardless of

their qualifications, to complete at least

three years of continuous employment

in New Zealand. This would also apply

to professionals such as chefs.

What is the aim?

Under the proposed changes high

salary, skilled work experience and

higher-level of qualifications would be

given greater preference in the points


Gurjinder Singh is a Licensed Immigration

Advisor and an Enrolled

Barrister & Solicitor (NPC) based in

Papatoetoe, Auckland.

FEBRUARY 1, 2017



John Key and the ‘All of us are tired’ syndrome

Jennifer Curtin

In the year that gave the world

Brexit and Trump, John Key gave

New Zealand his resignation, a

year short of the next national


He was one of New Zealand’s most

popular prime ministers in living

memory, and his preferred-PM rating

at 36% (before he resigned), was four

times that of the nearest contender,

Labour’s Andrew Little.

Journos observations

Some all-knowing journalists inside

the beltway said that the announcement

was always on the cards; that Mr Key

intended all along to leave on a high;

but this is an easy claim to make in


Only a week earlier, many of these

journalists were saying that Labour’s

chances of winning the next election

were miniscule, based at least in

part on the assumption that Mr Key

remained a popular leader, and sufficiently

populist in his

policies to ease any






surface. Moreover, his government is

in good shape: there is another surplus

looming, a promise of tax cuts in

next year’s budget, and not a hint of a

leadership challenge or in-fighting.

Key reasons

Mr Key mentioned two main

reasons for his resignation.

First, and not surprisingly, he wanted

to spend more time with his family.

His two children are young adults, and

have spent nine years growing up in

the spotlight. In recent times, his son

Max has attracted unwanted

media attention, in

part because of his interesting use of

Instagram and a provocative photo shoot

in Remix magazine.

Second, Mr Key said that he wanted

to leave on his own terms and while his

party was performing well; he believed

that leaders stay too long and it is

important to make way for new talent.

Lantern Forum Illuminates

Kiwi-China trade growth

No career politician

But it’s clear that Key is also tired

of politics. He has said that he isn’t a

career politician and has admitted that

he has ‘nothing left in the tank.’

Although he is said to have made

his decision in September (2016), the

announcement came immediately after

an intense by-election campaign in a

safe Labour seat (Mt Roskill).

Some in National’s ranks had hoped

for an upset, and Mr Key hinted that

it might be possible, but in the end,

National was well and truly trounced,

winning only 28% of the vote. He spent

seven days in the electorate encouraging

voters to turn out but his pulling

power came to naught this time.

So perhaps voters were also a little

tired of him.

Widening gap

Although the economy is good, the

gap between rich and poor is widening.

The cost of housing is hurting middle-class

voters wanting to buy and the

working poor required to rent.

Investment, beyond a new bridge in a

marginal electorate, is needed in infrastructure

and regional development.

Even some in the business community

have recognised that growing

inequalities are a risk to New Zealand’s

social and economic cohesion.

Mr Key was pragmatic and personable,

but was not always respectful of the

power and responsibility that came with

the office of the Prime Minister.

His departure makes the looming

election far more interesting.

Jennifer Curtin is Associate Professor

(Politics and International Relations)

at the University of Auckland Faculty

of Arts. The above article appeared

on the University’s website on

December 6, 2016, a day after John

Key resigned from the post of Prime

Minister of New Zealand. This is a

highly edited version since a number

of developments have taken place

since then. The original article can

be read (under ‘Opinion’) at www.

Ahmadiyyas reiterate

loyalty to New Zealand

Venkat Raman

While ‘Diwali,’ the

Hindu Festival of

Lights is dubbed as

the ‘largest Indian

cultural and cuisine’

event in New Zealand, the Chinese

Lantern Festival does much more, if the

take of the Auckland City Council and

its associate bodies can be believed.

The Auckland Lantern Festival,

essentially that of Chinese New Year,

is shaping to be the biggest event with

a record number of people expected to

visit the three new venues this year- the

Auckland Domain and Kari Street

Commons, linked to the festival via the

lantern-lit Centennial Walkway.

It would be held from February 9 to

12, 2017.

Now in its 18th year, the festival

celebrates the best of traditional

and contemporary Chinese culture,

including lanterns, live music and

dance, martial arts, arts and crafts, food

and fireworks.

Last year, the Lantern Festival

attracted more than 200,000 people.

Business Forum

The inaugural ASB Lantern Forum

business trade event, scheduled to be

held at Auckland Museum Centre on

February 9, would be a highlight. Hosted

by ASB Bank, the Forum will have

the partnership of Auckland Tourism,

Events and Economic Development

(ATEED) and Asia New Zealand


More than 200 Chinese delegates,

ministers, Members of Parliament,

migrants and businesspersons are

expected to attend the Forum.

Powerful Opportunity

ATEED General Manager (Business,

Innovation and Skills) Patrick McVeigh

said that the event is part of ATEED’s

work to increase investment, luxury

tourism and trade between Auckland

and China.

“New Zealand’s trade relationship

with China has nearly tripled over the

past decade. Two-way trade between

Fun and entertainment are a part of the Lantern Festival


the two countries totalled $18.8

billion in the year ending December

2015. The ASB Lantern

Forum will determine how to

convert the potential into real

economic gain with discussions

around current economic ties,

investment, and future trading

opportunities,” he said.

ASB General Manager

Branch and International Banking

Logan Munro described the

ASB Lantern Forum as a ‘powerful

opportunity to connect the

Auckland and Chinese business

communities at a significant

time of the year.’

Authentic Asian Cuisine

The Festival this year promises

wider choice of cuisine than

its predecessors. With the Night

Noodle Markets that are famous

for their great range of authentic

Asian cuisine as well as the

hawker-style atmosphere akin

to the back streets of Singapore

and Hong Kong will be on offer

from over 15 food vendors.

There will also entertainment

for festival-goers to enjoy.

ATEED Head of Major

Events Charmaine Ngarimu

encouraged people to plan their

travel to the festival ahead of

time, taking advantage of the

proximity of the Auckland

Domain to Grafton Railway Station,

apart from the cycleways

and well-serviced buses.”

Staff Reporter

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (The Ahmadiyya

Muslim community) in Auckland

has pledged its loyalty to New Zealand,

saying that it will strive to contribute more

to the enrichment, progress and prosperity of this


Speaking at a two-day Convention held at the

‘Baitul Muqeet,’ located at 20 Dalgety Drive, Wiri in

Manukau on January 27 and January 28, 2017, National

President Bashir Khan said that Ahmadiyyas

are loyal to the country in which they live and work

and become an integral part of its faith.

Freedom of Speech

“New Zealand allows freedom of religion and

speech. It accommodates other cultures and traditions

without having to displace the Kiwi way of life.

This very trait of acceptance is what is so unique and

valuable for this country and one which should never

be replaced by fear and intolerance,” he said.

Mr Khan said that as loyal Muslim residents of

New Zealand, Ahmadiyyas will also work with the

people of the country and open its doors to other


Central Missionary Shafique ur Rehman speaking at the

Convention, with National President Bashir Khan on stage

An exterior view of Baitul Muqueet where the Convention was held

“We will try and educate and remove

ignorance and in most cases, remove the

stigma of brutal faith which has been

created by the actions of a few,” he said.

The Living God

More than 400 people attended the

two-day Convention, 28th in an annual

series. Among them were Samoans,

Australians and Germans. The annual

convention, or Jalsa Salana, is held

worldwide to celebrate social solidarity,

started by founder Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam

Ahmad more than 100 years ago.

Mr Khan said that this year’s

conference theme was ‘The Living God,’

chosen purposely because “religion is on

the retreat.”

“The effect of this means…. a selfish

individualism is gaining strength even in

countries which would otherwise claim

to be religious. This community’s prime

responsibility is to carry on the mission

for which its founder, the Promised

Messiah, was commissioned.

“The Mission is to remove the

discontent that afflicts the relationship

between God and His creatures and

restore the relationship of love and sincerity

between them. The Mission is also

to bring about peace and manifest the

Divine verities that have become hidden

from the eyes of the world,” he said.

Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter

was among 60 guests who toured the

‘Baitul Muqeet’ Mosque and understand

the culture and teachings of Islam.



FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Anxious wait for Teenager’s Arangetram

Venkat Raman

Bharata Natyam enthusiasts

and the Tamil community

in general anxiously await

the performance of Ambika

Krishnamoorthy as the industrious

teenager presents her Arangetram on

Saturday, February 25, 2017.

The event will be held at Dorothy

Winston Centre, Auckland Girls’

Grammar School, commencing at 5

pm. Entry to the programme is free

but seats must be reserved in advance

and occupied by 445 pm. Please text

021-739879 with name and contact

details along with the number of seats

to be reserved.

As well as being a keen learner

of Bharata Natyam under her Guru

Renuka Ketheesan, who owns and runs

‘Sai Natyalaya’ in Auckland, Ambika

belongs to an impressive lineage.

Impressive family

She is the granddaughter of the late

Dr P Solvilangum Perumal and Dr Mrs

Sakthi Perumal, eminent Tamil scholars

from Madurai, Tamil Nadu (paternal)

and the Late Dr M Krishnamurthi (well

known internationally for his contribution

to Sugarcane plant tissue culture

and creating new varieties to suit local

conditions) and Sarada Krishnamurthi


As the only daughter of Sakthi Krishnamurthi,

a lawyer by qualification

and Ilango Krishnamoorthy, Managing

Director of Mercury Printz and President

of the New Zealand Hindu Temple


Society, which owns and manages the

Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam located

at 69 Tidal Road in the South Auckland

suburb of Mangere.

Renowned Guru

Mr Ilango said that Ambika is fortunate

to have Ms Ketheesan as her Guru

and as her 18th student to graduate and

present Bharata Natyam Arangetram.

“Ms Ketheesan is a versatile dancer,

violinist, excellent Carnatic music

singer and trained as nattuvangam singer.

She has produced, choreographed

and directed many Bharata Natyam

productions with local and international

artistes,” he said.

Chennai is the home for Bharata Natyam


Date Day Festival Time Events

03.02.17 Friday Shasti &Skandha Homam 6.30pmto

07.02.17 Tuesday Ekadashi -Sudharsana

Maha VishnuHomam

08.02.17 Wednesday Pradhosam&SriPanjakchara


09.02.17 Thursday ThaPoosam – Subramaniyar


11.02.17 Saturday Kaavadi andPaalKudam(Tha

Poosam Celebration)

13.02.17 Monday 1 st of TamilMonth Poojai (Masi


14.02.17 Tuesday Sangadahara Chaturthi&

Sri Maha GanapathiHomam

19.02.17 Sunday Ashtami &Kalabhairavar


A student of Bharata Natyam since

she was four years old, Ambika has

been under the watchful eyes of her

Guru, who has honed her skill over the


Ambika has performed at several

events organised by the Auckland

Muthamil Sangam, Thiru Subramaniyar

Aalayam, Diwali festivals held

at Vodafone Centre and Counties

Manukau Police Head Quarters.

Varied interests

Due to step into her 16th year shortly,

she is currently a Year 11 student at

ACG Strathalan School. She is a keen

Hockey player for her school and trains

Varnam for 50 minutes would be a highlight

Om SaravanaBhava

Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam

69 Tidal Road, Mangere Auckland, NewZealand

Festival andEventsfor February 2017
















24.02.17 Friday Pradhosam&Sri Panjakchara 6.30pmto



Maha Sivarathiri

Starts from



25.02.17 Saturday Navagraha ShanthiHomam 10.30 am to

12.30 pm

Professional tailoring bring back traditional


with her brother in the Papatoetoe

Hockey ground.

Mr Ilango said that Ambika’s interest

in fine arts and performing arts were

kindled during her scholastic career at

Hillpark Primary School and Remuera

Intermediate School.

“She also performs on the Piano,

Guitar and is currently learning Veena

from Bhavani Suresh, a genius in the

art. The Forthcoming Arangetram will

Lord Subramaniyar Abishegamand


Lord VishnuAbishegam and


Lord Siva Abishegam andArathanai

Lord Subramaniyar Abishegamand


Lord Subramaniyar Abishegam


Lord AyyappanAbishegam and


Lord Vinayakar Abishegam and


Lord Muneeshwar,Lord Kala

Bhairavarand LordMadurai

Veeran Abishegam andArathanai

Lord Siva Abishegam andArathanai

Navagraha Moorthies Abishegam


Discipline is the byword in Classical Dances

be a milestone in her life. Ambika will

be performing in front of her family,

friends and well-wishers for almost

three hours, of which ‘Varnam’ would

be of 50-minutes duration,” he said.

Her parents encourage her to continue

her interest in classical dancing. Her

brothers Vetrivhel and Adhitiyan not

only extend their support but have also

taken charge of training her at home.

We have pleasure in inviting all

devotees andfriends to take partin

allAbishegam andreceive the


Murugan Valli Deivayanai,Siva

Meenakshi, Venkatachalapathy,



FEBRUARY 1, 2017



Waitakere Holi brings colour to life

Sunil Kaushal

The Annual Holi Festival of

Waitakere Indian Association

(WIA) will be held at the

Trusts Arena, Central Park

Drive, Henderson in West Auckland on

Sunday, March 19, 2017.

The Festival of colours will commence

at 11 am and conclude at 4 pm.

This is a community and family fun


Such programmes showcase

the diversity of not only the Indian

Community in New Zealand but also of

various communities in Auckland.

Auckland is increasingly becoming

multicultural with one in every four

persons listed as ‘overseas born.’

The Indian population is

also growing rapidly and such events

provide a platform for the community

to remember their childhood days of

playing Holi in the company of their

families, friends and neighbours and

enable first-generation Kiwi Indians to

discover their roots and culture.

Fun for all

Music, dance, splash of colours

on people and laughter will be a part

of the day-long Holi Festival of our


File Photo of Waitakere Holi 2016- the challenge is to identify people behind those colours!

‘Holi’ comes from the word ‘Hola,’

meaning sacrifice.

The festival is a reminder that we

must live in a spirit of service and


At WIA, we aspire to serve our

communities and have been doing so

since the Association was established

in 2000.

Come wearing white clothes so

that the array of colours is visible to

all, take selfies, post it on Snapchat,

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, tag your

friends and families across the world –

but most of all, enjoy the day and make

it one to remember.

Our Association acknowledges the

continued support of leading Radio

Tarana, the leading Hindi Radio

station, Indian Newslink, the oldest and

largest circulated Indian Newspaper in

New Zealand, the Henderson-Massey

Local Board and the Trusts Community

Foundation for making this event


Sunil Kaushal is Vice-President of

Waitakere Indian Association.

Our Staff Reporter adds:

WIA Past President Sunil Chandra

(writing in our March 15, 2016 issue)

said that

Holi at WIA also brings with it Indo-Fijian

culture and Indian tradition,

presenting a unique fusion of social

and community values.

“Among these would be ‘Faag

Gayan’ (rendition of Holy hymns),

which has been a part of the Holi

celebrations since we began. The mix

of activities will ensure that people of

all ages and ethnicity are able to come

together in an amiable atmosphere to

share fun and laughter” he said.

Spreading equality

Beyond all the religious and cultural

manifestations, Holi is really about the

inescapable truth that every person is

born equal and hence has the right to be

treated and provided opportunities for

growth as equals.

As Mr Chandra said that India in

general and Hinduism in particular has

given the world a number of occasions

and festivals to embrace the whole

human race.

“These occasions aim to integrate

and unite communities and Holi is one

of them. The Festival has profound

meaning for humankind and enhances

race relations and integration,” he said.



FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Classic Car Show a drive back in time

David Burke-Kennedy

Hundreds of Auckland

classic car enthusiasts are

polishing their steeds for

the biggest car event on the

New Zealand motoring calendar.

The Ellerslie Intermarque Concours

& Classic Car Show will stage its

forty-fourth annual event at Ellerslie

Race Course on Sunday, February 12,


It will be held at the Ellerslie Race

Course in Auckland from 10 am to

4 pm. Entry to the show is by tickets

at $15 per person. However, the first

10 persons who send a text message

between 10 am and 11 am on Friday,

February 3, 2017 (not earlier

or later) will receive complimentary

tickets from Indian Newslink,

courtesy of the show organisers.

The beginning

The show was born in 1972, when

the MG Car Club rallied a handful

of Auckland car clubs together at

Cornwall Park to stage the country’s

first Intermarque Concours d’Elegance

competition to find the best classic


MG won the first Inter-Club Challenge

Shield with Honours also going

to Alvis, Studebaker, Jowett, Riley, and

Citroen Car Clubs.

Every year, more clubs joined the

competition until by 1982, when the

event had become so big that the organisers

moved it to Ellerslie Race Course.

A New Award

This year for the first time, the show

will reflect its long association with

Ellerslie with Classic Cover Insurance

club display competition themed

‘A classic day at the races,” with a

Meguiar’s People’s Choice Award.

The show is

by far



biggest classic

car event with some

restorations valued at millions

of dollars. It is also the only New

Zealand classic car competition judged

to international standards focusing on

presentation, appearance, originality and


Among more than 700 classic

vehicles on show - some the best in

the world – will be two master-class

restoration entries from MG and


Cars competing in Radio Live

Survivor’s Class include a 1958

Studebaker Champion; 1966 Mini

Cooper S; 1965 Chrysler Valiant

Convertible (ex-Canada); 1961 EK

Holden; 1973

E Type



and an MG.

Entries must be unrestored, and

at least 35-year-old with original

bodywork, paint and upholstery.

Porsche is the host club for the third

year running after taking Club Team

Honours in 2016 and 2017.

Extensive display

Displays cover virtually every marque

seen in New Zealand from early last

century including this year, a special

line-up of the NZ-produced Trekka

celebrating its 50th anniversary.

A notable display vehicle will be a

rare Alfa Romeo – the 1938

London Motor Show

exhibit – which arrived

in the country last





returns to

display electric

ride-in toy BMW

cars that it donates

to children with impaired mobility.

New models

Latest models on show will include

Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi,

Bentley, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, Jaguar,

Jeep, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mini,

Porsche, Rolls Royce, Volvo, with other

exhibitors offering new and old books,

accessories, Meguiar’s car care, vehicle

grooming, paint restoration, classic

car sales, storage and Classic Cover

insurance. Auckland Transport is there

for the first time too.

Ellerslie Intermarque Concours

and Classic Car Show

Sunday, February 12, 2017

10 am to 4 pm.

Ellerslie Race Course,


Pictures supplied by New Zealand

Classic Car magazine.

Organisers are now targeting younger

car enthusiasts whose definition of

‘classics’ includes cars as recent as the

1980s and 1990s and new names as

opposed to marques that are extinct.

They will advise anyone wanting to

set up clubs for Marques and models

not already catered for by an existing


Little-known to those outside of

the wider classic car fraternity is the

Meguiar’s Tours d’Elegance that

happens each year on the Saturday of

the show weekend (February 11, 2017).

It involves up to 200 classics touring

to St Heliers from six departure points

around the Auckland region.

Departures this year start from Westgate,

Northcote, Greenlane, Papakura,

Pukekohe, and Albany – converging

after a 100km drive to tour along

Tamaki Drive to picnic in St Heliers

with a “Homage” product for the best

picnic presentation.

FEBRUARY 1, 2017



Punjabis mark Lohri in Christchurch

Legend and Custom

Bhagavad Gita says that Lord

Krishna manifests Himself in His full

magnificence during this time. The

Hindus ‘nullify’ their sins by bathing in

the Ganges.

Lohri is more than just a festival,

especially for the people of Punjab.

Punjabis are hardworking, sturdy,

robust, energetic, enthusiastic and jovial

people, and Lohri is symbolic of their

love for celebrations.

Lohri celebrates fertility and the joy

of life.

In the event of the birth of a male

child or a marriage in the family, it

assumes a larger significance with the

host family arranging a feast with traditional

music and dance. The first Lohri

of a new bride or a new-born baby is

considered extremely important.

Dr Ruchika Sachdev (left) and Nimi Bedi hosting the Lohri Festival

Staff Reporter

More than 400 people

attended the ‘Lohri Festival’

organised by the

Indian Cultural Group

(ICG) in Christchurch last fortnight.

Second in an annual series, the festival

was hosted by Dr Ruchika Sachdev

and Nimi Bedi, who was an Auckland

resident until two years ago.

ICG President Dr Sandeep Sachdev

said that the programme included

Jagoo, Bhangra, Gidda and Boliyan

with traditional songs.

“The event was dedicated to women

empowerment. Traditional Lohri food

was served for the first time. Prizes

were given for best dressed male,

female and child participants,” he said.

The following was sourced from


According to the Hindu calendar,

Lohri falls in mid-January.

The Earth, farthest from the Sun

at this point of time, starts its journey

towards the Sun, ending the coldest

month of the year, Paush (in the Northern

Hemisphere). It is also the start of

the month of Magh and the auspicious

period of Uttarayan.

Music and dance are a part of the event

Energy and


punctuate dance debut

Literary and

cultural combo for


Staff Reporter

When Rachel Ravi goes

on stage to present her

Arangetram in Auckland

next fortnight, she would

not only gratify her Guru, parents,

family, peers and friends, but also

demonstrate the high level of discipline

and dedication that Bharata Natyam

demands out of its performers.

The teenager is getting ready to reach

the milestone on Saturday, February 18,

2017 at Dorothy Winstone Centre,

Auckland Girls Grammar School,

Howe Street, Newton, in the process

of which two persons would play an

important role – her Guru Renuka

Ketheesan, who runs ‘Sai Natyalaya,’

and Dance Master, Producer, Director

and Music Director Madurai R Muralidharan

in particular.

The progamme would commence at

530 pm and guests have been requested

to be seated by 515 pm.

Young Achiever

A Year-13 student at Epsom Girls

Grammar School, Rachel began her

dance journey when she was three

years old.

She regularly participates in dance

programmes and school competitions.

She is an award-winning student

and a keen participant in Chess

matches held at school and regional


Her mother Anusooya Gnanavinthan

Sincerity every step of the way

Analytical thinking helps in good


said that Rachel takes her studies

seriously and is aware of the

challenges and opportunities.

“She is a student of Physics,

Mathematics, Visual arts

and Print making. Analytical

thinking, strategic planning and

time management are some of

her key skills through which

she copes with her studies

with extra-curricular activities

including Piano Lessons (Grade

4) and Speech and Drama

(Grade 8).

Amazing Girl

Ms Ketheesan described

Rachel as ‘an enegetic and

amazing girl with passion for

Bharatha Natyam.’

“She is a hard-working,

talented girl with many

potentials. She amazes me

many times. I am very proud of

having Rachel as my Shishya,”

she said.

Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker Dr Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (Centre) with other guests and

participants at the GOPIO event on December 25, 2016.

Staff Reporter


conference of bloggers, a poetry

session, music and dance

performed by a number of

ethnic communities were

all a part of the year-end celebrations

organised by the Auckland and Waikato

Chapters of the Global Organisation of

People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).

The event, initiated by GOPIO Waikato

Founder-President Suman Kapoor,

was held at the Kelston Community

Centre in Auckland on Christmas Day.

Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker

Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, National

List MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi,

Dr Parmjeet Parmar, Fiji Education

Ministry Senior Education Officer

Ramesh Chand were among the guests

of honour.

The participants

Participants in the programme

included Ratna Srivastava, Ravindra

Prabhat, Dr Archana Srivastava (Barabanki),

Dr Urmila Shukla (Raipur), Dr

Ramakant Kushwaha (Devariya), Dr

Vijay Pratap Srivastava (Gorakhpur),

Dr Nirmala Verma (Lucknow) and

Kusum Verma (Lucknow).

Official opening of Bharatiya Vidya

Bhavan New Zealand, launch of a book

(‘Thathi’) by Mr Choudhary, a Mixed

Art Exhibition by Kusum Verma and a

Korean Drumbeats item by the Korean

Charitable Trust (Positive Aging)

were among the highlights of the


Speaking about international bloggers,

Ms Kapoor said, “While the print

media such as newspapers, magazines

and books enable expression of

authors’ feelings, blogging has become

an international platform for people

throughout the world to instantly share

their opinions and feelings.”

She also drew similarities between

Maori and Hindi languages.

-With reporting by Dr Madhavi



Artlink-Ratna Venkat

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

This is our land of Eternal Tranquility, explore!

Ashok Kochhar

We have lost many natural

habits to modern life


More than a year ago,

I started a journey in New Zealand,

which I consider a pilgrimage.

This land is one of the few places on

the planet, which still has Eternal tranquility

intact. Till now, I have travelled

extensively throughout the country.

Many New Zealanders have gone

all over the world but have missed the

Paradise at home.

My journey was started on a

self-assigned project named, ‘500 Days

in New Zealand.’ When I started, I had

about 20 stories in mind but as I travelled,

these stories started to multiply

and by the end of 2016, they crossed,

the number had risen to 65.

Coffee Table Books

Initially, I planned for one Coffee

Table Book but now I am considering

four to six books. Presently, I am

working on my first Coffee Table Book

but I am experiencing difficulty in

shortlisting the pictures, as every sight

is beautiful and breathtaking.

The beauty of this land is not physical

what tourists see but its Eternal


I am to an energy field, which holds

you in a trance.

During my trips, I have felt many

times when “I am simply not there.”

From Cape Reinga to Bluff or small

Islands, I have felt heavily charged

spaces, wherein you can sense the

energy field you have entered and soon

you become a part of it.

Gifts of Nature

And this energy is the residue of

many mystical traditions and rituals of

the natives from many centuries ago.

The time when nature was worshipped

and every time you took something

from nature, whether a fruit or bark

of the tree, you thanked them for their

gift which is unlike our times, when

we have assumed our superiority over

every other existence in the world.

Time is right to connect modernity to

the ancient sciences and practices.

We need to explore, research and

revisit the lost heritage.

Time is right when outer world

information and ancestral practices

need to be rewritten.

All this I experienced while being

with natural healers and other esoteric

practicing masters who know the

deeper realms of being.

Ashok Kochhar is an international

photographer who launched ‘500

Days Across New Zealand’ in December

2015. He lives in Hamilton.

The Grace is Universal

Divine Blessing as Heaven opens

On a clear day, you can see for ever!

The Skyline joins the human journey

Solitude could be a virtue

Nature in its bounty

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Artlink-Ratna Venkat


Mehfil promises uncommon collaboration

Ratna Venkat

In the old days in the Indian

subcontinent, it was the norm for

music and dance enthusiasts to

host programmes catered to small

audience numbers to bring the performer

and the spectator closer.

Known as ‘Mehfil,’ an Urdu word

meaning ‘intimate gathering,’ such

programmes are rare nowadays.

‘Bigger the better,’ in terms of

audience turnout is in vogue today.

Mughal Tradition

However, people like such as Auckland-based

musician and Sarod exponent

Chinmaya Dunster are committed to

keeping this age-old Mughal tradition

alive in this part of the world, through his

efforts in regularly hosting the ‘Auckland

Mehfil’ concerts.

Auckland Mehfil

This year’s ‘14th Auckland Mehfil’

is scheduled to be held on Saturday,

February 18 at 7 pm at Blockhouse

Bay Boat Club, 91 Endeavour Street in

Blockhouse Bay.

Tickets priced at $20 per person (free

for children under 16 years) are currently

on sale.

‘Auckland Mehfil’ has grown in

popularity amongst all ethnicities and is

known for providing equal exposure for

traditional and fusion performances in a

Chinmaya Dunster

relaxed setting, as well as some uncommon

collaborations in world music.

“Each Mehfil programme goes a step

further than the previous one, and this

makes our audience anxious of what

to expect each time,” Chinmaya told

Indian Newslink.

Fusion Delight

Like its forerunners, the ‘14th Auckland

Mehfil’ promises to be an eventful

evening of Jugalbandi and Fusion, with

performances by Chinmaya on Sarod,

Shastro on Flute, ‘Tabla Beat Science’

and ‘Sargam Fusion’ band including

dance by this writer.

Chinmaya Dunster

Originally from Kent in England,

Chinmaya attended Art College in

Canterbury, simultaneously evincing

interest in music by pursuing an


independent study of classical guitar and


His acquaintance with North Indian

Classical music and instrumentation

first occurred during his travels through

Afghanistan and Northern India.

After attending the concert of Sarod

Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in the

Indian Capital of New Delhi, Chinmaya

became engrossed in this unique

instrument and spent the next 13 years

learning Sarod in India and London.

In London, he became a disciple of

Ustad Gurdev Singh and after moving

to Pune in Maharashtra, he studied for

six years under the guidance of Pandit

Shekhar Borkar.

During this time, Chinmaya travelled

to various countries in Europe and Asia,

performing and collaborating with

musicians and recorded several CDs.

Celtic Ragas

His band ‘Celtic Ragas’ is known for

combining elements of Celtic and Hindustani

music, which caught the attention

of former Beatles’ Member (Sir) Paul

McCartney, who invited Chinmaya and

his band to perform at his wedding with

Heather Mills in Ireland in 2002.

Chinmaya currently lives in Auckland






with his partner Naveena Goffer and

daughter Koyal.


Born in Italy, Shastro is described

as a ‘New-Age musician’, specialising

in ethnic instruments such as Spanish

Guitar, African Kora Harp, Clarinet,

Native American Flutes and the Indian

instruments of Bansuri Flute and Dilruba.

His unique musical style of ‘relaxed

world music’ was a result of his frequent

visits to various countries, namely Spain,

Turkey, India and parts of Africa and

South America.

These journeys, led by Shastro’s own

spiritual search, enabled him to experience

meditation in India and creating

music for various meditation techniques.

He is known for playing with ease,

integrating his ancient musical instruments

into a contemporary environment.

Shastro lives between United States of

America, Italy and India and is President

of a record label company that he formed

in 1997.

Information about ‘Tabla Beat

Science’ and ‘Sargam Fusion’ band will

appear in our next (February 15, 2017)


‘14th Auckland Mehfil’ – An evening of Jugalbandi and Fusion

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7 pm

Blockhouse Bay Boat Club,

91 Endeavour Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Tickets ($20 each) available at the venue

Children under are 18: Free

Chinmaya Dunster

Ph: 022 320 4020; E:

Get set for thrills and truth at the Theatre

Venkat Raman

If you love theatre that brings some

chilling stuff, this summer would

be perfect for you; with so much

going on, you would be tickled

for choice but we have chosen just two

(what promise to be) great productions

that would keep you on the edge of

your seat.

Spirit House

Herald Theatre from February 15 to

March 5

Ian Mune, the Award-Winning

Iconic New Zealand actor returns to the

stage with ‘Spirit House.’

Billed as the ‘Most anticipated

theatrical events of the Summer,’

‘Spirit House’ has been produced by

Nightsong Productions and Theatre

Stampede and presented by them with

Auckland Live for playwright Carl


Bland has directed the play with Ben


It is about two artists who occupy

the same studio in Nong Khai in


The difference is the timeframe;

the first artist belongs to 1932 and the

other is in 2017. Charles, with oil and

pigment, paints moments frozen in

time, while Steven is a foot-soldier for

the new media economy, living and

breathing the commercial system, with

a brand to protect.

The Mystery woman

Both men are visited by the same

woman. She is the ultimate muse and


Who is she? And what does she


Speaking the unspoken, her presence

in both worlds will force each man to

come to terms with what each had been

Two men; two centuries; same house; same woman

trying oh-so-hard to forget.

Although a regular on stage and

screen, it has been 17 years since Mune

has taken a lead role.

Along with him in such an intimate

yet epic New Zealand story are acting

heavyweights Mia Blake (‘The Book

of Everything,’ ‘Angels in America’),

Tim Carlsen (‘One Day Moko,’ ‘Dirty

Laundry’) and a giant 6-foot cat called


Some chillers

You can expect such scenes as bodies

emerging from water, cobras haunting

their victims, housecats launching

their attacks – all as a part of the

production company’s trademark visual


Spirt House promises to be vivid,

wild, entertaining, dramatic, beautiful,

funny, provocative.

Bland and Crowder have been working

together on some remarkable work

over the last decade. Their March 2016

New Zealand Festival and the sell-out

Auckland Arts Festival Season of Te Po

(based on the ‘Work and Life of Bruce

Mason’) received outstanding reviews

and had audiences spellbound.

Spirit House

At the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland

From Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, March 5, 2017

Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm. Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 pm.

Sundays at 4 pm.

Book at

Grappling with dark reality

Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna from

February 25 to March 4

A scene from ‘Remain in Light’

(Photo Credit: Sacha Stejko)

Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna from

February 25 to March 4 ‘Remain in

Light’ could scare you more than any

psycho-thriller or horror movie has

done in recent years.

Set in the post-apocalyptic world, it

is stated to be a gripping, lyrical and

strikingly bold story that will make you

love this planet and hate wars.

One morning the Sun fails to rise.

People are puzzled, then frightened,

then panicked. In the endless darkness,

small groups of survivors hunt for food,

warmth and above all, light.

When one man finds a magical

source of light, his power becomes

limitless, because people will give

everything, do anything, in order to see.

A poetic and impressionistic play,

‘Remain in Light’ exposes mankind’s

true nature in grappling with a dark


The power of light observed

Written by Stephen Sinclair and

directed by Elena Stejko, ‘Remain in

Light’ will make its theatrical premier

from February 25 to March 4, 2017 at

the Pumphouse Theatre in Takapuna,

North Shore, Auckland.

Qualities of Light

Created by Click-Clack Productions,

the play will explore the visual and

spiritual qualities of light in a world

of darkness. It would bring together a

17-strong cast with sound and lighting

technology for a unique, immersive


Stephen Sinclair’s illustrious

career has seen him writing for

major cinematic productions as well as

boundary-pushing theatre work.

As a screenwriter, he has worked

with director Sir Peter Jackson on

‘Meet the Feebles,’ ‘Braindead’ and

‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two


His award-winning play Ladies

Night (co-written with Anthony

McCarten), which premiered in

Auckland in 1987, continues to be

performed throughout the world. His

‘The Bellbird’ and ‘The Bach’ have

been mounted in main-bill productions

by Auckland Theatre Company.

His directorial debut on the comedy-drama

feature film, ‘Russian Snark,’

saw him working with actress Elena

Stejko in 2010.

Impressive Cast

The multi-talented Elena (‘Russian

Snark,’ ‘A Shortcut to Happiness’) will

be directing a sizeable cast through this

post-apocalyptic fairy-tale, delving into

human nature and the desperate desire

to survive.

Comedian and actor Paul Roukchan

(New Zealand International Comedy

Festival, ‘Shortland Street,’ Radar’s

‘Chequered Past’) takes the lead role

with emerging actress Emma-Mae

Eglinton (‘Sit On It,’ ‘It Ends With The


Remain in Light

At the Pumphouse Theatre

Manurere Avenue, Takapuna, Auckland

February 25 to March 4, 2017

Book at



FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Spiritual healing sways with melody

Dr Phanishree

Scriptures such as the ‘Nada

Bindu Upanishad’ and ancient

Indian texts on Music like

‘Natyashastra (Bharata),’

‘Sangeeta Ratnakara (Shanrangya

Deva)’ and great musicians

of the present times like Ganapathy

Sachchidananda Swamiji, working

for decades on the therapeutic abilities

of Music, have described the musical

abilities and musical experiences as a

process ‘Nada Yoga.’

Ganapathy Sachchidanada Swamiji

uses a combination of the Indian

Ragas based on their aesthetic appeal,

self-composed lyrics (with resonating

seed letters like Om, Aim, Hreem,

Sreem), ‘Jyotisha Shastra’ (astrological

calculations), ‘Mani Shastra’ (healing

energy of crystals and gems) for selection

of appropriate music frequencies

during live music therapy sessions and

in studio recordings.

He also uses bonsai trees relevant

to the musical scale, and specific

bird-related to the Raga, along with

self-improvised combination of

various natural and instrumental sounds

(sampled on ‘His Datta Veena,’ the


Ganapathy Sachchidanada Swamiji

Great Lineage

Born in the lineage of the great

Venkatamakhi, the musicologist who

popularised the ‘72 Melakartha System’

(parent scales) of Carnatic Music,

Swamiji is a prolific, versatile and

multilingual composer.

His proficiency is explicitly

demonstrated in more than 500 varied

compositions ranging from simple

‘Namasankeertana Bhajans’ to profound

secrets of ‘Vedanta’ accounting for

simple four to eight liner couplets to

elaborate descriptive and contemplative


Swamiji has employed all avenues

in attempting to explore the mystery

of therapeutic sounds hidden in the

inanimate as well as the animate.

Integration of Nature

He said that the mountains, the

waterfalls, the oceans, the five elements

as well as the flora and the fauna, in fact,

everything around us is full of Nada –

‘Nada Moolam Idam Jagat’ (The entire

universe is full of Nada).

His Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai

Garden hosts nearly 800 species of

Bonsai plants ( and

Shukavana Avery (

hosts nearly 400 species of birds.

These are testimony to his

experiments in analysing with different

musical sounds emerging from the flora

and fauna and studying the influence of

various sounds on their behaviour.

The Casurina trees at the entrance of

the Garden were brought in a near-dead

state. They were rejuvenated with his

raga Malayamaaruta.

Fruition and growth in some of the

trees has been shown to be influenced by

ragas. Some of the trees are named after

their respective ragas.

More than 200 recorded music albums

of Sri Swamiji have been released by

the Ashram; his hundreds of live music

concerts all over the world have attracted

and influenced the novice and music


Millions of transoceanic admirers

and listeners of his music exemplify his


Dr Phanishree PV is a Doctor of

Medicine (MD) practicing as a Paediatrician

in Mysore, Karnataka. He also

has a Diploma in Hindustani Flute.

Ganapathy Sachchidanada Swamiji

will present a Meditation and Healing

Music Concert at 6 pm at Dorothy

Winston Centre, Auckland Girls

Grammar School on Saturday,

February 4, 2017.

FEBRUARY 1, 2017





No. 018


Use the photos to find the answer: check

No. 008

Anna Swan 1846-1888 was aCanadian giantess

who attained aheight of 7feet, 11 inches (241 cm).

Billed as “the world’s tallest woman” and described

by her employer, USshowman P. T. Barnum, as an

“intelligent and by no means ill-looking girl”, in 1871

she married the equally tall American giant Martin

Bates, and together they toured Europe as the world’s

tallest married couple, before settling down to a

normal domestic life in America, in apurpose-built

house with extended ceilings and modified furniture.

Spot the 10 Differences




+ 1888

= *****

Different letters and the asterisk

represent different digits. Rewrite

the sum using the following digits:


1 2 4 5 8

Solution to Attemptation No. 007


1 2 3 4 6 8

JUMBLE No. 1741 SUDOKU No. 1062 HI


10 Words Good

12 Words Very Good

14 Words Excellent

17 Words Genius




crofter fetor foot

footer force fore

form forme former

fort forte fret froe

from orfe reform

reft roof roofer


How many words of 4letters ormore can you make from these 9letters?

In making aword each letter may beused 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.



3 Flowering plant

9 Musical dramas

10 Indigenous

11 Romantic poet

12 Worn away by biting

15 Moral philosophy

17 Grand sitting room

18 In favour of

19 Also

20 Forcible constraint

22 Distinctive


24 Beast of burden

25 Longhaired Tibetan


26 Send

28 Inexpert actor (coll)

29 Strike with ablow

30 Bishop’s headdress

33 Domesticated


34 Traveller’s case

35 Joining peg

36 Make ajourney

37 It turns red litmus


38 Exchanges for money


1 Ballads

2 Untamed


Crossword No. 11909

3 Captured

4 Second hand

5 Advantage

6 Clergyman

7 Reserve military force

8 Periods ofinstruction

13 Not artificial

14 Adult human female

16 They are found in the


18 Postulate



1 Asfar as changing,

do go on, probably in

mischief (2,2,2,4)

6 Paper-chain of notes


7 First woman given

about two pounds for

flat (5)

9 Anidiot standing back,

not joining in (5)

10 Heartless visit to

America after ring (7)

12 Telling beer makes

aggressive (11)

14 Mother (no other) in

tale about thing raging

after dark (6,5)

18 Story that has to be

reckoned with? (7)

19 &17Dn Carry adime

for genuine topping


21 Leave egghead inside

in peace (5)

22 Time for abstinence

that appears topass

quickly? (4-3)


1 Again urge to answer


2 Took big steps to get

out of Dorset (6)














post office













No. 17561

3 Lettuce for just threequarters

ofthe cost?


4 Bank employee who

can’t keep his mouth

shut? (6)

5 Profits coming

in happily on

anniversary? (7)

8 Haggle over profit from

drinking spot? (7)

11 Having to spend about

20 Ornamental


21 Man’s name

22 Track and field


23 Islamic fast

27 Sunglasses (coll)

30 Shopping precincts

31 Pre-Olympian god

32 Uncanny

34 Meat from acalf

apound for recreation


13 Given agood pasting

for putting on airs?


15 Herod’s new island (6)

16 The losing suit for

lovers? (6)

17 See 19 Ac

20 Thankful sound for the

road repair (3)

Sudoku No. 1061 Cryptic No. 17560

Across: 1Uptonogood;

7Halve; 8Violent;

10 Tetrarch; 11 Edge;

13 Hockey; 15Tavern;

17 Uses; 18 Billy-can;

21 Epitome; 22 Arrow;

23 There there.

Down: 1Unlit; 2Teenager;

3Novice; 4Goon;

5Overdue; 6White House;

9The unknown;

12 Palliate; 14 Cherish;

16 Silent; 19 Carve;

20 Boar.

Snap Decision No. 007 What’s Different No. 017 Attemptation No. 007


1. Smoke puff missing

2. Mans shirt colour different

3. Rear wheel missing

4. Road line missing

5. Dummies arm missing

6. Part of fence missing

7. Part of building missing

8. Shape of spill different

9. Car colour different

10. Cloud missing



























1 2 3 4 6 8



Another year of reckoning

for Akshay Kumar

Cricket gets the top score

of the season

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Apurv Shukla

Akshay Kumar should

have cause for

anxiety as his ‘Jolly

LLB 2,’ his first film

of the year due for release on

February 10.

A Sequel to the surprise 2013

hit ‘Jolly LLB,’ the courtroom

drama pairs Akshay for the first

time with Huma Qureshi.

While the original starred

Arshad Warsi in the title role,

the forthcoming film is bigger

in scale.

Akshay (48) is going through

one of the best phases of his


His three releases last year

(Airlift, Housefull 3 and

Rustom) did well.

Airlift and Rustom (Co-produced

by Akshay) were based

on real-life incidents and drew

critical and commercial acclaim.

Rise of a Star

Akshay started his career with

‘Saugandh’ (1991), co- starring


His first major success was

the Abbas-Mustan directed


Loosely based on an earlier

suspense drama (Khel Khel

Mein), the film had a popular

musical score.

The subsequent years saw Akshay’s

career bring a mixed bag of hits and misses.

He was identified as an action-hero but

things changed for the better for Akshay

in 2000 with the Priyadarshan-directed

comedy Hera Pheri.

His stardom increased manifold as a

new audience base was cultivated with his

comic act. In recent years, his association

with Director Neeraj Pandey has been

productive. The duo has strived to give

intelligent commercial films like Special 26

and Baby.

Akshay is the most prolific actor. He

does about four films a year and with every

film he adds to his repertoire and gives fans

entertaining cinema.

Attracting Sequels

What makes sequels

an attractive option for

filmmakers is the brand

value the originals of

the films carry.

The risks associated

with sequels compared

to making original films

are less. In a highly

competitive market, any

advantage would be a


Although 2016 was

a disappointing year

for sequels in Hindi

cinema, comic capers

like Tere bin Laden,

Kya Kool Hain Hum

and Great Grand Masti

tanked at the box office.

Rock on 2 and

Kahaani 2 also


A successful

sequel should carry

the elements which

made the original films

popular, but filmmakers

should embellish them

with new and attractive

ingredients to ensure

viewers enjoy the

films and not become


Apurv Shukla

Black Caps carried building on their

successful home summer of cricket

by beating Bangladesh 2-0 in the

recently concluded test series.

This followed convincing wins over the

same opponents in One Day and T-20 matches.

It was an underwhelming display by Bangladesh;

especially considering that coming into

this tour, they had won four of their last 10 tests

and lost two.

The wins included beating England at home.

Gruelling contest

In what is sure to be a sell-out series,

Australia follows Bangladesh for the three

match Chappell-Hadlee contest.

Any sporting encounter between the

Trans-Tasman rivals makes for riveting viewing

and hence this series will be no different.

New Zealand at home will be a completely

different team to the one that surrendered tamely

to Australia in the last Chappell –Hadlee

contest (3-0).

Rounding off the summer will be a visit

from South Africa for a three test and five

match one day series.

Proteas rebuild

The Proteas are in a rebuilding stage. New

additions to the team like fast bowler Kagiso

Rabada bode well, and pace bowler Vernon

Philander is stepping up to take over the role

of the leader of the bowling unit in the absence

of an injured Dale Steyn. This will be the first

major overseas tour for the team under new test

captain Faf du Plessis. Premier

Batsman Ab De Villiers has

decided to sit out the tour to

manage his workload in the

lead up to the next World Cup.

His absence will considerably

weaken the South African

batting line up.

Black Caps performance

This is an important season

for the Black Caps.

A successful Cricket team helps the sport grow in the


It would encourage larger funding for grassroots cricket

and attract youngsters to the game.

India under the new One-Day and T20 Captain Virat

Kohli, carried its dominance over England from the tests to

the One-Day series by winning 2-1.

The series created the record for most runs scored in a

three-match bilateral contest. Maharashtra’s Kedar Jadhav

enhanced his reputation as a champion finisher of the

innings by winning the Man of the Series Award.

Australia, after the Chappell-Hadlee series travels to

India for a four-match test series.

In a first for Australia, the selectors have picked four

spinners for the tour.

Australia’s last outing to the subcontinent led to a 3-0 test

series defeat to Sri Lanka in August last year.

The last time the team won a test in India was in 2004.

For Australia to be competitive in the series, Captain

Steven Smith and the best batsman David Warner must

perform better against the spin attacks of R Ashwin and

Ravi Jadeja.

Adding to the international cricket scene is the Big Bash

League (BBL) in Australia.

The coming months will offer cricket fans exciting

games from around the world.

Spice up 2017 with

•Oteha valley •bOtany dOwns •bOtany tOwn centre •missiOn bay •manukau

•new lynn •pakuranga •sylvia park •hamiltOn

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